Yes, Lori Lightfoot Deserves a Healthy Dose of 'Whataboutism'

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

Earlier this week we were treated to the news that Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot was granting one-on-one interviews to reporters as she marked the two-year anniversary of her mayorship. That seems like a completely logical thing to do in order to highlight your administration and drum up press for future agendas.

What was shockingly illogical was Lightfoot’s tragic insistence that only reporters “of color” be allowed the honor of interviewing her. I suppose to the CRT-riddled brain it looks like justice. To the intelligent person, it looks like racism.

Because it is racism.

There is a growing sentiment among True Conservatives™ that we should avoid “whataboutism” – that is, the tendency to point out the hypocrisy in liberal thought by turning the tables and challenging the offender to consider what a given move or opinion might look like if it were applied to a conservative or a Republican figure. For some reason, they’ve taken it off the table as a tool of intelligent debate. Perhaps because many see it as whining, but more likely it’s because “whataboutism” during the Trump years was a) about Trump and Trump is big and bad and orange and b)exposed the hypocrisy of the rabidly anti-Trump crowd and that took the focus off of the big and bad and orange man.

“Whatboutism” in punditry and political thought isn’t whining. It is the intellectual manifestation of a centuries-old cliche – what if the shoe were on the other foot? It is a useful tool in helping one side of an argument extend their own logic and apply it to the full scope of the situation as opposed to just the people they don’t like. It is my suspicion that people who arrogantly deride any challenge to put the shoe on the other foot are simply incapable of examining their own hypocrisy and can make no rational argument for said hypocrisy. So they deflect.

There are plenty of whiners who use “whataboutism” to bitch and moan. Without a doubt. But we should not back away from it when it can be an extremely helpful tool to assist simple thinkers in exercising basic logic.

And frankly, folks, Lightfoot’s situation deserves the whatabout treatment.

So let’s play.

You’re a committed progressive who only watches CNN and The Daily Show (I know, I know…just pretend!). You read any of these headlines. What’s your reaction?

Donald Trump Celebrates Six Months Of Freedom From Washington D.C., Will Only Grant One-On-One Interviews With White Reporters

Ron DeSantis Celebrates Plummeting COVID Cases, Bans Black Reporters From Press Briefing 

Tucker Carlson Addresses His Latest Fox News Controversy, But Demands Blacks and Asians Be Banned From the Interview Room

Governor Greg Abbott Will No Longer Accept Questions From Latino Reporters, Says He is Supporting Diversity in Newsrooms

I hope you felt as ridiculous reading those fake headlines as I felt writing them. It doesn’t take a genius to see that if the shoe were on the other foot we would be grossly offended, and rightfully so.

Lori Lightfoot isn’t just the mayor of Black Chicago or Gay Chicago. Lori Lightfoot is the mayor of all Chicago and it is incumbent upon her to act accordingly. She has no right or duty to deny the public access to her office based on the color of their skin. That anyone finds this anything other than completely abhorrent is beyond me. There’s nothing that makes this okay.

Lightfoot claims she was protecting diversity.

Somehow to the Chicago Mayor and the progressive left, putting diversity “front and center” means segregating journalistic access based on the race of the interviewer.

Got it.

Lightfoot wasn’t elected to “even the playing field” in some misguided attempt at social justice. She was elected to run a city. A city that is extremely diverse. A city that has struggled mightily through some of the worst seasons of racism and segregation in our nation.

The mayor of a city of nearly 3 million people cannot decry the divisiveness of racism out of one side of her mouth while dividing up the people who cover her administration based on their race. You’re either for diversity or you’re not.

Lori Lightfoot is not, and what she is doing is pathetic, disgusting, and nothing short of absolute, blatant bigotry.

Her administration deserves to be whatabouted to death.