(USA Features) Former Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard called out Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Friday for a “racist” statement she made concerning white journalists and said she should resign over it.
“I ran to break up the status quo that was failing so many,” Lightfoot, who is black, told USA Today in explaining her decision that, on her two-year anniversary in office, to only allow minority journalists to interview her.
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“That isn’t just in City Hall. It’s a shame that in 2021, the City Hall press corps is overwhelmingly white in a city where more than half of the city identifies as Black, Latino, AAPI, or Native American,” Lightfoot said.
“The press corps is the filter through which much of what we do in government is dissected and explained to the public,” Lightfoot added in a letter to the city’s press corps. “And yet despite the many talents and skills of our reporting corps, I fear this arm of our democratic system is on life support. The Chicago media leadership must evolve with the times to be a true reflection of the vibrant, vast diversity of our city.”
But the Hawaii Democrat ripped the Chicago mayor for her statements, calling them overtly racist.
“Mayor Lightfoot’s blatant anti-white racism is abhorrent,” Gabbard, who herself is of Native American descent, tweeted. “I call upon President [Joe] Biden, [Vice President] Kamala Harris, and other leaders of our county — of all races — to join me in calling for Mayor Lightfoot’s resignation.
“Our leaders must condemn all racism, including anti-white,” she added.
“I am a Latino reporter @chicagotribune whose interview request was granted for today. However, I asked the mayor’s office to lift its condition on others and when they said no, we respectfully canceled. Politicians don’t get to choose who covers them,” tweeted Chicago Tribune City Hall reporter Gregory Pratt in response.
Lightfoot’s statement to the press corps did not contain any evidence that the city’s news organizations were engaging in racist hiring practices.