McDonald’s CEO apologizes after uproar over texts about children’s deaths

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Kempczinski has faced accusations of racism because children were black and Latino

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McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski apologized last Friday after a text exchange with Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot that killed two children was criticized as racist.

According to WBEZ-TV in Chicago, Kempczynski said in the text message, “Parents fail kids I know you can’t say anything. It’s even harder to fix.”

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In April last year, seven-year-old Jasleen Adams, who was sitting in a car with her father at a McDonald’s drive-thru in the city, was shot and killed on April 18. Adam Toledo, 13, was murdered by a Chicago police officer on March 29. He described the deaths as “tragic”.

Lightfoot did not address comment at the time.

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Kempzinski has faced a backlash, including accusations of racism. Adams was Black and Toledo was Latino.

“I didn’t walk in the shoes of Adam or Jasleen’s family and many others who are facing a very different reality,” he said in a written apology to employees. “From his point of view it was wrong not to take the time to think about it.”

He said, “I am learning from it. I believe it starts with listening and learning more from more people whose life experiences are different from my own.”

‘Racist’ text on Chicago shooting from McDonald’s CEO to Lori Lightfoot met with Swift backlash

Kempczynski’s text was revealed after a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

McDonald’s employee Adriana Sanchez said, “She doesn’t know the circumstances of these parents. A large number of them are single moms who are just doing their best and making sacrifices.” Without. He said that he is unfairly “blaming the parents for the violence on the streets. He can’t have the relationship because he’s rich, and we’re not, and he doesn’t understand our struggle.”

Employees and activists protested outside McDonald’s headquarters last week.

Adams’ mother Lenesha Walker broke her silence last week.

“I’m an unhappy parent… and from your locus of power, you insult me,” she said, according to Chicago Sun-Times, “How dare you judge me! How dare you say that I failed my child! I was not there when my child was murdered. I didn’t know she was here.” Yours McDonald’s with his father at that time. You apologize to me.”

She said, “I haven’t really spoken, because this isn’t another kid killed in Chicago. It’s My Baby, my daughter who was with me 24/7. Mr. CEO, you have no clue what it’s like to live in the trenches on the south side and west side, where it becomes real treacherous, just to survive, to protect your kids. You come by privilege. You can’t talk about me.”

“There is no place in this conversation to shame the victim,” Lightfoot’s office said last week.

“As Meyer has said before, families do everything they can to love and support their children – moms, dads, grandparents – and tragedies can still happen,” his office said.


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