News & Politics

So It Begins: Lori Lightfoot Declares Racism a 'Public Health Crisis' to Justify New Policy

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Chicago Sun-Times via AP, Pool

Chicago is a city with a lot of problems: gangs, crime, bad housing, limited access to health care — in other words, problems that most large American cities experience.

We can now add one more problem to Chicago’s list of woes: racism is now a public health crisis.

Chicago isn’t the first to make this sort of silly declaration. At least 145 cities and towns across the country have made similar pronouncements.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot has decreed that now, henceforth and forever, racism will be a public health crisis with all the attendant government actions that are automatically triggered by such a declaration of a “crisis.”

But is it? The left tends to blame all problems in black communities on racism, either present day or in the past. But how many problems are due to racism and how many are due to poverty? It’s an important distinction because there are plenty of white and non-black people who are poor. Are they not suffering from this public health crisis?

“Systemic racism” is either “systemic” or it isn’t. If it is, then white people who live below the poverty line and suffer from all the same problems that black poor people suffer from are victims of “racism” too. Or are they victims of rapacious capitalism? How can you tell the difference?

Related: Chicago Mayor Lightfoot Will Only Give Interviews to ‘Black or Brown’ Reporters

“We can no longer allow racism our residents [sic] to rob the residents of the opportunity to live and lead full, healthy and happy lives and we are working closely with the Chicago Department of Public Health and community organizations to address these inequities once and for all,” Mayor Lightfoot said.

It’s so hard being a liberal. You have to keep all these things straight in your head at the same time.

How to address the problem? Buzzwords. Every single buzzword you can think of is crammed into the “crisis” declaration.


Lightfoot called for improving anti-racism policies by:

-Building capacity for anti-racist leadership,

-Reckoning with the impacts of racism,

-Advancing strategies to operationalize racial equity,

-Empowering transformative community relationships.

“Building capacity,” “reckoning,” “empowering,” — meaningless drivel. But as long as the people of Chicago think that Lightfoot is “doing something about the problem” of racism, they’ll be happy.

“As we continue to recover from the pandemic, these coalitions will also lead hyperlocal strategies to confront the risk factors: health care and social services access, food access, housing conditions, community safety, and the physical and built neighborhood environments,” said Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady.

Racism “risk, factors”? Is she serious? In other words, without all those “risk factors,” patients won’t suffer from racism?

The announcement comes after CDPH released a study earlier this week on the health of Black Chicagoans. The report revealed a growing life expectancy gap between Black and non-Black residents, more than nine years. City data also shows life expectancy is falling for Latinx and Asian residents.

“It is so frustrating to see patients come to me and you know the system has failed them in so many different ways,” said Dr. Melissa Simon, NU Feinberg School of Medicine.

The “system” has failed them? YOU are the system, dummy. You, and Lightfoot, and city hall, and the rest of the crooked Chicago Machine that has created this hell-hole of a city that was once if not perfect, certainly a lot better than it is now.

All declaring racism a “public health crisis” does is serve as a bridge for politicians to pour money into the coffers of organizations and individuals who will support them at election time. It won’t make one fewer white person hate one fewer black person.

But it looks good talking about it on TV.