“Ruh-roh.” Yesterday, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot put the Chicago Teachers Union on blast as she deemed a Tweet and an Instagram post from the union as “clearly racist.” The tweet shows a full-color cartoon version of Lightfoot bound by a rope (let’s reiterate an African American woman bound by white people with a rope), wearing a police uniform and being unmasked by the characters from Scooby-Doo.
While the post is a play on the iconic scene at the end of each episode of the Hanna-Barbera cartoon – when Fred, Velma, Daphne, Shaggy and Scoob would solve the mystery by unmasking a villain – Lightfoot found the post to be “clearly racist” and “deeply offensive.”
The post on Instagram from artist Electricstripe says, “Lori Lightfoot unmasked by 4 children and their talking dog on digital media. We can not continue to have our brothers and sisters murdered by the hands of the police force. Ms. Lightfoot, I ask you, please consider doing the right thing. Fund our schools, fund our resources, fund our low income neighborhoods. No more money towards the police. DEFUND THE POLICE! 🗣🚫✊🏽”
While Lightfoot claims to have not seen the tweet or IG post, she did react strongly.
“Let me say this: If that kind of tweet, which is clearly racist, had been put forward by a right-wing group, we would rightly be denouncing them, and I think our scorn should be no less because it was put out by the CTU,” the Mayor said at a morning news conference.
She added, “It’s certainly disappointing when a group that professes to be educators, people who are in our classrooms, teaching our young people, would engage in these kinds of really deeply offensive and disappointing tactics.”
In response, CTU spokeswoman Chris Geovanis released a statement pointing out Lightfoot has opposed recent demands from black activists such as defunding the Chicago Police Department, removing police from Chicago Public Schools, establishing Juneteenth as a paid public holiday and establishing a civilian oversight board with the power to investigate and fire police officers.
“It’s striking that so many of those outraged over a meme have little to nothing to say about the nullification of those most responsible for this moment.” Geovanis’ statement reads in part.
Geovanis said the union empathizes “with our black brothers and sisters who are triggered by any image that reminds us of the violence perpetrated against us in this land over 400 years and counting.”
As a Twitter furor erupted over the tweet after the CTU posted it on Wednesday night, union Vice President Stacy Davis Gates tweeted, “Miss me with the ‘racist meme.’ Talk about the real issue. The manufacturing of outrage? There’s real real outrage abt real racism & injustice.”
“Particularly in communities of color, where students have had their own experiences with police, and at the high-school level, where there are actual police officers in the schools, this is not just history,” Jen Johnson, the chief of staff at the Chicago Teachers Union, said.#CTUINC@stacydavisgates
While the tweet has been removed, the Instagram post remains.
SOURCE: Chicago Tribune