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Chicago’s Brandon Johnson Goes for Woke

Posted on Friday, March 1, 2024
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by Shane Harris
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39 Comments

AMAC Exclusive – By Shane Harris

Brandon Johnson for Chicago Campaign Logo with Woke stamp in red

Chicago’s Brandon Johnson has seemingly done the impossible: garnering even more negative headlines than Lori Lightfoot.

Given the extremism of Johnson’s campaign platform, which included explicit promises to cut police funding and raise taxes, Chicago residents had little reason to expect that his tenure would be much better than that of Lightfoot, who became the first Windy City mayor in more than 40 years to lose re-election last February. But Johnson has failed to meet even that low bar.

In his most recent debacle, Johnson announced on February 13 that Chicago would not be renewing its contract with ShotSpotter, a gunshot detection program that sends alerts to police and has been used throughout the city for the past seven years.

Democrat critics of the ShotSpotter system have accused it of having “racial bias” built in and have insisted that it encourages police to unfairly target black neighborhoods. Johnson accordingly made canceling the contract one of his campaign promises.

Law enforcement leaders, however, have said that the system is a vital tool to help police respond quickly to shootings. Chicago saw a 12-year high in violent crime last year, with more than 2,800 people shot.

Choosing to eliminate a system designed to combat gun violence in one of the most violent cities in America is bad enough. But after the announcement, the mayor soon realized he had another major problem on his hands – the DNC convention is set to be held in Chicago this August. While liberals are fine with putting everyday Americans in danger in the name of “combatting racial bias,” they apparently aren’t willing to take the same risk with Democrat VIPs.

Johnson’s office quickly scrambled to work out a short-term extension with ShotSpotter parent company SoundThinking to extend services through the convention. As a result, Chicago taxpayers will now be on the hook for an $8.6 million bill to keep the system in place from when the contract was originally supposed to expire on February 16 through September 22 – five percent more than it cost the city for the entirety of 2023.

Unfortunately for Chicago residents, the ShotSpotter fiasco was just the latest evidence that Johnson is both utterly committed to failed left-wing policies and simply not up to the task of being mayor of America’s third-largest city.

Johnson also drew criticism last August for snapping at a reporter who referred to widespread riots in Chicago as “mob actions.” Despite the fact that hundreds of people flooded areas of the city and looted at least one convenience store, Johnson insisted on referring to the riots as “large gatherings.”

“It’s important that we speak of these dynamics in an appropriate way,” Johnson said, apparently unconcerned about the chaos and lawlessness gripping parts of his city.

While Johnson has not done anything to crack down on criminals, he has used city resources to file lawsuits against vehicle manufacturers over the ongoing rash of carjackings – another move that earned him mockery in the media and online.

Johnson’s lawsuit against Kia and Hyundai alleges that the companies did not include “vital anti-theft technology” in their vehicles which resulted in a “steep rise in crime,” while saying nothing about the actual criminals who are stealing the cars and often using them to commit robberies and other crimes.

As Democrat Alderman Raymond Lopez noted at the time, “We know why they’re stealing these cars. We know what they’re doing with these cars, but the fact that we refuse to call out this behavior, and we’re giving cover to the criminals, seems to just be another liberal ploy.”

Johnson has also received criticism for eliminating more than 800 police officer positions and removing resource officers from schools the week after two students were shot and killed outside a Chicago school.

The embattled mayor now faces another brewing crisis as migrants continue to pour into his city. During his campaign, Johnson declared that Chicago would “lead and live by the promise to be a sanctuary city,” but now is frantically trying to shift blame to state officials as shelters are overflowing and many migrants are now being housed in O’Hare airport.

In some cases, Johnson has appeared simply overwhelmed by the job. Last October, when a reporter asked Johnson why he had not been to the border as he had promised, Johnson responded, “We still have public safety that we have to address, we still have the unhoused that we have to address, I still have a budget that I have to address. And I’m doing all of that with a Black wife raising three Black children on the west side of the city of Chicago.”

The comment struck many as out of touch, with one social media user sarcastically responding, “Incredible! He has a wife and children AND has a job. What an amazing man.”

