Illinois Policy Institute CEO John Tillman released the following statement on a recent editorial cartoon
Statement on editorial cartoon
“The Illinois Policy Institute recently published a cartoon to address the sad reality that TIF districts rob Illinois children – including children of color – of the funds necessary for their education. The price our children pay for this misgovernance is steep.
“Some lawmakers are denouncing our cartoon. We respect these lawmakers, both as representatives of their constituencies and as bearers of their own experiences and perceptions, and we acknowledge their critique.
“But our cartoon told the truth: TIFs take away money from all students, and disproportionately harm students of color. We stand by that fact. And we have long fought to help all students get access to better educational opportunities. TIF prevents that.
“We have taken down the cartoon, not because we think it is racist, but because it is a distraction from another truth – the failure of political leaders to address the root cause of our struggling education system. We stand ready to work with all elected officials and advocates who would like to see TIF money properly refocused on students across the state.
“Finally, what we find sad, and frankly offensive, is that in a world where so much real, harmful racism exists, political leaders are using the false charge of racism in an attempt to smear policy opponents and distract the people of Illinois from politicians’ failures.
“This is a distraction from the most important task at hand in the Statehouse: Ensuring equitable education funding for all Illinois students.”
John Tillman predicted attacks of racism from lawmakers just weeks before the House of Representatives expressed hostility toward the Illinois Policy Institute. During an interview with WVON Chicago, John said false accusations of racism are used as political weapons to stop a debate. The practice is offensive to Illinoisans impacted by true racism every day.