Lightfoot lost for failing Chicago, not because of voters


Anyone can stand on a podium and accept admiration. True leadership involves having the humility to stand tall while accepting blame when you have let down the people you are responsible for, rather than leaning handily on a readily available crutch.

But Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot was never much of a leader.

Lightfoot lost her re-election bid this week, receiving just a rotten 16.4% of the vote, finishing behind former Chicago Public Schools head Paul Vallas and Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson.

Lightfoot had her crutch before the results came in.

“I’m a black woman — let’s not forget,” she told The New Yorker in a piece published three days before the election, explaining her inevitable defeat. “Some people frankly don’t support us in leadership roles.”

Local media denounced her loss, with the Chicago Tribune calling it a “political embarrassment” that came as crime in the city “skyrocketed” during her reign — with a 2022 murder rate almost 40% higher than 2019 and a astronomical number of 800 murders registered in 2021, the most in 25 years.

Voters cast their ballots sending mayoral candidates Paul Vallas and Brandon Johnson to a runoff election to decide who will be Chicago’s next mayor.
Getty Images

Lori Lightfoot hobbled around Chicago on an identity crutch for four years because it was the only thing she could be proud of.

Lightfoot will proclaim her loss is due to voters translating her identity as a black gay woman into a distinct leadership disability, but she had no trouble running on her own when she won the 2019 election with nearly 74% of the vote .

Chicagoans are apparently only bigoted when she loses.

Lightfoot’s tenure as mayor can be summed up in one sentence, footballer Terrell Owens’ famous phrase, “I love me some me.”

She was chosen to serve the people with a promise to ensure the safety of all Chicago residents by reducing crime. But in a short time we saw that her priority was more on satisfying her ego than her constituents.

During the 2020 protests and riots, when ordinary people called on her government to do something to protect their lives and livelihoods from criminals and agitators, Lightfoot prioritized her safety over theirs.

She even had the audacity to say, “I have a right to make sure my home is safe,” while banning protesters from her street with enforcement by 70 police officers: safety for me, but not for you.

Lightfoot’s identity crutch was made by progressivism, and she had no problem hitting people on the head with it when they scrutinized its effectiveness.

Paul Vallas
Mayoral candidate Paul Vallas is speaking at a campaign event earlier this week.

When the local media began to question her government’s actions and results, she used her crutch to direct criticism back at the media and their perceived lack of diversity.

“Since my first day on the campaign trail in 2018, I have been struck by the overwhelming whiteness and masculinity of the Chicago media outlets, newsrooms, the political press, and yes, the City Hall press in particular,” Lightfoot stated.

When asked in 2021 how much of the criticism has to do with her being a black woman, Lightfoot said without hesitation, “about 99%.” But the truth is that the criticism stems from her behavior as the 1%.

While she can safely move around the city while being protected by police details, her solution because the 99% is to carry no cash at all to avoid being robbed.

She will ride her chariot escorted by the police from her ivory tower to be the main attraction of a parade for the people, but what happens to them after she dances and leaves is not her concern.

People who constantly refer to their identities and infer hatred towards their identities when people try to hold them accountable do so to hide how mediocre talent they really are.

I’ve never met anyone who exudes leadership attributes and finds ways to make a scapegoat even when they could easily do so. They use those moments of failure as lessons to learn from so they don’t keep repeating them unnecessarily – because true leaders have the humility to understand that they are imperfect and that you cannot grow as an individual if you acknowledge your fallibility.

Lightfoot went to great lengths to point the finger at anyone who dared to challenge her when she failed to deliver on what she promised the audience and usually that finger was the middle one.

Lightfoot’s demise is her own doing, and Chicagoans used their voting rights to remove the egocentric mayor from office, like Winona Ryder in “Beetlejuice”: Lightfoot. Light-hearted. Light-hearted.

Adam B. Coleman is the author of “Black Victim to Black Victor” and founder of Wrong Speak Publishing. Follow him on Substack:

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