Chicago's Mayor Johnson scolds reporter for calling mass looters a 'mob,' says 'large gathering' is 'appropriate'
I don't know which is more discouraging: that the mayor of Chicago actually tried this verbal flim-flammery or that the assembled media at his press conference didn't erupt in laughter at his attempt to blackwash rampaging looters. He thought he could get away with it, and so far as one can see, he did. Watch this Grabien video, where Mayor Brandon Johnson says:
Johnson: "That's not appropriate. We're not talking about mob actions, I didn't say that — hold on a second, okay. Respectfully, these large gatherings —"
Reporter: "That caused damage."
Johnson: "— these large gatherings — just hold on a second, y'all. I promise you, we have time to talk. It's important that we speak of these dynamics in an appropriate way. This is not to obfuscate what is actually taking place."
Reporter 2: "This was the scene near Roosevelt and Canal Sunday night. Groups looted a convenience store, more than three dozen teenagers were arrested along with a 12-year-old, and at least one 20-year-old. Store owners say it was the second such incident in that area in just the past few weeks, and today, Mayor Johnson commended Chicago police for the way they handled it."
Johnson: "To the best of their ability, I believe that they attempted to engage with our young people with community partners, giving as much warning as they possibly could. And, you know, unfortunately, arrests were made."
I doubt that many Chicagoans are fooled by this linguistic pretzel-twisting. They see the 27% storefront vacancy rate on the once-proud Magnificent Mile, and the even higher rate in the Loop office district. Are these to be christened "retail opportunities"?
They see weekend body counts that horrify the nation and the world. They fear leaving their homes because street crime is out of control, and they know that driving a nice car in the city risks carjacking. Are these crimes to be called "opportunity seeking"?
Mayor Johnson obviously thinks he can get away with his Orwellian gambit. And so far as one can see, he may be right.
Photo credit: Grabien screen grab.