Michigan State Rep. Cynthia Johnson will no longer serve on her committees thanks to punishment doled out by Republican state officials this week. Johnson, a Democrat, wound up in hot water after she posted a video to Facebook on Tuesday in which she issued a not-so-veiled threat to Trump supporters challenging the results of the election.
“So this is just a warning to you Trumpers. Be careful, walk lightly, we ain’t playing with you. Enough of the shenanigans. Enough is enough,” she said. “And for those of you who are soldiers, you know how to do it. Do it right, be in order, make them pay.”
Johnson was inspired to issue the threat – and, as far as we can see, an actual call to violence – after receiving threats and insults from various people. She shared those messages on Facebook, highlighting one antagonist who called her a “ghetto hood rat” and hoped that she would “choke on a chicken bone.” Another person left her a voicemail saying, “I hope you like burning crosses in your front yard.”
But while there’s certainly no excuse of justification for this kind of racist taunting, we’ll be in for disappointment if we expect the best out of each and every person. Not to mention the fact – the FACT – that about half the time a black person alleges racism, it turns out to be some sort of self-perpetuated hoax. We wouldn’t be surprised in the least if that’s the case here, but even if it isn’t, it doesn’t excuse what Rep. Johnson said in the video.
“Threats to Democrats or Republicans are unacceptable and un-American,” said State House Speaker Lee Chatfield. “They’re even more unbecoming of an elected official. Rep. Johnson has been stripped of her committees and we’re looking into further disciplinary action as the proper authorities conduct their investigation.”
Johnson’s remarks were also met with condemnation from Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel.
“The threats Rep. Johnson has received are appalling, ugly and deeply disturbing, but her response to those messages is also unacceptable and I strongly condemn both,” said Nessel. “As Michiganders, and as Americans, we cannot allow hateful rhetoric from a few individuals to drag the masses down into a spiral of unjust actions. It is never acceptable for anyone – especially a public servant – to incite violence or to threaten others with harm.”
Well, condemnation is one thing, but with an infraction of this severity, Johnson may be in for worse than losing her committees and a slap on the wrist. Calling on military personnel to “make them pay”? Yeah, that’s well over the line.