‘Come on!’ Speaker Mike Johnson’s previous comments on George Floyd spark conservative debate

The reaction to Rep. Mike Johnson’s appointment as House speaker has been extremely divided save for one constant: deep-rooted anger.

For those on the right, the anger stems from remarks Johnson made during an interview with “Amanpour & Company” in the days right after Minneapolis criminal George Floyd’s death in mid-2020.

During the interview, he claimed that Floyd was “murdered,” that his adopted black son has a harder life than his white son because of the color of his skin, and that so-called systemic racism exists and needs to be addressed.


Asked about Floyd’s death, he said, “I was outraged. I don’t think anyone can view the video and objectively come to any other conclusion but that it was an act of murder. And I felt that initially, as everyone did and it’s so disturbing.”

“And, you know, the underlying issues beneath that are something that the country is now struggling with. And I think it’s something we have to look at very soberly and with a lot of empathy. And I’m glad to see that’s happening around the country,” he continued.

Later during the interview, he began talking about his sons — one of them a black adopted boy, and the other his natural son.

“You know, what it’s taught me is we now have four other children of our own. And my oldest son, Jack, ironically, this year is 14. And I’ve thought often through all these ordeals over the last couple of weeks about the difference in the experiences between my two 14-year-old sons, Michael being a black American and Jack being white Caucasian. They have different challenges. My son Jack has an easier path. He just does,”  he said.

“The interesting thing about both of these kids, Michael and Jack, is they’re both handsome, articulate, really talented kids, gifted by God to do lots of things. But the reality is and no one can tell me otherwise, my son Michael had a harder time than my son Jack is going to have simply because of the color of his skin. And that’s a reality. It’s an uncomfortable, painful one to acknowledge, but people have to recognize that’s a fact,” he added.

Johnson also posted the following tweet after Floyd’s death:

To be fair, the interview was conducted and the tweet posted right after Floyd died, when virtually everybody thought he’d been murdered by the police. Years later, that narrative is now in question due to reports suggesting Floyd may have died of an overdose.

And indeed, many were quick to point this out to Matt Walsh and other right-wing commenters who were rightly bothered by Johnson’s remarks.


Over on the left meanwhile, anger is brewing because Johnson is too right-wing for the likes of House Minority Speaker Leader Hakeem Jeffries and crew.

“I don’t know Mike Johnson well. Based on his track record, he appears to be an extreme right-wing ideologue,” Jeffries said Wednesday on CNN.

“Mike Johnson wants to criminalize abortion care and impose a nationwide ban. Mike Johnson was one of the chief architects of trying to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. Mike Johnson also wants to end Social Security and Medicare as we know it. Those are extreme views, and House Democrats will push back aggressively against that,” he added.


Ironically, Jeffries’ attack on Johnson made the new speaker’s critics feel a lot better about him having been elected into the position.



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Vivek Saxena


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