GOP Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) is facing a fierce backlash for hailing the violent mob that attacked the U.S. Capitol as “patriots who love America” and saying that he was not afraid for his safety during the siege, but would have been had the rioters been affiliated with “Black Lives Matter.”
“Now, had the tables been turned, and Joe — this is going to get me in trouble — had the tables been turned and President Trump won the election and tens of thousands of Black Lives Matter and antifa, I might have been a little concerned,” Johnson said during an interview last week with radio host Joe Pagliarulo.
Johnson’s remarks drew criticism from Democrats and others in the press and on social media who argued that Johnson had basically admitted that those who stormed the Capitol, killing one police officer and dealing grievous injuries to dozens of others, were his own supporters, while protesters who speak out against police brutality and racism were not.
“For him to say something as racist as that — it’s ridiculous,” Wisconsin state Sen. LaTonya Johnson (D), who is Black, told The Associated Press. “It’s a totally racist comment and the insult to injury is he didn’t mind saying it in the position that he holds because for some reason that’s just deemed as acceptable behavior for people who live in and are elected officials in this state.”
“Ron Johnson said the racist part out loud,” tweeted the Lincoln Project.
Wisconsin’s state treasurer Sarah Godlewski (D) added: “Ron Johnson’s racist comments make it clear he stands with violent criminals who threaten our democracy.”
At least seven people died as a result of the attack on the U.S. Capitol. One Capitol Police officer was killed during the attack and two other officers died by suicide in the days after the siege. Dozens of Washington, D.C. metropolitan police were also injured.
“One officer has two cracked ribs and two smashed spinal discs and another was stabbed with a metal fence stake, to name some of the injuries,” the Capitol Police union chairman, Gus Papathanasiou, told The Washington Post.
Check some of the reactions to Ron Johnson’s comments below:
Ron Johnson said the racist part out loud
— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) March 13, 2021
The Republican Party no longer even pretends to object to racism and hate speech. They no longer even try to hide their racist speech with dog whistles or Euphemisms
— Michael votes blue and wears a mask (@skiermichael) March 14, 2021
Ron Johnson was not scared because he worked with the mob planning the attack of January 6th!
— #Biden is my President! (@mariacsuarez50) March 13, 2021
Yes he did, Ron Johnson took his hood off! KKK is no longer hiding, they are in Congress.
— Yvette Jones Johnson (@encourage2prpus) March 13, 2021
When a mob of inbred delusional white people murder police officers and try to overthrow democracy they’re patriots. But black people opposing racism are terrifying monsters. @RonJohnsonWI is a racist scumbag.
— Jeris Gibbs 🏇🏼 (@JerisGibbs) March 14, 2021
Ron Johnson’s racist comments make it clear he stands with violent criminals who threaten our democracy. https://t.co/BUtsnfFC3z
— Sarah Godlewski (@SarahforWI) March 13, 2021
Republicans have pushed racial norms so much, with relatively little consequences, that we are likely two months away from Republicans saying “So I’m racist, so what about it?”
— Russell The Texan (@TexanRussell) March 13, 2021
Let’s be frank here, Ron Johnson point blank told the entire country that he prefers white insurrectionists over people of color. He feels ‘safer’ around them then anyone else. Time to send him home , where he will be safe.
— Ron H Fovargue (@FovargueRon) March 13, 2021
If the Republicans can't condemn Johnson them there is no doubt that they are racist as well.
It's time for them to stand up against racism or be counted as one.
— Matt Branstetter (@MattBranstette4) March 13, 2021
Imagine the unspoken part in his head and heart.
— Robert Barlow (@realRBB) March 13, 2021