”Knuckle-dragging and generally subhuman:" Northwest Side Chicago Alderman fires insults at constituents on social media
Some politicians try to catch flies with honey; Democratic Chicago Alderman John Arena douses them with vinegar.
His 65th District constituents? Those who oppose him are stupid, racist and lacking compassion.
“Go ahead... Move to Indiana and live in a third-world economy. (Expletive) schools and low wages,” read a recent Arena Facebook post, dressing down a constituent who lamented the city of Chicago’s recent spate of tax increases. “And read a newspaper or something...Rail against everything but offer no ideas and think only of yourself. Time to grow up and be part of society.”
Arena means the society he wants to use his aldermanic power to build, infusing its middle-class communities like Jefferson Park and Portage Park with new voters on the public dole who are more likely to support his re-election.
To another constituent who dared challenge his plan to build thousands of subsidized housing units in their neighborhood, suggesting, as studies show, they will bring an increase in crime along with them, Arena suggested they were racist.
“Just because you are driven by prejudice does not mean the (rest) of the community should be,” Arena wrote on Facebook.
Longtime Northwest Side Political Analyst Russ Stewart described Arena’s plan as “colonization,” using his supreme zoning powers to bring in low-income, subsidized renters to “pack” the ward.
“The mathematics are elemental. Pack 3,000 or mostly Democratic tenants into a ward voter pool… and Arena goes from shaky to secure,” Stewart wrote. “Low income renters… are more liberal than homeowners, have no long-term commitment to the community, care not a whit about property taxes as many have Section 8 subsidies -- and are future Arena voters.”
To Arena, a self-described “rebel” who politically leans far enough left to be described as a socialist, those who disagree with his own views aren’t merely wrong -- they don’t deserve to be part of the human race.
“I am not ready to cead (sic) this country to the racist, classist, knuckle-dragging and generally subhuman puddle of DNA that makes up the base of (President Donald) Trump supporters,” he recently wrote on Facebook. “We have made too much progress since scrubbing the (George) Bush idiocy from the Oval Office.”
In another post, he derided Trump as a “pussy.”
Opponent John Garrido, a Chicago police officer, made Arena’s demeanor an issue in the 2015 election, calling out his record of “combative and dishonest behavior.”
Arena won with 53 percent of the vote and was prescient about his plans to transform the 45th Ward.
“We’ve seen glimpses of what this ward can be,” he said to his supporters on election night.
Arena is up for re-election in 2019.
Organizations in this Story
4962 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60630-2347
Jefferson Park, Chicago, IL, United States