I commissioned this cartoon to express the true problems with Chicago’s tax increment financing (TIF). Not only was the controversial cartoon previously released by the Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) in poor taste, racist, and unacceptable, it was inaccurate and misleading. The IPI continues to double-down and criticize local black media, defending their cartoon depiction of an African American student sitting on the ground begging for money for education while looking up at a rich white man with his pockets stuffed with TIF dollars. I have said two wrongs don’t make a right: the city of Chicago is wrong on their TIF policy, but it is also wrong that we don’t fully fund public education for our students FIRST. It is not right to make it look like we have to beg for dollars for education.

What I don’t get is if black people find something depicting their race offensive and stand against it, how could the offender continue to defend it, adding fuel to the fire and adding more insult to injury? It seems that the IPI are offended because people of all races agree that their cartoon was not appropriate. There is another point here, though, because blacks have good reason to see this cartoon as very offensive, given our experience of many years of constant humiliation. The IPI can’t possibly be so proud of their work now, and it shows insensitivity that they still feel offended. The IPI should be sensitive enough to learn from this situation and grow as an organization.

State Rep. La Shawn K. Ford (8th) 

CONTACT: michael@austinweeklynews.com