Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot claims '99% of her critics are racist and sexist'

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot claims '99% of her critics are racist and sexist'
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot claims '99% of her critics are racist and sexist'

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has blasted her critics as sexist and racist - just six weeks after she sparked fury by refusing to be interviewed by white journalists.

Her comments came in an interview with WTTW, a local PBS station, when she was discussing the city's recent spike in violence as well as critiques of her approach to handling it. 

Phil Ponce, of WTTW, said, ‘In recent months, there have been questions raised about your temperament and your reaction to criticism – a (Chicago) Tribune editorial used the term irascible – how much of this do you think might have to do with the fact that you’re a woman and specifically a black woman?’

In response, Lightfoot said, ‘99percent of it.’

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has blasted her critics as sexist and racist in an interview with WTTW, a local PBS station

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Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has blasted her critics as sexist and racist in an interview with WTTW, a local PBS station

Lightfoot also addressed the backlash she faced after refusing to be interviewed by white journalists to mark her two-year anniversary

Lightfoot also addressed the backlash she faced after refusing to be interviewed by white journalists to mark her two-year anniversary

Asked to elaborate, Lightfoot said, ‘Look at my predecessors. Did people say that Rich Daly held tea sessions with people that he didn’t disagree on? Ron Emmanuel was a polite guy who was a uniter? No. Woman and people of color are always held to a different standard. I understand that. I’ve known that my whole life.' 

'And the Tribune or whoever could write what they want. What I’m doing is fighting for the residents of this city. I’m an advocate. I’m going to continue fighting. Obviously we need to be focused on uniting people as much as we can, but I was elected and ran on disrupting the status quo. And when you disrupt the status quo, you are gonna make people uncomfortable. You’re are gonna have people criticizing you.’

Ponce and Lightfoot referenced an op-ed by The Chicago Tribune’s editorial board titled, ‘Add to Chicago’s problems our defensive, irascible mayor.' 

The article read, ‘What voters didn’t know is that they also were getting in Lori Lightfoot someone with a tendency toward the thin-skinned, the defensive, the short-tempered. And no, those aren’t personality quirks assigned to female leaders that would be treasured in a man. They are traits that interfere with advancing the goals of any politician, boss, CEO.’

‘Lightfoot would have more wins on her policy agenda if she could better manage relationships. Instead, she battles with those from whom she needs support — from Chicago aldermen to state lawmakers to her own staff and even rank-and-file police officers, a constituency she desperately needs to help keep the city safe but for whom she offers little public support.’

Lightfoot noted that the editorial was published shortly after she faced backlash in May over her decision to grant one-on-one interviews to only 'black and brown' reporters to mark her two-year anniversary in the role. 

Gregory Pratt, a Chicago Tribune reporter who is Latino, revealed he was among those who had been granted an interview but the newspaper decided to cancel it when Lightfoot refused to lift her ban on other reporters.

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