Unsurprisingly, Johnson is deep underwater with voters. 57 percent of Chicagoans disapprove of his job performance, while just 29 percent say they approve. A dismal 24 percent say they approve of the job he’s done to address crime, while 66 percent disapprove – including 50 percent who strongly disapprove.

Of course, any discussion about failed liberal governance in deep blue cities must begin and end with the fact that the residents of these cities keep voting for the same failed policies over and over.

In Chicago’s case, voters had the chance to elect Paul Vallas, a relatively moderate Democrat who promised to reverse many of Lightfoot’s most controversial policies. Vallas was the top vote-getter in the first round of voting last year, only to go on to lose 52 percent to 48 percent to Johnson in the runoff.

Until Chicagoans elect someone with the courage to break with woke pieties, they will continue to get more of the same. For now, Johnson will serve as yet another warning to the rest of the country about what happens when left-wing radicalism is allowed to run a major American city.

Shane Harris is a writer and political consultant from Southwest Ohio. You can follow him on Twitter @ShaneHarris513.

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Jan
Jan
1 month ago

Just thinking…that election could have been rigged also

sdg
sdg
1 month ago

All decent human beings should pack up and get out of New York and Chicago and let those cities sink into the cesspool they belong in and they can all kill one another

Jeri
Jeri
1 month ago

People should make the best choices for them. When the consequences bite them in the arse they should also understand that many of us don’t care, may laugh in your face, and are not interested in helping you. Choices have consequences.

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
1 month ago

Well, his name IS “Brandon”… nuff said.

Lover of God and America!
Lover of God and America!
1 month ago

Go Woke, go VIOLENT! (and STUPID!)

Thinking
Thinking
1 month ago

Johnson has given the run of Chicago to the criminals. Till oops the DNC convention is coming. Quickly spend almost 2 million dollar to protect those in power. After that the criminal gatherings will return. For he is too busy living an every day life like every other adult American is doing. What simple minded people are running our major cities. Just look at these cities and you see the total destruction the Dems are doing to this country. But the citizens of Chicago voted him in. Or did they?

PapaGrouch
PapaGrouch
1 month ago

“Elections have consequences.” People of Chicago got what they elected (laughably assuming elections weren’t corrupted), and I can empathize with Chicagoans who did NOT want the POS Johnson in office. Yet, as usual, they’re losing their collective minds and again crying “oppression!” like the MSM has instructed them, and it’s everyone else’s fault. Everyone else is racist. Tell me again: why is it that Walmart and other merchants left Chicago? What is the murder rate in Chicago? Where is Chicago putting illegal aliens? What direction is the tax rate in Chicago going? How are the schools in Chicago? What’s happening to Chicago’s law enforcement? Things looking pretty vibrant in the “Windy City,” alright. Another blue city dying.

Fran
Fran
1 month ago

vote early…vote often !!

Dick Yowell
Dick Yowell
1 month ago

Vote ideology instead of competence; you deserve what you get.

Michael
Michael
1 month ago

Chicago, with the most stringent gun control laws in the country also has the highest number killings in he country? Gun control laws don’t work unless they are enforced.
The guns are out there. They are on the street. Enforce the laws we have.
Gun shot listening equipment helps the police to locate location of gun shot. Neighborhoods with high rates of crime should have more listening. Neighbor hoods with no or few gun related crime don’t need them.
Get serious about where the most trouble and murders occur is where the detectors should be installed.

David S
David S
1 month ago

I never thought that I’d think of the era of Mayor Richard J. Daley as the good old days. Now I do.

Drue
Drue
1 month ago

I don’t feel bad for the city of Chicago. They made their bed, now lay in it! Elect an idiot and what do you expect? Chicago has shot themselves in their foot so many times that they cannot walk straight. Too bad, how sad.

Susan
Susan
1 month ago

This is what happens when blacks, sorry to say, blacks keep voting for democrats.

Joe
Joe
1 month ago

Crime in Chicago has escalated and now ILLEGAL ALIENS are taking over the streets, all thanks to demoncrat “leaders.” Chicago residents have consistently voted demoncrats into power, so they deserve what they get.

