Mayor Lori Lightfoot slammed a Scooby Doo inspired tweet posted by the Chicago Teachers Union. The tweet featured a cartoon version on Mayor Lightfoot tied up while dressed in police uniform, and being unmasked by characters from the TV show.
The tweet was unavailable by Thursday afternoon.
Lightfoot revealed that she hadn’t seen the tweet, but that someone had described it to her. The image was still available on Instagram on Thursday evening.
Lightfoot addressed the tweet during a news conference about the repairs on Lakefront trail.
She said: “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,” adding, “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.”
CTU spokeswoman Chris Geovanis responded to Lightfoot by stating that the mayor had opposed demands by black activists to defund the police department, to remove police from Chicago public schools, to establish Juneteenth as a paid public holiday, and to establish a civilian oversight board with the authority to investigate and fire police officers.
“To every demand this mayor and this administration has offered a resounding ‘no,’” Geovanis’ statement read in part.
“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,” she stated, adding that 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 Twitter users expressed their rage over CTU’s tweet, 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.”
Lightfoot has been politically opposed to the CTU since before her election last spring. The union had poured money and manpower backing Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle for mayor, but Lightfoot beat her.
The union then went on strike for 11 school days last fall, a move that further eroded the relationship between the mayor and the organization.