I’m writing this column on Monday, April 3. The election is on Tuesday. The question on everybody’s mind is who will be the next mayor of Chicago? Will it be Brandon Johnson or will it be Paul Vallas?
I had seen something that said there was a lot of vitriol going on regarding this election. Truthfully, I didn’t think that people were taking it too seriously. I guess my perspective goes back to the days of the Bernard Epton and Harold Washington race. That was definitely a time when Chicago was super-segregated based on race. But in today’s world, I see signs for both candidates all over the city. Not only on public property but in front yards as well. Chicago is changing for the better in that regards.
But … election chicanery is a Chicago tradition. So to see that there are signs that link Paul Vallas to Donald Trump and MAGA placed on the South Side is not surprising. It is sad that for some folks, all they can do is try and practice “scare” politics. Nor is it surprising that in the Black community, Vallas’ yard signs are being defaced with red spray paint.
I experienced firsthand the heightened super-sensitivity that is ongoing when I put up a post and people did not agree with my viewpoint. One man cussed me out, and I became everything but a child of God because I did not concur with his thought patterns. I became heartless when I posted a meme picture where they combined the faces of Brandon Johnson and Lori Lightfoot into one figure to make Johnson-Lightfoot 2.0.
Whatever results Tuesday brings, a lot of reconciliation is going to have to take place between people. I hope and pray it starts with the concession speech and that the losing candidate has the class to lose gracefully as well as tell his supporters to do the same. For the winning candidate’s supporters, I hope they don’t spend time gloating as there is much work to be done to address all the issues ongoing in this city. As adults, I think it is of the utmost importance that we show the younger generation the correct behavior for them to emulate.
I hope the spirited conversations that occurred before the election continue so that people stay aware of what the politicians are up to. The mayoral election signals the beginning of the 2024 Presidential campaign. There are certain incumbents who need to experience the Lightfoot effect and lose out on their re-election bid.
I hope the winning candidate has a plan to do something that will unite us as one Chicago. The problems are many and it’s going to be interesting to see which aldermen jump on board with the new mayor.
Congratulations, Mr. Mayor, on your winning campaign! It has been a long, hard fight and now we expect a lot out of you.