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A crazy experiment in Chicago

Chicago’s mayor, Lori Lightfoot. Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Chicago Sun-Times/AP

Chicago’s first “openly gay, black, female mayor”, Lori Lightfoot, recently announced she would only grant interviews to non-white journalists, says Bret Stephens in The New York Times. It took a Latino reporter to call out her “misuse of power” – politicians, he said, “don’t get to choose who covers them”. Now a federal judge has blocked President Biden’s $4bn debt-relief programme for “socially disadvantaged” farmers, in other words those from ethnic minorities. Such farmers, the judge noted, could enjoy 120% debt relief even if they were “not remotely in danger”, while a “small white farmer who is on the brink” gets nothing.

This is the fight between “newfangled equity” and “old-fashioned equality”. Those, like the writer Ibram X Kendi, who propose “antiracist discrimination” to make up for past racism are doing two things that offend common sense: “one sly, the other blunt”. Sly is the redefinition of the word “equity” to mean its opposite. Blunt is the “explicit segregation” and “insulting assumption-making” that is “antiracist ideology in action”. Discriminatory lending by the government, when discriminatory lending is otherwise “a crime”, is a bad joke. Selecting journalists by race is “definitionally racist”. All this should be too obvious for words. It shouldn’t be hard to see that trying to solve the old racism with the new racism will produce only more racism.

Read the full article here (paywall).