The image featured Scooby-Doo and the rest of the Mystery Inc gang unmasking a bound bad guy, pulling off a white policeman mask to reveal the Mayor — who is Black — underneath.
But when the CTU shared the image, Lightfoot lashed out, branding it "clearly racist" and "deeply offensive."
"At first I was absolutely heartbroken," Electricstripe told TooFab. "As a Latino male, my intention was FAR from trying to be racist. I can't pull the 'I'm a person of color, I can't be racist' card. Racism has all sorts of forms and shapes."
He said he even went on Twitter trying to defend the artwork, but ended up accepting he can't tell people what to feel or think.
"As an artist I can only take the feedback and make sure I'm more careful with my choices. I am sorry if I offended anyone," he said. "At the end of the day, it's art and people are going to interpret it in the way they identify with it."
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"My only question to those people is, how can you have an illustration that promotes the defunding of police, in favor of the Black Lives Matter movement, and also imagery of a Black person being lynched in the same picture? It's contradictory and simply doesn't make sense."
"I've been out here protesting alongside my Black brothers and sisters everyday that I can. Why would I throw that effort away with a racist drawing? There are people out here who really hate our teachers and seriously went out of their way to make something what it's not."
Mayor Lightfoot later claimed to have not even seen the image, only that it was described to her.
"If that kind of tweet, which is clearly racist, had been put forward by a right-wing group, we would rightly be denouncing them, and I think our scorn should be no less because it was put out by the CTU," the mayor said.
Electricstripe found the claim she hadn't seen it laughable — almost as laughable as the description of the artwork the Mayor received.
"When the illustration was described to our mayor, (which I had no idea she was visually impaired to see it for herself) they were described as a group of 'unhappy white people, around a tied up black woman in rope'," he said. "You can already imagine what kind of image pops up into your head when you hear such description. They decided to only describe what was most convenient for them."
He said it took him a long time to figure out how the picture could even be perceived as racist.
"If people are going to try to find imagery in every piece of art instead of looking at the actual message, then sure, it’s racist to them. Lori agreed the image was racist, requested CTU to take it down and they did."
"However, we demand she take down a statue of Christopher Columbus, who if we're depicting its symbolism, stands for the looting, murdering and dare I say racist actions against the natives, that’s just simply a no-go from her end. You can't be out here being selective with racism only because it's convenient to you."
Despite the fallout over the meme, the Illinois native said he does not hate the Mayor.
"She was the queen of memes during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Props to her for engaging with us and having laughs with us," he said.
"With Lori Lightfoot, as our mayor, there are going to be things we'll agree and disagree with. We shouldn't have to be pushing her to make the right decisions."
He added: "I was never interested in politics too much in my youth. Now that we're older and seeing the injustices going on it's time for us to speak up and be more involved. I'm sure people will think I despise Lori. I don't. I am simply trying to remind her of what the people want."
Lightfoot and the CTU have been at each other throats since they backed her rival Toni Preckwinkle in the 2019 mayoral election.
"It's certainly disappointing when a group that professes to be educators, people who are in our classrooms teaching our young people, would engage in these kinds of really deeply offensive and disappointing tactics," she said in her original attack on the picture, calling for its removal.
"I don't think I need to say more than I think the scorn that they rightfully earned on Twitter with people being outraged and attacking them for stooping to such tactics. It is borrowing a playbook from the right wing, and it's disappointing."
The Anti-Defamation League also called on the CTU for an apology.
Defending the post, CTU spokesperson Chris Geovanis told CBS Chicago in a statement: "Our intent was, as it always has been, to stir the powerful from their slumber and stand steadfast behind those Black people – and especially young Black leaders – in their struggle for a new Chicago built on real justice, not failed policies and broken promises."
CTU Vice President Stacy Davis Gates meanwhile fittingly shared her thoughts in meme form:
...the meme is racist. Not the murder. Not the coerced confessions. Not the unjust decades long prison sentences. Not the abuse. Not the brutality. Not the murder. The meme. Got it. https://t.co/7xNMzHhzSR