Posted on April 20, 2023

Brandon Johnson Is the Future of Big City Politics

Scott Greer, Substack, April 18, 2023

Black youths rampaged through Chicago last weekend. Stores were looted, many people were beaten, and a few were shot. One of the mob’s victims was a helpless white woman. She was pummeled for the offense of being the wrong race, in the wrong place, at the wrong time.

It’s cliche to say this, but just imagine if the races were reversed. It would be the biggest news story of 2023 if a gang of white youths beat up a black woman for fun. The cable networks would run the clip on an endless loop. The city would come down hard on the white youths. The federal government would probably file hate crime charges. Every public figure would line up to condemn this violence as the most heinous thing they’ve ever seen.

But this is not what happened—and the chances of that hypothetical ever occurring are practically nil. We witnessed yet another black on white attack and we’re supposed to shrug. That’s just life in big city America.

Chicago leaders openly state this isn’t a problem to worry about. Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot defended the black youths and said the mayhem downtown was not “mayhem.” “The vast majority of the young people who came downtown came downtown because it was great weather and an opportunity to enjoy the city. That’s absolutely and entirely it,” she told reporters. While mayor-elect Brandon Johnson condemned the violence of the mob, he made sure to attack those who may “demonize” the black teens. “[I]t is not constructive to demonize youth who have otherwise been starved of opportunities in their own communities,” he said in a press statement.

Johnson represents the future of urban leadership in America. The mayors, district attorneys, and councilors who run these cities don’t care about crime. They just want to stick up for the interests of non-whites and damn the interests of whites. This proves to be a winning message in many major cities.

Chicago is a city plagued by crime and poor governance. It’s why Lori Lightfoot didn’t even make it to the mayoral run-off. That battle pitted Johnson against Paul Vallas, a white moderate who promised to restore law and order. Johnson defeated Vallas with the promise of something else. “This is about Black labor versus white wealth. That’s what this battle is about,” the black politician said at one debate. “This is about providing community access to the very public accommodations which Black people fought for, especially after emancipation. It’s what the descendants of slaves in this room are fighting for: public education, public transportation, affordable housing, healthcare and access to jobs.”

That appeal to racial socialism triumphed over the appeal to law and order. Johnson won by uniting minorities together against the city’s remaining white population. Non-white Chicagoans care more about the promise of more wealth redistribution than they do about cops arresting more criminals who look like themselves.

Johnson embodies the “American Chavist” trend in Democratic politics. In an American Greatness column, I characterized this development as “anti-white socialism.” It would combine pledges of wealth redistribution with racial resentment. I saw a figure representing this trend in Illinois Rep. Chuy Garcia, who at the time was the frontrunner in the mayoral race. The Hispanic socialist didn’t make it to the run-off, but he did endorse Johnson–who shares most of Garcia’s politics. I was right Chicagoans favored a Chavist. I was just wrong about who exactly that would be.

Johnson routinely makes it clear what his priorities are. He refuses to blame the young blacks responsible for the city’s crime wave. He instead blames businesses. “We have large corporations. Seventy percent of large corporations in the city of Chicago — in the state of Illinois, did not pay a corporate tax,” Johnson said shortly after winning the runoff. “And it’s that type of restraint on our budget that has caused the type of disinvestment that has led to poverty, of course that has led to violence.” He plans to increase the city’s finances by heavily taxing the “suburbs” (translation: white people). He supports reparations, but wants to expand it to include non-white “victims” of law enforcement. He also supports defunding the police (despite his recent denials) and transferring those funds to “social services.”

It’s no mystery why he sympathizes more with black rioters than law-abiding citizens. He’s not alone in this opinion. Illinois state senator Robert Peters called last weekend’s riots “a mass protest against poverty and segregation.” That white woman must have embodied poverty and segregation to her assailants. It’s truly an accomplishment to make Brandon Johnson look like the moderate here.

Other cities are led by similar figures who favor non-white interests over public safety. Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg has allowed several violent criminals to roam free throughout his jurisdiction while he focuses on Donald Trump paying off a porn star. His first action was to send a memo to his prosecutors instructing them to prioritize reducing “racial disparities” rather than crime. He proclaimed his office will target the “real crime” in Manhattan: white collar crime. His policies have led to an increase in real crime, but voters may not mind as long as he achieves progressive ends.

There are several other progressive DAs with the same focus, from Philadelphia to St. Louis. Crime is not an issue in their minds. “Racial justice” is all that matters to them.

The sad fact is that people keep voting for these idiots. City residents desire racial socialists who reward criminals and punish normal citizens. They want their leaders to advance non-white interests. That means excusing crime and taking the hard-earned wealth from white residents.

The Chicago riots may be a preview of what we see in dozens of cities this summer. You can expect most city leaders to emulate Brandon Johnson in how they respond to the chaos. They’re not supposed to care about crime anymore–only racists fixate on that subject.