MILWAUKEE (AP) – Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson was called a racist in an interview in which the white Republican said he was not concerned about President Donald Trump’s predominantly white supporters during the deadly uprising on Capitol Hill, but that he could have. . It was if they had been Black Lives Matter protesters.
In an interview Thursday with a syndicated radio host Joe Pagliarulo, Johnson said of those who stormed the Capitol on January 6 to try to stop Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s electoral victory: “I knew those were people who love this country, who really respect the enforcement of the law, they would never do anything to break the law, so I didn’t worry. “
“Now if the tables had turned, and Joe, this is going to get me in trouble, if the tables had turned and President Trump had won the election and tens of thousands of Black Lives Matter and Antifa, it could have been a little concerned. ”Johnson said, referring to far-left protesters known as anti-fascists who resist neo-Nazis and white supremacists at rallies and other events.
Five people died during the assault on Capitol Hill, including a police officer, and 140 officers were injured. The insurrection also caused widespread damage and led to the National Guard troops being called in to restore order. More than 300 Trump supporters they have been charged in the assault on the building, including members of far-right groups.
Johnson’s comments sparked outrage among Wisconsin Democrats, including State Sen. LaTonya Johnson of Milwaukee.
“For him to say something as racist as that is ridiculous,” said the state senator, who is Black. “It is a totally racist comment and the insult to the wound is that he did not mind saying it in the position he occupies because, for some reason, it is considered acceptable behavior for people who live and are elected officials in this state.”
Ron Johnson told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel who made the comment because many of the protests last summer over George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis turned violent and caused widespread property damage. The riots in the days following the death of the black man in handcuffs on May 25 while in police custody caused extensive damage to cities across the country – an estimated $ 500 million in Minneapolis-St. Paul is alone.
“That’s why I would have been more concerned,” Johnson said in a statement.
Democrats seeking a two-term senatorial seat next year were quick to call him.
“Ron Johnson is a racist and is not trained to serve the people of Wisconsin. No context is missing here. I knew what he was saying, I knew he shouldn’t say it, but that’s what he is, ”said Alex Lasry, a Milwaukee Bucks executive.
Tom Nelson, the Outagamie County executive who is also seeking the Democratic nomination, said Johnson has reached “a new despicable low” with his comments.