Chicago Mayor Says Criticism of Her Temperament “About 99%” Because She’s Black Woman | Government-and-politics
CHICAGO – Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Tuesday night that “about 99%” of the criticism she receives about her temperament is due to the fact that she is a black woman.
The mayor made the comment during an interview on WTTW-Channel 11 after being asked about the questions people have raised about temperament and how she reacts to criticism. The mayor is known to be harsh on staff and confrontational with critics, contributing to significant turnover.
When asked how much of the criticism relates to being a black woman, Lightfoot replied, “About 99%. “
“Look at my predecessors. Did people say Rich Daley had tea parties with people he (disagreed with)? Rahm Emanuel was a polite guy who was a unifier? No, ”Lightfoot said. “Women and people of color are always held to a different standard. I understand that, I’ve known it all my life.
As Lightfoot neared its second birthday last month, the Tribune and other media wrote about the mayor’s administration turnover.
At least a dozen prominent people have resigned or said they have been on the verge of leaving since late last year. Town hall jobs are tough even under normal circumstances, and the pressure has intensified over the past year with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, followed by civil unrest. Some of the departures are part of the natural rhythm of a tenure as mayor, which Lightfoot alluded to at a press conference in the spring.
“It’s been a very difficult year, I think, for a lot of people,” she said in the spring. “We’re approaching the second anniversary, and I think a lot of people are taking stock of where they are at.”
Current and former Lightfoot advisers, however, complain that she doesn’t take advice and can be difficult to approach. Like her predecessor, Emanuel, Lightfoot is known to be secular and uncompromising with other elected officials, once telling aldermen “don’t come see me for s —” if they vote against her budget.
She can also be tough on her staff. Last May, Lightfoot emailed his chief of staff, his deputy mayor for economic development and his diary a photo of torn documents.
Lightfoot was also criticized for sending an email to her planner in January with complaints that she did not have enough “office time.” In the note, Lightfoot repeated several sentences – once 16 – to underline his dissatisfaction with his schedule.
To complement her response on WTTW, Lightfoot acknowledged that she could improve at her job, but again connected the criticism.
“Can I do things differently and better?” Sure. Life is a lifelong learning experience, I hope for myself and for others, ”said Lightfoot. “But I fully understand that the critics, some of whom are over there, criticize me for not seeing a woman take power and move forward with an agenda that aims to disrupt the status quo. “
In the interview, Lightfoot also reiterated his criticism of the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board and other opinion pages saying they are not diverse enough. Tribune’s editorial board, which operates separately from the newsroom, recently published an opinion piece criticizing its “tendency towards thin, defensive, angry people.”
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