DeKalb County Board Chair Mark Pietrowski is condemning comments made by DeKalb County Clerk and Recorder Doug Johnson and said if Johnson “thinks the thoughts of white supremacy should be accepted and tolerated” then he will ask for the clerk’s resignation.
On Saturday afternoon, an article from Shaw Media Illinois which reported that fliers promoting Patriot Front, a white supremacist group, were recently found on driveways along Crystal Lake Avenue in Crystal Lake, was posted on the Daily Chronicle’s Facebook page.
Using his personal Facebook account, Johnson commented on the article post, “Seems like everybody has a cause. I’m glad we are all so [sic] excepting! Wouldn’t want hate and hateful things being said. Tolerance is a two way street.”
Johnson, who was re-elected in 2018 and is currently serving a term through 2022, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The comment was met with much public outcry, many calling on Johnson to rescind his comments or questioning his beliefs on white supremacy.
Johnson then deleted his initial comment and responded with another on the Daily Chronicle’s Facebook post.
“Fine, took the post down,” Johnson said. “Because my point is being taken the wrong way. I think there are many points of view in the world today. It makes me sad that people are not more tolerant. It makes me sad that people are quick to hate. I have always worked to represent ALL people. Sorry for using a hot button issue to make a point.”
Pietrowski responded on the Facebook post, and said Patriot Front has also distributed fliers around Northern Illinois University in the past several years.
“I am deeply troubled by his comments that appear to ask for acceptance of a white supremacist group or those that hold those beliefs,” Pietrowski said. “Let me make it very clear. Hate towards people based on the color of their skin has no home here and should not be tolerated. I am calling on all public servants to speak out against white supremacists. That should not be hard to do and if it is they should not be an elected official tasked with serving all people in our community.”
When asked on another Facebook comment thread whether he would be asking Johnson to resign, Pietrowski gave a conditional yes.
“If he thinks the thoughts of white supremacy should be accepted and tolerated then yes,” he said. “Those beliefs have no place in elected office.”
Pietrowski said he wants to ensure county board employees and elected officials have access to training in future.
“We need to be having conversations and taking actions to improve our community,” Pietrowski said. “I want implicit bias training for all county employees and board members. I am directing the county administrator to look into programs and let us know training options.”
Source: The Daily Chronicle