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Kass: Mayor Brandon has ultra thin skin. $300 million for Chicago's new migrants?

I think Kass needs to lighten up and look at the bright side of it!

Let’s Talk About Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson’s Ultra-Thin Black Skin

by John Kass

Sept. 13, 2023

Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson is consumed by the color of his skin. It seems that his black skin is all he wants to talk about.

Someone close to him might want to tell the poor fellow to simmer down, grow up and act like a man—and inform him he is not the first black mayor of Chicago.

But why talk of the color of his skin? Instead, let’s talk about the thinness of it.

I’ve been covering Chicago politics for decades—since the 1980s—and never has there been a politician with skin as thin as his. It’s not merely rice paper thin, it is so thin that it makes rice paper resemble cardboard. Brandon Johnson’s skin is so thin it must have been made by the faeries, ephemeral and disappearing, as light as a cherub baby’s breath.

I knew the first black mayor, who came up the hard way, slugging it out with his opponents like Fast Eddie Vrdolyak. Harold Washington played the race card when it meant something, as a means to intimidate white liberal journalists into obedience. There is no creature as malleable as a liberal white journo petrified that he’ll be accused of racism.

But they’re all trained now. They’re all obedient now. Politicians can even pet them, at least in Chicago without fear of being bitten.

Harold Washington knew how to play broken knuckle politics. His father—a soldier in the Chicago Machine—was repeatedly passed over for promotion up the ranks, and this fueled Washington’s revenge for a time.

But Harold didn’t have time to hold a grudge against the white Daley faction of the old machine. He had a city to run. He had people to protect. He had a downtown to nourish and safeguard, because it kept the rest of the city alive and the taxman off the backs of the neighborhoods.

Brandon Johnson knows nothing of this. He was not prepared to deal with the details of government. He thinks he’s something of a charisma man. He knows how to scream race and more race, which becomes tiring when violent street crime destroys downtown and the value of commercial real estate leases.

And I also knew the second black mayor of Chicago, a genuinely nice man to whom I owed 20 bucks to at the time of his death (It had been a sporting bet on a Roberto Duran prizefight, and Sugar Ray Leonard won, and I lost, and paid his son Ald. Roderick Sawyer).

And the third black mayor whom I thought was funny and bright and I backed her, until she endorsed Kim Foxx for Cook County State’s Attorney. But she lost whatever sense of humor she had during the Black Lives Matter riots that destroyed downtown Chicago and she caved to the far hard left hoping to save her career. It didn’t work.

This new mayor, the current occupant, Brandon Johnson, is a fool who prattles on about skin color because he has nothing else. So he casts himself as victim in his overwrought racial drama, with the city dying just offstage for the lack of a competent manager. The first three mayors were somewhat prepared, honed by fire and experienced.

But Johnson? He’s just a talker.

“BTW, the last Mayor of Chicago was 1) Black 2) a woman, and 3) a lesbian and even she didn’t play the victim card this quickly,” said my friend Tom Bevan, president and co-founder of Real Clear Politics and longtime observer of the bloody knuckle racial politics played in Chicago.


Johnson has no answers to President Joe Biden’s singular Democrat policy: the onrushing tidal wave of illegal immigrants (and Chinese made fentanyl) pouring over the non-existent border with Mexico that is overwhelming and breaking the resources of big blue cities.

At least Adams pitched a fit and called out the Biden Administration. Adams also spread his anxiety out to blame Republican “madmen” for having to pay for unwanted migrants by cutting his New York budget.

The strain on Democrat mayors trying to placate black voters while eagerly seeking to administer and curry favor with vote-rich Latino immigrants is obvious. Adams and Johnson are cracking, but in different ways.

The Biden no-borders migrant surge will cost Chicago some $300 million this year. So, Johnson plays the race card like some tired kid magician fumbling through magic tricks.

At about the 100-day mark, he told reporters he was being held to a “different standard” because he is black. He has no management experience. He was a classroom teacher for only four years before his boss, the CTU president Stacy Davis Gates (more on her on Friday) plucked him out of his undistinguished classroom career and made him a paid organizer for Chicago Teachers Union Local 1.

Only four years as a teacher is not a resume of a chief executive to run a city in crisis.

