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17 Jul, 2020 05:41

‘Hey, Karen. Watch your mouth’: Chicago mayor attacks WH press secretary over criticism for failing to curb spike in crime

‘Hey, Karen. Watch your mouth’: Chicago mayor attacks WH press secretary over criticism for failing to curb spike in crime

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has taken a dig at the White House press secretary after being labeled “derelict” in governing the city, but critics were quick to point out her failure to address a rash of crime and violence there.

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“Hey, Karen. Watch your mouth,” Lightfoot tweeted on Thursday night, meant as a rejoinder to White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany, who during a press briefing hours earlier slammed the mayor as negligent and unresponsive to the city’s problems while suggesting she call on the federal government for help in “securing her streets.”

Lightfoot’s attempted clap-back soon backfired, however, prompting a wave of criticism, with many netizens taking up McEnany’s argument where she left off to note Chicago’s ongoing issues with crime. Some also questioned the mayor’s priorities, asking whether engaging in Twitter drama was really the best way to spend her time.

While Chicago’s overall homicide rate has slowly dropped in recent years, the city has attained a reputation of being a “war zone” for its crime, at times seeing sudden spikes in shootings and other violence. On Father’s Day weekend, for example, more than 100 people in the city were victims of gun violence with 14 killed – among them five children.

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Supporters of Lightfoot have addressed criticisms on crime by pointing to her short stint in office – elected only last year – arguing she has not had time to institute her vision. Detractors, however, say that her long career as a public official has not been much better.  

Though Lightfoot’s status as Chicago’s first black and female mayor, as well as its first-ever LGBT executive, has been hailed by some progressives as a win for diversity, her record on liberal causes has been deemed lacking by critics. As a lawyer and prosecutor, Lightfoot helped to insulate police from misconduct charges and represented corporate conglomerates, while prior to winning the mayor seat was appointed – rather than elected – to every public position she’s ever held, according to the Advocate.

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