The call to get teachers back into schools has been more insidious than earlier Republican calls to re-open the economy even though it meant loss of life, especially because teachers are in fact working and teaching, often harder and longer hours than ever.
The Mayor of Chicago has shrugged off criticism from Kayleigh McEnany by calling her a “Karen.” The White House Press Secretary criticized her at a press conference.
McEnany mentioned Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot twice in remarks to the press on Thursday. She made the comments as part of the continuing Republican attacks on Democrat-led cities.
“But there are other things the President has to focus on: namely, Democrat cities not controlling their streets,” McEnany said.
“Namely, the mayor of Chicago — people dying in her — in her — on the streets of her city every weekend. And the President sent her a letter saying, ‘You must secure your city.'”
Hey, Karen. Watch your mouth. pic.twitter.com/zhjRyokKD5
— Mayor Lori Lightfoot (@chicagosmayor) July 16, 2020
Later in the press conference, McEnany highlighted African Americans deaths from murder and used the topic to criticize Lightfoot again.
“But one point he wants to strongly make is this: that black men and women who die of homicide, they’re likely to die of homicide at eight times greater than that of white individuals and Hispanics combined,” she said.
“That’s the rate combined. So that’s an extraordinary thing that we want to look at.”
“I’ve listed for you the names of these kids who have died across this country. It is unacceptable, and under this President, he’ll take action,” McEnany said.
“And the derelict mayor of Chicago should step up and ask for federal help because she’s doing a very poor job at securing her streets.”
was unconcerned by the Press Secretary’s attacks
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot denounced President Donald Trump, saying he was “encouraging people to be shot in the street” after referring to those who’ve protested in Minneapolis following the death of George Floyd as “THUGS” and saying that “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.”
“I will code what I really want to say to Donald Trump,” Lightfoot said. “It’s two words. It begins with F and ends with you.”
She added that the president aims to “polarize, to destabilize local government and inflame racist urges. And we absolutely cannot let him prevail.”
Derek Chauvin, the police officer seen on video kneeling on Floyd’s neck while he cried out “I can’t breathe,” was arrested and charged with third-degree murder after three days of violent protests in Minneapolis. Chauvin faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.
“Its been a painful reminder that while we have been focused on fighting this violence, we know our work and facing hard truths about Mr. Floyd, and I think about my brothers and men in my family,” Lightfoot said, recalling the death of Laquan McDonald, a Chicago teen who was shot 16 times by police officers in 2014.
Twitter flagged President Trump for “glorifying violence” in his tweets about the George Floyd protests.
On this day of the 2020 Women’s March, masses of people across the nation will gather and march to call for recognizing the human rights of women as a necessary element of a truly just and equal society for all.
Especially in this context, it is worthwhile to highlight efforts within the Democratic Party to ensure a united front when it comes to genuinely advocating for women’s equal rights and to promote an understanding of exactly what constitutes equal rights for women.
The anti-women attitudes and policies of the Republican Party are well-documented. It is not a question that, in general, when it comes to supporting rights for women, the Democratic Party is the lesser evil.
That’s right—the lesser evil.
Granting women full equal rights—human rights—entails empowering women to control their own bodies and make decisions about their own health. In other words, women’s equal rights means women have the right to abortion. This position does not have unified support in the Democratic Party.
Recently, Lori Lightfoot, the first African-American lesbian woman mayor in Chicago, elected in 2019, called for a Democratic Party that is unequivocally unified when it comes to supporting women’s equality, meaning abortion rights as well.
Achieving this unity, she bravely asserted, entails revising the proudly advertised moniker of the Democratic Party as the “big tent” party to instead promote a party identity solidly and unconditionally defined by its support and advocacy for women’s rights.
This assertion took the form of a tweet last January 4 against the candidacy of long-time Democratic House Representative Dan Lipinski from Illinois’ 3rd Congressional District. Lipinski is an outspoken foe of a women’s right to choose and one of the two Democrats who signed a legal brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to revisit and overturn Roe v. Wade, joining two hundred congressional Republicans.
“I support a big tent but there’s no room under the flaps for anyone who is actively seeking to deny women control over our bodies,” Lightfoot tweeted from her political account. “Time to leave @danlipinski.”
