McDonald's CEO under fire for  'racist' text message
Chris Kempczinski (Instagram)

Chris Kempczinski, the CEO of McDonald's, is facing backlash for an allegedly "racist" text message he sent to Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, blaming the parents of two murder victims for their killings.

"p.s. tragic shootings in last week, both at our restaurant yesterday and with Adam Toldeo [sic]. With both, the parents failed those kids which I know is something you can't say. Even harder to fix," Kempczinski wrote to Lightfoot on April 19, shortly after the mayor had visited McDonald's headquarters.

According to WBEZ Chicago, "Adams was shot and killed by a gunman while sitting in a car with her father at a McDonald's drive-thru on Chicago's West Side. (Adam) Toledo was killed by a Chicago Police officer on March 29."

Local McDonald's workers and community groups are planning a protest Wednesday outside the company's headquarters in response to Kempczinski's text message, which was obtained through a Freedom of Information request. In an open letter to Kempczinski, they wrote that his comments "provide some insight into why McDonald's has failed to address its rotten, racist culture under your leadership."

"It's clear to us you're the one who has failed here. Your text message was ignorant, racist and unacceptable coming from anyone, let alone the CEO of McDonald's, a company that spends big to market to communities of color and purports to stand with Black lives," the letter states, calling on Kempczinski to meet with Black and brown employees and community leaders to "tell us what your plan is to address systemic racism at McDonald's and beyond."

Kempczinski said in a letter to employees that he was "thinking through my lens as a parent and reacted viscerally. 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."

"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," Kempczinski wrote.

Read the full story.