Patriot Will
Patriot Will
1 month ago

Johnson is the opposite of a competent mayor who cares for his citizens. Instead of beefing up his police force and coming down hard on hard core criminals, Johnson is cutting Chicago’s police force, allowing many criminals to go unpunished, and is making excuses for why the criminals are criminals. His brain is so clouded with equity and anti-American Marxist ideas that he actually is defending the rights of the bad guys to be bad while ignoring the suffering that is being experienced by law abiding people. It makes absolutely no good sense for the people of Chicago to keep on electing weak mayors who are too weak to discipline the hoodlums.

Mike
Mike
1 month ago

One can only hope this moron gets unelected at the next “Gathering”!

Alan Daniel
Alan Daniel
1 month ago

This is yet another proof that our country has gone insane and is in big trouble because “leaders” actually listen to complete idiots making outrageous claims. The Wokes are claiming that a system that triangulates sounds is racist. Well, are the gunshots coming from black areas? Wouldn’t the honest black people in that area want a swift police response? Are the police racially biased because they respond quickly to problems in the black areas of the city? Perhaps the system could be set to not tell the police when shots are fired in the black neighborhoods. The entire scenario is insane and will stay insane until the idiots are kicked out of office. IF they are not ousted then it’s time to leave. No one should submit to a government of insanity.

George
George
1 month ago

Will citizens ever elect a conservative in any ‘burb?

Fred Noel
Fred Noel
1 month ago

Exactly where is all the gang related shooting occuring?
Democrat critics of the ShotSpotter system have accused it of having “racial bias” built in and have insisted that it encourages police to unfairly target black neighborhoods.
Where would be like these systems set up? Maybe Shaker Heights. He doesn’t even realize that these systems are set up to help protect black neighborhoods.

Westhus092
Westhus092
1 month ago

Hate to say it especially to those upright citizens who didn’t vote for this obvious Communist, so to all the others who did: YOU voted for this.

Lloyd Grisham
Lloyd Grisham
1 month ago

Why do people continue voting for these incompetent liberal morons to important positions in the government? Uninformed? Don,t care? Somebody better wake up before it is too late or maybe we have passed the point of no return.

Nobody’s Business
Nobody’s Business
1 month ago

Don’t like wishing harm on people but the Democrats are creating harm to all of us with their policies, so I hope enough Democrat politicians have crime catastrophe’s happen to them and their families and just maybe they will see the ridiculousness in their policies.

American
American
1 month ago

Ok, seriously, the Democrats are the ones who scream the loudest to do something about gun violence. ShotSpotters would be pretty much silent and useless if they place them on the Gold Coast as shots are rarely heard there. Why would you not want to stop the gun violence in the areas where it is most prevalent? Do they not want people who live on the South or West sides to be safe? Good Grief!

anna hubert
anna hubert
1 month ago

How do the native sons cope with the fact that illegal criminals are taking over their turf?

Sean Rickman
Sean Rickman
1 month ago

That’s chitcago,that is NOT downstate Illinois.The greater Illinois PATRIOTS are conservatives very much unlike the overbearing entities that are destroying this once great state.The entities in Illinois that are in control think that spend and tax,then spend and tax more is the answer,it is if you are filling your pockets with taxpayer dollars.

MBares
MBares
1 month ago

Living in Illinois and from Chicago, corruption has been the norm since I was a child. How many of our governors been jailed? I’m 65 now and live in the burbs and Illinois could be a red state if it wasn’t for Chicago. The city is on a downward spiral and most people in Illinois thought Rahm Emanuel was a bad mayor. Lightfoot and Johnson make him look like a super hero. By the way, Rahm Emanuel is the the ambassador to Japan appointed by Joe Biden. Hmmm. The bottom line is the voters in Chicago have got to get their heads out of there ~~~~~ and think hard about what is right and what is wrong. I hate to say it, but they get what they deserve. We’ll see what happens in the future. Chicago is a beautiful city . . . It’s a damn shame.

Fran
Fran
1 month ago

Just to set the record straight….Johnson 2 children go to Ole A. Thorp Scholastic Academy in Portage Park on Chi Towns NW side …not any where near the “West Side”

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