Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has a new policy that is creating some tension in the local media. She will only grant one-on-one interviews to journalists of color. Surprisingly, many journalists of color appear to be offended by her gesture. (While I’m a black man who disagrees with grouping all of us as “people of color”, I understand the sentiment.) Yet, the entire thing feels like the premise to a corny SNL sketch.
What Mayor Lightfoot should’ve done was reach out to more reporters of color. I’m sure that her office has denied many interview requests from black and brown journalists. They should’ve privately rectified the matter instead of using this publicity. Black journalists will always send interview requests- but they get ignored more than other groups. Yet, Lightfoot appears to have her own agenda at hand.
For me, one-on-one interviews are not enough. At this rate, it’s about the Mayor’s ego than creating better outcomes for the residents of Chicago. Black and brown residents want more than “soundbites”; they need access to TIFs, economic development, safety, and affordable housing. For the entire 184 year history of Chicago, they have been waiting. If the mayor can provide one-on-one attention to blighted neighborhoods, that will be the news that we all can use.
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