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Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot Announces Policy to Choose Her Interviewers Based on Their Skin Color

Jack Schell

Posted on May 20, 2021 01:18

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Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, in a letter to the media this Wednesday, announced that she will now be choosing her interviewers based on their skin color, by only allowing journalists who are "people of color" to interview her.

In her letter to the media this Wednesday, as quoted in an article by NBC Chicago, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said that she will be "intentional about prioritizing media requests from POC [People Of Color] reporters." Some celebrated this announcement as a step towards greater equity, while others criticized it as racist. Here's my take:

Those praising her are in a factual sense, correct. This policy does increase equity, but are we sure that policies pushing equity are the best way to combat racism in our nation? I wouldn't take it to the bank. According to a definition by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, "The term 'equity' refers to fairness and justice and is distinguished from equality: Whereas equality means providing the same to all, equity means recognizing that we do not all start from the same place and must acknowledge and make adjustments to imbalances." While I completely agree, as I think most would, that many start with advantages or disadvantages in their life, what angers me about an approach to combat racism through policies of equity as opposed to equality is that policies promoting equity assume that those afflicted by difficult circumstances, like being born poor, means it is impossible to overcome or succeed in spite of these conditions if the person is a minority, that is, without special advantages created through policies focused on equity. If officials would like to propose policies based on equity related to class, that would be wholly different, but many public officials, journalists, and other American figure's current understanding of equity is that being a minority in and of itself is a disability, and thus while some people of lower socioeconomic status may be able to succeed in spite of that, it is impossible for any minority to do so because of their skin color. That's racist. Of course, said officials phrase it differently, but their true beliefs hidden under well crafted remarks are exactly the same as what I just described.

Policies of equality would be much more effective at fighting racism. While policies of equity do diminish effects of racism against some racial minorities, they, at the same time, increase racism against perceived privileged groups, even if those groups are also minorities (such as people of Asian descent) as well as against a racial majority group, Caucasians. But racism, as I sincerely hope all agree, is evil in any form it should take, whether that be against an African-American, Asian, or Caucasian person. It should be irrespective of class, perceived privilege, or anything else. It is equally evil. Policies of equality would mandate absolutely equal treatment to all, no exceptions. This, if practiced correctly, would eliminate all forms of racism, whereas equity only eliminates forms of racism towards certain groups.

Equality, in this case, would have the most qualified or popular reporter interview Mayor Lightfoot, regardless of race. Clearly, Mayor Lightfoot's policy mandates equity, not equality. Should we not eliminate all forms of racism wherever it exists?

Jack Schell

Posted on May 20, 2021 01:18

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Source: NPR

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