Prominent Iowa Republican Jamie Johnson resigned yesterday as leader of the Department of Homeland Security’s Center for Faith-Based & Neighborhood Partnerships, after CNN exposed a pattern of racist statements and “inflammatory remarks about Islam” between 2008 and 2016.
Johnson told CNN his past comments “do not represent my views personally or professionally”; “Having witnessed leaders from the entire faith spectrum work to empower their communities I now see things much differently.”
Whatever Johnson believes today, his generalizations about lazy, promiscuous, drug-using African Americans and Muslims who “want to cut our heads off” didn’t attract any special notice, let alone condemnation, in Iowa GOP circles. Republican activists elected the reverend to serve multiple terms on the party’s State Central Committee. Presidential candidates also sought Johnson’s support. He worked for Rick Santorum before the 2012 caucuses and for Rick Perry and Donald Trump at various times during the 2016 election cycle.
As a Jew, I want to express my utmost contempt for how Johnson praised American Jewish culture as a rhetorical device while denigrating other minority groups.