Republican politicians have long been far too comfortable with deploying racist rhetoric to court votes from bigots, but the elevation of Donald Trump to the head of the party hypercharged this vile trend. It now seems that hardly a day goes by without some GOP official spewing rhetoric that would have made even George Wallace blush.
Recently, Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) has come under fire for comments he made during a conversation with a radio host about the January 6th Capitol siege. He claimed that he “never felt threatened” during the insurrection.
“I knew those were people that love this country, that truly respect law enforcement, would never do anything to break the law so I wasn’t concerned,” said Johnson of the predominantly white people who caused the death of a police officer when they broke the law to storm the Capitol.
“Now had the table’s been turned—and Joe this’ll get me in trouble—had the tables been turned and President Trump won the election and those were tens of thousands of Black Lives Matter and Antifa protesters, I might have been a little concerned,” added Johnson, blowing a dog whistle so loud that it was audible to human ears. Johnson might as well have said, “I like white people but Black people scare me.”
WATCH: Ron Johnson says he never "felt threatened" on 1/6 because "I knew those were people that love this country" but if "those were tens of thousands of Black Lives Matter and antifa protesters, I might have been a little concerned." pic.twitter.com/PZcs89bl1T
— America's Worst Senator (@TheWorstSenator) March 13, 2021
Last night on CNN Tonight with Don Lemon, House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) ripped into Senator Johnson for his offensive remarks and correctly labeled him a racist.
“The moment he prefaced his last statement ‘I know I’m going to get in trouble for this’ and then went on to say, said to me he knew exactly what he was saying. He knew why he was saying it and knew exactly how the reactions would be, he just didn’t care,” said Clyburn.
“The guy is racist, this is not the first time he has indicated such,” Clyburn went on. “I would hope that the people of Wisconsin would take note of this and do what they can to help make this country a better place. Now I know the history of Wisconsin when it comes to politics. They have been on both sides of the extremes, extreme right and extreme left. I would hope that they would moderate themselves in the next election and get rid of this right extremist.”
The people of Wisconsin would do well to heed Clyburn’s urging. Allowing Johnson to remain in power after as comments as egregious as these will not only encourage him to stoop even lower in the future, it will signal to all racist Republican politicians that they can say and do whatever they want with impunity.
Watch the interview below.
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