There has been a lot of talk surrounding Illinois’ school funding crisis, with Chicago most recently being in the spotlight. An interesting spark in the conversation came from conservative site, Illinois Policy Institute after they published a political cartoon that added to the social commentary regarding the funding fight.
The cartoon featured a little black boy in a beggar position asking for money from a business suited-up white man with a wad of cash stuffed in his back pocket. The cartoon has been criticized for perpetuating racist stereotypes and has since been removed from the website. Still, the Institute doubled-down on the veracity behind the cartoon and cited other black supporters of the cartoon per the Associated Press.
At first, a statement was released from Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner’s office that revealed that he wouldn’t comment on the cartoon “as a white male.” Four leading members of his communications team, Diana Rickert, Laurel Patrick, Meghan Keenan and Brittany Carl, later resigned in what Rauner described as “mutual agreements.” The team had only been serving in the department since last month.
Per the Chicago Tribune, Rauner has since clarified the “white male” statement.
“Earlier today an email went out from my office that did not accurately reflect my views. I can understand why some people found the cartoon offensive. And I believe we should do more as a society and a nation to bring us together, rather than divide us,” the statement read in part. “It is not my place to comment on every cartoon or picture that comes from people outside the governor’s office or to tell people how they should feel.”
Rauner is seeking a second term as the Illinois State Governor next year and State Legislative leaders are in the process of negotiating a school funding deal which features a revamped budget formula.