This tweet, reverberating and garnering press attention in the Chicago area and throughout Illinois, constitutes an important salvo into the discourse around women’s rights and abortion rights, particularly within the Democratic Party.
As I’ve written about in the pages of PoliticusUsa, last November’s elections in Virginia, which resulted in Democrats achieving control of the state government for the first time since 1993, inspired hope that Virginia would become the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment and pave the way for potential ratification of a constitutional amendment.
Let’s remember exactly what the content is of the Equal Rights Amendment that continues to make this nation quake and resist.
Here’s the statement in the ERA this nation trembles to validate:
“Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of sex.”
And Lightfoot’s point is that it is not simply the nation that trembles to validate this basic assertion; there are elements of the Democratic Party, with its arguably overly big tent, which refuse to support women’s equal rights. Lipinski is one of those elements.
Indeed, one of the long-standing points of resistance to granting women full personhood has been the fear that constitutionally affirming women’s equality would effectively affirm and eternalize in the Constitution women’s right to an abortion, making it more difficult, if not impossible, to limit or overturn The Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade.
Of course, without control over their own bodies, women can’t enjoy full equality.
Remember last year when Florida House Speaker José Oliva repeatedly referred to pregnant women as “host bodies”?
This kind of language, and the political attitudes embodied in it, should make clear that living up to our nation’s ideal of equality requires granting women the right to control their own bodies and to have access to an abortion—that they don’t have equality if they are effectively viewed as “host bodies.”
Lightfoot’s gesture, her tweet, was a powerful one in calling for a Democratic Party that is not weakened and diluted by division in calling for women’s equal rights. It is, indeed, not enough to rail against Republican misogyny; one must get one’s own house in order as well and cultivate political and moral integrity in one’s own party.
Calling out Lipinski and arguing he has no place in the Democratic Party provides a model for the Democratic Party, most basically, in defending our Constitution and resolving a wounding and embarrassing contradiction in our nation’s history.
The question as to why this nation can’t and won’t ratify the ERA is even more puzzling when we recall the language of the 14th amendment, which includes the clause:
“nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
The only way women don’t already have what the ERA is asking for, according to this language, has to be because they aren’t considered people.
So, refusal to ratify the ERA is a more than tacit admission that the nation is not prepared to grant personhood to women, to acknowledge that women, like corporations, just might be people.
Antonin Scalia, former Supreme Court Justice, clearly didn’t see women as people, asserting the Constitution did not afford women equal rights.
In this sense, Lightfoot is simply asking for a basic constitutional literacy and an end to women-hating.
And she has started with her own house, her own party, re-defining unity in a way that does not brook compromise on essential principles.
On this day of marching for women’s rights and equality, Lightfoot urges us not to accept the lesser evil but demand the uncompromised goodness of full human rights.
Lori Lightfoot, a former federal prosecutor, was elected as Chicago’s first black female mayor last night, in an historic first. She will also become the city’s first openly gay mayor.
She won a commanding victory after a long and grueling campaign that saw her defeat more than a dozen challengers as she won her first elected office.
Lightfoot, 56, will become the leader of the nation’s third-largest city as it grapples with devastating gun violence, public corruption, attempts to reform the police force and an unprecedented exodus of black residents leaving the city.
Last night she won the runoff election, beating another black woman, Toni Preckwinkle, who is president of the Cook County Board of Commissioners. Lightfoot will succeed outgoing Mayor Rahm Emanuel who decided not to seek a third term.
The size of Lightfoot’s victory was somewhat surprising as she beat Preckwinkle 74 percent to 26 percent.
In her victory speech, Lightfoot said she was committed to ending the broken political culture of Chicago.
“We can and we will break this city’s endless cycle of corruption,” she said, raising her fist in the air. “And never again, never ever, allow politicians to profit from elected positions.”
Lightfoot thanked the city and those who blazed the trail for her victory, saying:
“We may be strangers but in this room, in this city we are all neighbors.”
“Now that it’s over I know that we will work together for the city that we both love. Today you did more than make history, you created a movement for change.”