A Small Footnote to the Abby Johnson Debacle
For those unaware, Abby Johnson, a big fish in a small pond of “prolife” MAGA Catholic celebs and conservative folk heroes, decided deliver herself of some views on race and so forth. It didn’t go well, as Simcha Fisher reports:
Wearing sweatpants and a T-shirt printed with lyrics by Vanilla Ice, Johnson said in the video that her son is now an “adorable, perpetually tan-looking little brown boy [but] one day he’s gonna grow up and he’s going to be a tall, probably sort of large, intimidating-looking, maybe, brown man.”
Johnson said that while her four other sons “are probably gonna look like nerdy white guys,” her biracial son will likely be racially profiled by police when he grows up.
“That doesn’t make me angry,” Johnson said.
“I realized I’m gonna have to have a different conversation with [my son] than I do with my nerdy white kids,” she said.
With the voices of her children audible in the background, Johnson explained that she knows black men are more likely to be incarcerated for crimes than white men, and because of this, a “smart” police officer will be more careful around her “brown” son than around her white ones.
“I look at our prison population and I see that there is a disproportionately high number of African-American males in our prison population for crimes, particularly for violent crimes; so statistically, when a police officer sees a brown man like my [child’s name] walking down the road, as opposed to my white nerdy kids … these police officers know in their head … that statistically my brown son is more likely to commit a violent offense over my white sons. Okay. So the fact that, in his head, he would be more careful around my brown son than my white son, that doesn’t actually make me angry. That makes that police officer smart, because of statistics,” she said.
“I’m a researcher by nature,” Johnson said.
But although black men are incarcerated at a much higher rate than white men, it’s not clear, as Johnson suggests, that they are more criminally inclined.
Although black and white men use drugs at about the same rate, black men are incarcerated almost six times more often for drug charges.
Black men are also more likely to be given longer sentences than white men who commit the same crime.
Johnson did not cite these statistics in her video. Johnson said that, according to her research, high rates of incarceration of black men is caused by black fatherlessness. She then claimed that, according to her research, there is a push to make black fatherlessness culturally acceptable.
“There are studies out there that are trying to redefine black fatherhood. They are essentially saying that the seventy percent number is a lie because black fatherhood looks different than white fatherhood; that black fatherhood actually does look like a black man coming in and out of the home and not being a consistent presence in the home, and that version of fatherhood is equivalent to a white father being consistently in the home,” she said.
“Okay, I don’t want to cuss on here, but that is B.S., and that is racist,” Johnson continued.
“[B]lack fathers do not get a pass. Just because it is culturally different, just because black fathers don’t want to be in the home, and culturally it has been acceptable for them to be with multiple women,” she said.
Johnson did not specify which studies she read that attempt to redefine black fatherhood.
Apparently referring to the ongoing racial unrest following the killing of Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd, Johnson said, “Yeah, we’ve got big issues right now in the black community, but at the root of it the root is not with bad cops. The root starts in the home.”
“It’s not because of bad cops, [but] because of bad dads,” she said.
Apparently referring to the ongoing racial unrest following the killing of Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd, Johnson said, “Yeah, we’ve got big issues right now in the black community, but at the root of it the root is not with bad cops. The root starts in the home.” “It’s not because of bad cops, [but] because of bad dads,” she said. The video’s settings were changed to “private” a few hours after it was published.
In 2019, she called a black minister, Bishop Talbert Swan, “Tyrone,” a “thug,” and “a stain on the black community,” and told him she would educate him on “real racism.” In the same thread, she called a black woman “LaFonda.”
In the course of the interview, Johnson decided that when you hit bottom, keep digging:
SF: What study were you referring to, when you said you read that black men aren’t expected to be monogamous or raise their children?
AJ: I’ve seen several of them. There’s quite a few out there that show basically redefining black fatherhood, sort of showing that black fatherhood expectations are different. The expectation is different in black homes than in white homes. That was surprising to me. For me, fatherhood is fatherhood. It was just interesting to see that people were trying to differentiate fatherhood based on race. I talked about that with some of my black friends, and they were really appalled by that. They were really outraged. I’ve had several discussions with one of my friends in particular about that. We both said this is something that needs to be addressed, by not just the black community but by everyone.
SF: Do you think black people might see your video and start to think differently about fatherhood?
AJ: I don’t know. Right now, tensions are very high, and I think in general, if you’re a white person and you’re not part of the Black Lives Matter movement, which I’m not, then your opinion is not valued. You’re seen as a racist. You’ve done a good job to paint me as that, anyway. I’m sure this article will do the same. I think if you’re not on this “social justice warrior woke” train of thought, you’re considered a racist. I don’t think that’s fair. I can’t remember a time in my life where I’ve ever discriminated against someone because of their race. I can’t remember a time when ever in my life I have acted on any sort of prejudice. Of course we all have fleeting prejudiced thoughts that we all have to check. That’s something we all have. I just can’t ever recall a time in my life when I’ve actually been racist toward someone. But I think we’re living in times where it is the popular thing to call someone a racist. If your views don’t align with someone, you call them a racist, and if you disagree with what they say, you call them a racist.
Fisher followed this up by doing what Johnson, for all her claims of “research” never seems to have bothered to do: talk to some black Catholics. I urge you to go to Simcha’s site for the interviews. It’s fascinating.
Meanwhile, I just want to make a small footnote to all this. It has to do with a favorite tactic of the Pious Reactionary whenever they get caught swallowing camels like racism. Namely, they strain at aesthetic gnats. To wit: here is a lovely piece of art:
Not super hard to understand. “Inasmuch as you did it to the least of these, you did it to me.”
So, naturally, Johnson managed to respond this way:
Somehow or other she was able to decide that the artist was declaring George Floyd to be God and not (as any sane person understands) that the artist was urging Christ’s identification with all those unjustly killed, as for instance, this monument to Our Lady of Katyn does for Polish troops murdered by Stalin:
This is so extremely not hard to understand that it takes a tremendous amount of will power not to see it, but that is just the sort of thing the Greatest Catholics of All Time excel at when they put their backs into it. So much energy was expended by the Defenders of Abby Johnson to transfer their rage away from, you know, innocent people murdered by cops for being black and into the extreme nitnoid details of a piece of art.
“Is it okay to substitute a human creature for God? Is it okay to effectively label a human creature as God the Creator?” they cried in fake outrage.
Here’s the deal. As a general rule, artists operating within the tradition of eastern Christianity would not use the halo on the black victim’s head (or on any saint’s head including Mary’s) since it designates the figure as Jesus Christ himself. But guess what? Not every artist operates within that tradition and, as I have said before, images are polyvalent and can have lots of meanings. There is no Bureau of Weights and Measures for art. Very clearly, the point of this image is not the monumentally stupid claim (made only by Johnson and her monumentally stupid defenders) that “George Floyd is the incarnate Son of the Living God and Second Person of the Trinity” which would indeed be blasphemous. Very obviously, the point is that in murdering George Floyd, Christ was suffocated in one of his little brothers.
And just as clearly, all the fake outrage about “blasphemy” was intended to distract from Johnson bizarre views on race and gin up an attack on those who are critical of racism and the murder of black people. Make a note of that strategy: straining at aesthetic gnats while swallowing moral camels is a fave with the Greatest Catholics of All Time.
And now back to the gigantic camel of racism:
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