Mary Nichols’ air ball: John Phillips

Former Windy City Mayor Rahm Emmanuel once famously said, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that — it’s an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before.”

Think of it as the Chicago version of Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign.

Unsurprisingly, it’s a message that many in the political world took to heart.

Most recently, this mantra was put into practice by the chairwoman of the California Air Resources Board, Mary Nichols.

Nichols, who bills herself as the “Queen of Green,” even went so far as to exploit the death of George Floyd to push her environmental agenda.

Floyd was killed last week during an altercation with Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin. Video footage of the incident showed that Chauvin kept his knee on the side of Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes after he was already handcuffed and on the ground. The officer has been arrested and charged with murder, and the country has been engulfed in civil unrest ever since.

Now Nichols is trying to hitch a ride on the dead man’s back.

On Monday, Nichols tweeted, “‘I can’t breathe’ speaks to police violence, but it also applies to the struggle for clean air. Environmental racism is just one form of racism. It’s all toxic …”

That’s crass.

There’s something extra slimy about using a dying man’s last words to promote your pet project. This would be the equivalent of using 9/11 victim Todd Beamer’s last words of “Let’s roll!” to sell cars.

Not even Cal Worthington would do that.

As an environmentalist, Nichols is probably a California condor lover, which makes sense: condors also feed off the dead.

As you can imagine, the tweet went down like a lead balloon.

Assemblyman Jim Cooper, D-Elk Grove, a member of the California Legislative Black Caucus and 30-year Sacramento County sheriff’s captain, was particularly incensed.

Cooper took to Twitter and said, “@MaryNicholsCA How dare you take this moment of pain and anguish our nation is facing to discuss your crooked Enviro policies.”

And, “How dare you use a dying man’s plea for help as a way to discuss your agenda. Have you no shame? How dare you talk about Enviro racism when historically your policies favor your coastal elitists friends. While leaving communities of color out and left to foot the bill.”

And then finally, “Now that you’ve disrespected the thousands of people peacefully protesting and not to mention the family of Mr. Floyd. Do you have any other insights to provide about racism from a wealthy white woman’s prospective?”

After Cooper’s criticism. Nichols panicked, deleted her tweet and said the following, “I apologize for speaking at the wrong time about the wrong topic. Racism comes in many forms and I believe we must fight every instance of it in our society.”

Next she’ll be telling us we need an EPA Superfund to clean up “toxic masculinity.”

On a side note, former Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was the one who named Mary to the CARB.

I can forgive him for “Kindergarten Cop,” but not for putting Nichols in charge of anything.

Nichols’ behavior is emblematic of the narcissism that comes with living in an echo chamber, where grotesque virtue signaling is both expected and accepted.

Sorry, Mary, sometimes not everything is about you.

Good for Assemblyman Cooper for calling her out.

At such a sensitive time in American society, agitators should have the good sense to sit this one out.

But, of course, they don’t.

Heeding Rahm Emmanuel’s words, people like Mary Nichols are hell-bent on exploiting the upheaval sparked by George Floyd’s death to serve their own political schemes.

John Phillips can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. on “The John Phillips Show” on KABC/AM 790.

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