“There is a different standard that I’m held to. There is,” Johnson was quoted as saying. “And that’s not something that I’m mad at, but that’s just the reality. I’m not the first person of color, particularly a Black man, that will be held to a different standard than other administrations.”

Foolish me, I thought the only reason he was elected in the first place was that he was a black man. His opponent in the mayor’s race was the more qualified city manager Paul Vallas.

But Vallas was white. And the left-leaning Chicago media protected Johson from himself, including the leftist news unions.

Johnson’s early forays into racial politics, reminding voters at every turn that he was black and that Vallas was white (actually Greek) should have been fodder for a few news columnists at least.

But by then all the conservatives had been driven out of the Chicago newspapers. And the leftists are without humor. And racial cards were very much allowed when the target was a white man.

Now, Johnson insists on fanning all the race cards in his deck, snapping them with his fingers and forcing us to observe them in his hand, but clumsily, like some thick-fingered moron who ruins his only magic trick before the audience is properly primed, then stamps his feet while angrily stomping off stage.

What he wants is a no-fault government like those no-fault classrooms demanded by the school unions, without strict and commonly held standards, without testing, the CTU making sure all teachers were judged highly competent. Are grades the legacy of racism? Clearly, Johnson wants no fault government, and no fault classrooms.

There’s no pressure even if the kids can’t read or do remedial arithmetic, all they have to do is nod as the mayor pushes tired rhetoric about making Chicago better, safer, stronger, and on and on.

Sooner or later the bill comes due. The bill has no feelings and it can’t be shamed into disappearing. It is there. It will be paid come hell or high water.

Consider: Chicago has the second-highest commercial property tax in the nation at 3.78 percent–more than double the U.S. average for the largest cities in each state, according to a study by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and the Minnesota Center for Fiscal Excellence.

Put simply, Chicago’s downtown commercial real estate market cratered during the Black Lives Matter riots. The BLM riots were encouraged by Democrats as political leverage against Donald Trump.

To make matters worse for business, the blue state governors like Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker’s shutdown of businesses helped kill the commercial districts in the downtowns. The shutdown of the Chicago schools for almost 2 years created a generation of students more apt to hijack a car or rob someone than crack open a book.

Those cratered leases for low cost commercial space will come due. And with crime increasing—downtown is a ghost-town from the evening on—the revenue from property taxes will shrink because the leases will not be renewed. Signing costly leases would be business suicide.

Who will pick up the slack? The businesses that will flee the region and the state due to crime that is uncontrolled? They’ll be gone.

Only the homeowners will be left to carry the burden. And given how Democrat politics works, they’ll be encouraged to forget that Johnson, his CTU allies and Johnson’s mentor, Cook County political boss Toni Preckwinkle had backed Kim Foxx to be George Soros’ top local prosecutor. They’ll be encouraged to forget who pushed for no-cash bail.

Perhaps the Democrats will gin up another racial incident to dangle before voters, making it easier to forget the easier to forget the reason for the crime wave. The Chicago media won’t remind them. All that will go to a familiar spot. It will be memory-holed.

All that will remain is confusion, as if by design.

Just as Johnson reached for his race cards to blame opponents for his frustrations, Chicago criminal violence continued to rise on the once crime-free Northwest Side. Aldermen and citizens from Logan Square, West Town and other similar areas tried to get answers from Mayor Johnson.

They failed to get answers from he mayor.

Ald. Scott Waguespack, 32d, told Block Club Chicago that he met with Johnson recently to discuss the explosion of robberies in his ward and the surrounding area.

Waguespack said he didn’t receive any substantive answers about what, if any plans the mayor was working on.

“I don’t think he understood the extent of the crimes taking place over the summer,” Waguespack said.

The mayor “has no comprehension of what’s happening here. He had no comprehension, and he had no answers.”

Johnson has no answers, no plans. He talks in vague terms about his “tent cities” approach to house illegal migrants in tents in Chicago parks.

No plans to stop robberies, no thoughts on the wide open border of offered by President Biden, and no plans for the long term health of downtown Chicago, and without downtown real estate, a greater tax burden will fall on the neighborhoods, and the city will circle the drain, like Detroit.

But he does have a full deck of race cards. He’ll throw these whenever he can, however he can, with that idiot grin behind those thick glasses.

How long do those race cards keep working?

Not long enough. And he knows it.

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