Don’t get your hopes up about Chicago’s first black lesbian mayor | Arwa Mahdawi

While the election of Lori Lightfoot made history, many fear she will simply maintain the status quo

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    Year of the lesbian mayor?

    On Tuesday Lori Lightfoot made history when she was elected the first openly LGBTQ and black female mayor of Chicago.

    Lightfoots landslide victory was roundly celebrated as a win for diversity and progress. A black lesbian taking power in the nations third-largest city is a historic moment for so many communities that are too often ignored in American politics, said Annise Parker, the director of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and the former mayor of Houston. Parker also noted that a number of other lesbians had had political wins across America and speculated that 2019 might be the year of the lesbian mayor.

    Lightfoot herself positioned her win as the beginning of a new and improved Chicago. Little girls and boys are watching, the 56-year-old told a crowd at her election party. And theyre seeing the beginning of something, well, a little bit different.

    Representation matters: its hard to be what you cant see. A gay black woman leading Americas third-largest city is a big deal, theres no doubt about that. However, while representation matters, its important to ask what Lightfoot actually represents. For many Chicago activists, Lightfoot, and her far-from-progressive record as a corporate lawyer and federal prosecutor, doesnt represent the beginning of something a little bit different but the continuation of an oppressive status quo.

    Black queer Chicagoans, especially those who are low-income, dont merely predict oppressed people will suffer under the Lightfoot administration but know it, wrote Benji Hart, a Chicago-based writer and educator in the Advocate. Hart argued that Lightfoots record already demonstrates a commitment to gentrification, disinvestment from poor communities of color, and impunity for an ever more militarized police force.

    A campaign called #StopLightfoot further explains that while Lightfoot has run extensively on her lesbian identity, her stances on policing and rent control fall into a legacy of decades-old anti-gay and anti-trans political suppression. Lightfoots plan to expand police presence in the city and transform 38 closed public schools into mini-cop academies should concern every LGBTQ person in Chicago.

    Lightfoot is an important reminder that having more women and minorities in positions of power means very little if theyre simply leaning into an unfair status quo. Chicagos new mayor seems to be an example of Diversity. Like corporate feminism, Diversity focuses on the achievements of individuals versus meaningful systemic change. It celebrates difference as long as its not actually trying to do anything too different.

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    Original Article : HERE ; This post was curated & posted using : RealSpecific

     


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