Goldberg: McDonald’s CEO apologized to ‘woke’ mob for Lightfoot texts – But was he wrong?

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New details have emerged showing that when McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski sent a text message to Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot last spring blaming the deaths of two children on their parents, he had a valid point.

The text emerged earlier this month thanks to a fulfilled Freedom of Information Act request that was reported on by the Chicago Tribune.

“With both, the parents failed those kids which I know is something you can’t say. Even harder to fix,” the text bluntly read.

Its discovery and publication provoked so much backlash that Kempczinski was forced to bend the knee. But according to longtime former journalist turned commentator Bernard Goldberg, Kempczinski had been right all along.

The text was sent on April 19th, exactly a day after 7-year-old Jaslyn Adams was fatally shot during a gang-related shooting gone bad as she was reportedly sitting with her dad at a McDonald’s drive-through.

The text was likewise sent three weeks after the justified fatal shooting of 13-year-old juvenile delinquent Adam Toledo by Chicago authorities.

The parental guilt in Toledo’s case was more obvious, given that the child had apparently been allowed by his parents to roam the streets in the middle of the night pointing guns at drivers and then later resisting arrest upon the arrival of the authorities.

But in Adams’ case, it genuinely seemed like Kempczinski had erred in his judgment. Not so, according to Goldberg.

“The father of the dead girl reportedly has a long criminal record and acknowledged on social media that he knew he was a target for gang retaliation. But that didn’t stop him from letting his 7-year-old daughter sit in a car with him,” he wrote in a column this week that was published at The Hill.

“As for the 13-year-old boy who was shot and killed by a police officer: What was he doing with a gun? And why was he running around with a 21-year-old repeat gun offender at 2:30 in the morning? The two had been caught on video shooting randomly at moving cars when someone called the police. Gunpowder residue was found on the boy’s hand,” he added.

And so no, the McDonald’s CEOs text wasn’t “ignorant, racist and unacceptable,” as critics from across the country had called it. It was the truth. A truth that, sadly, Kempczinski quickly apologized for having dared to speak aloud.

“So, did he hold firm and stand by his words? Did he say anything about whether the dead children’s parents had a responsibility to do better? Of course not. Like so many CEOs these days, he apologized – over and over again,” according to Goldberg.

“When I wrote this, I was thinking through my lens as a parent and reacted viscerally. But I have not walked in the shoes of Adam’s or Jaslyn’s family and so many others who are facing a very different reality,” Kempczinski wrote in an apologetic memo to McDonald’s employees.

“Not taking the time to think about this from their viewpoint was wrong, and lacked the empathy and compassion I feel for these families. This is a lesson that I will carry with me,” he added.

This self-flagellation predictably did nothing to stem the tide of rage being directed his way:

“Then he met with more than 100 pastors and community leaders from Chicago and across Illinois and apologized again,” Goldberg noted in his column.

And all for simply stating the truth.

“[W]e now live in post-George Floyd America, where simply stating ‘a plain truth’ has become a risky proposition. Uttering a reasonable opinion that is deemed ‘unacceptable’ by the woke mob can get you smeared as a racist. It can get you ‘canceled,’ especially if you’re talking about members of racial and ethnic minorities,” according to Goldberg.

For instance, one truth is that deceased Minneapolis criminal suspect George Floyd had been high as a kite off fentanyl when he died in the spring of 2020.

But you’re not supposed to mention this because it distracts from the narrative that he was “murdered” by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

This aversion to truth isn’t a good thing, Goldberg noted in his column.

“[W]hat happens when we become a nation of people who are afraid to speak plain truths? What happens when it’s easier to say nothing than to speak honestly about what we believe?” he wrote.

“Not too long ago, we Americans proudly believed the final words of our national anthem, that we live in the ‘land of the free and the home of the brave.’ In many ways, of course, we’re still a great nation – but those words don’t seem as obvious anymore. They don’t resonate the way they used to,” he added.

Especially for those who become victims to the “woke” mobs …


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