‘Prepare for armed war,’ says Johnson County official. ‘Racist,’ says Kansas City mayor

Johnson County Commissioner Mike Brown told his constituents to buy firearms and prepare for a “coming war,” in a weekend Facebook post that painted a dystopian picture of an impeding anarchist uprising.

His rhetoric has led to widespread criticism, including from Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas who on Monday called the post “racist” and “reckless.”

Brown, who is up for reelection in November, used the hashtags “All Lives Matter” and “Blue Lives Matter” as he described violence, “burning churches,” “looting stores” and a chaotic end to law and order. His rhetoric echoed that of President Donald Trump, who has said a Joe Biden presidency would “give free rein to violent anarchists” and threaten the safety of middle-class suburbia. The Biden camp has campaigned on a message that America would be safer if Trump is out of office.

Brown told his constituents that, “they all believe you are simply too scared to do anything about it and they believe it damages Donald Trump. And that right there is the only goal of all of this — but it’s not working.”

“They’ve overplayed their hand. They’ve gone way too far and now it’s too late to get it back. And that is causing panic on the Left which will lead to a ramping up of more chaos, so prepare yourself; prepare to vote, prepare to support candidates who carry your message, buy a firearm and ammunition and take a class now to learn how to safely use it to defend yourself and your property, know what’s happening around you at all times.”

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Brown accused Lucas, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, former President Barack Obama and other Democratic leaders of staying “silent” — another campaign theme of Trump, who falsely accused Biden of not condemning violence after protests over a white police officer killing George Floyd, an unarmed Black man. Biden countered with, “This happens to be Donald Trump’s America.”

“They are weak. They are not leaders,” Brown said of the Democrats.

Lucas responded in a tweet Monday morning.

“At a time when heated rhetoric rarely surprises me, I have to admit shock in seeing something like this from a local elected. Gross distortions; encouraging constituents to prepare for armed war w/ political opponents? This is reckless. This is racist. This is wrong. Just stop,” Lucas wrote.

A spokeswoman for Lucas’ office declined to comment further. While Brown acknowledged his Facebook post in emails to The Star, he did not respond to a request for an interview.

Brown ended his post with a clear message:

“I’d rather fight and die than live in their dictated world. And right now I’ve got my own war drum — and I’m waiting for the other side to give me reason to pound on it. And I will. Say when. Don’t tread on me.”

Brown, 51, was elected in 2016 to represent the 6th District, which covers parts of western and southern Johnson County. He is running for reelection in November, facing challenger Shirley Allenbrand, 63, who has argued she will take a different approach if elected.

“I don’t think we should have leadership that creates chaos on our commission,” Allenbrand said in a previous interview with The Star. “And I feel like sometimes that’s being done. And that ends up misrepresenting our constituents. I don’t think we should make it a political agenda. It should be about what is good for our county.”

Johnson County commissioners are elected on nonpartisan ballots.

This past year, Brown has come under fire multiple times for his Facebook posts. In March, for example, he wrote that the COVID-19 pandemic is a “political stunt” and told constituents to “get a grip.”

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Sarah Ritter covers Johnson County for The Kansas City Star. Formerly a reporter for the Quad-City Times, Sarah is a graduate of Augustana College.

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