The black, female, big-spending Illinois mayor claiming racism and misogyny has a point

Last week, Mayor Tiffany Henyard of Dolton, Illinois, went viral for her defense against the town’s trustees who accused her of overspending. According to Henyard, the people attacking her (all of whom are black) were guilty of “beating and attacking a black woman that’s in power.” Atlanta prosecutor Fani Willis made the same defense, as did New Orleans’ big-spending mayor LaToya Cantrell. All have said that black women are special. And honestly, all of them are right to say that because that’s what they’ve been told for decades. Given that culturally pervasive message, why shouldn’t they believe they get a pass?

Dolton, Illinois, a town with slightly more than 21,000 people, sits just outside of Chicago. Ninety percent of its population is black. The median household income is $50,237, with roughly 15.4% of families living below the poverty line—with 42.8% of people under 18 in poverty. I’m willing to guess that many of those children have no father in their lives.

Image: Tiffany Henyard makes her case. X screen grab.

Most people outside of Chicago had never heard of Dolton until last week when footage emerged of Mayor Henyard berating the town’s trustees for daring to challenge her spending. You see, in that tiny town, Henyard, who rakes in almost $300,000 annually as both mayor and township supervisor, has been on a spending spree:

WGN Investigates has catalogued tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars spent on trips, meals and more by Henyard and her allies in Dolton and on the Thornton Township board where she’s the supervisor. 

Township credit card records show Henyard and other officials spent more than $67,000 on trips to Portland, Austin, Atlanta and New York City.  Many of the flights were first class. So were the accommodations. In Atlanta, Henyard and her team stayed at the Four Seasons hotel costing taxpayers more than $9,000. In New York, the bill came to $13,000.

Sadly, there’s nothing unique about a government official being accused of living large on taxpayer dollars. What makes Henyard special is the dressing down she gave the town trustees (all black) when they challenged her. Her defense boiled down to stating that she’s black and female:

If this sounds familiar, it’s because you’ve heard it before. Most recently, you heard it from Fani Willis, who is alleged to have broken all sorts of rules, both moral and political, to get her lover to persecute and prosecute Donald Trump:

And Fani Willis didn’t even originate the playbook. Just last year, New Orleans’ mayor LaToya Cantrell made the same case to defend her unusual spending on first-class flights (although she later agreed to repay the price of her upgrades):

New Orleans Democrat mayor has declared economy class flights unsafe for black women, while insisting she won’t repay $30,000 of taxpayers’ money blown on first-class flights to France and Switzerland.

Speaking at a press conference Thursday, LaToya Cantrell said: ‘My travel accommodations are a matter of safety, not of luxury.

‘As all women know, our health and safety are often disregarded and we are left to navigate alone.

‘As the mother of a young child whom I live for, I am going to protect myself by any reasonable means in order to ensure I am there to see her grow into the strong woman I am raising her to be.

‘Anyone who wants to question how I protect myself just doesn’t understand the world black women walk in.’

It’s all too easy to look at what these women say and think that they’re just the excuses of people accused of abusing public funds or perverting public agendas for their own benefit. However, what you’re missing if you think that way is that something more profound is going on here: These are not just excuses. Instead, you are witnessing a deep and genuine belief system that informs these women’s actions.

Each of these women has been raised to think that black women are unique because they are victims among victims. They are flotsam and jetsam borne along societal tides, lacking all agency over the bad things that come their way.

At the same time, they’ve also been taught that black women are uniquely beautiful, wise, funny, sassy, warm, loving, productive, and omnipotent. They are Oprah Winfrey and every wise black woman judge who has populated Hollywood productions for the last 30 years.

What happens when generations of women are raised to believe that they are incredibly special, so much so that they are better than all other people, even as they are the most abused, maligned, and wrongfully persecuted people in the world? Well, it’s narcissism on steroids. They are their own goddesses and can do no wrong. Any pushback, even from within their own community, is an attack on the god-head (goddess-head?).

When you raise generations with truly false ideologies, whether it’s that all Jews must be killed (the UNRWA-funded belief in Gaza and the West Bank) or that certain people are simultaneously both perfect and persecuted, you’re going to get inevitable outcomes: Genocidal rage in the Middle East and black women who stand accused of abusing their political power and access to taxpayer money. In all these cases, the actors are convinced that they are righteous and everyone else is evil.

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