In April, Lanisha Walker experienced the worst nightmare of all parents. When her daughter, Jacqueline Adams, was sitting in a McDonald’s car in Chicago, she was shot and killed.
Adams’ killing came just days after 12-year-old Adam Toledo was shot and killed by Chicago police at a stone’s throw away.
In a short message exchange between Mayor Lori Lightfoot and McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempzinski, it now appears that Kempzinski blames the parents after the two murders.
Kempczynski is said to have written to the mayor: “In both cases, the parents let these children down.”
accused of racism
The comment on the director provoked strong reactions, and many accused him of racism and the so-called “victim blaming”.
In the wake of the sensational comment, large protests erupted outside the headquarters of the fast food chain. According to ABC News, most of the participants were children. The Fight for 15, a group working for the rights of fast-food workers, has criticized Kempczynski heavily.
“As the leader of the world’s largest fast food company, Mr Kempczynski has a responsibility to do a much better job for black and brown communities rather than adding to racial stereotypes,” the group wrote on Twitter.
In a letter that was granted access to ABC News, the director comments on his earlier statement.
– When I wrote this, I saw through the lens as a parent and reacted very quickly. But I wasn’t in the shoes of Adam’s parents or Gaslin, or any of the others who live in an entirely different reality, says Kempczynski.
Not taking the time to see this on their side was a mistake and I lacked the sympathy and compassion I have for these families. This is a lesson I want to take with me more.
– how dare you?
Lanisha Walker previously chose not to speak to the media about her daughter’s murder, but Kempzinski’s comment made her mother look red.
– I’m a sad father. You have grieved for a long time, and from the place of your strength you insult me. How dare you judge me? Walker tells local media, How dare I say I’ve let my child down.
– I’ve never spoken before, because this is not just another child murdered in Chicago. This is my child, my daughter who lived with me. You come from a privileged place. you do not know anything. You cannot comment on me.
According to police, the murder of Jacelyn Adams was gang-related. The nine-year-old was in the car with her father, who was said to be from the gang’s environment in Chicago, when she was shot and killed.
“Coffee trailblazer. Certified pop culture lover. Infuriatingly humble gamer.”