CHICAGO (AP) — The CEO of McDonald’s faced increasing criticism and calls for resignation Thursday following text messages he sent to Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot where he seemed to blame the deaths of two Black and Latino children killed in gun violence on their parents.

McDonald’s President and CEO Chris Kempczinski sent texts to Lightfoot in April after meeting with her and referred to shootings that killed two children earlier this year: 7-year-old Jaslyn Adams, a Black girl who was shot in a McDonald’s drive-thru lane, and 13-year-old Adam ToledoChicago Police shot a Latino boy named ‘Chicago police officer.

“With both, the parents failed those kids which I know is something you can’t say. Even harder to fix,” Kempczinski wrote.

This exchange was published on social media by Michael Kessler, an American activist who lives in Canada and requested the Freedom of Information Act. He stated that he was researching a police incident in Oregon, as well as working with Lucy Parsons Lab (Chicago-based transparency group).

Chicago-based organizations protested for several days against the message, claiming it was racist, ignorant, and out of touch. Jaslyn Adams’ mother has demanded an apology from the CEO, who is white. U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, Illinois, called this week for Kempczinski’s resignation.

“This is a deplorable message, and one that is completely unacceptable for the CEO of a powerful multinational corporation — let alone a corporation that markets aggressively to communities of color and publicly proclaims that ‘Black lives matter’ — to espouse,” the Chicago Democrat said in a statement Wednesday.

A coalition of community groups amplified their demand for Kempczinski to resign Thursday by protesting outside the McDonald’s where Jaslyn Adams was killed. This coalition called attention to the deaths of Jaslyn Adams and other issues. racial discrimination complaintsThe fast-food company faced many difficulties and demanded that it create $200 million over four years in order to improve Chicago’s life. It included labor unions, immigrant rights activists and church members.

Earlier this month, Kempczinski sent a note to McDonald’s corporate employees in the US., saying he was thinking through his “lens as a parent and reacted viscerally,” according to The Chicago Tribune.

“But I have not walked in the shoes of Adam’s or Jaslyn’s family and so many others who are facing a very different reality,” he said. “Not taking the time to think about this from their viewpoint was wrong, and lacked the empathy and compassion I feel for these families. This is a lesson that I will carry with me.”

McDonald’s declined to comment Thursday.


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