KY House Candidate Dan Johnson Proud Of His Online Racism

Dan Johnson Kentucky House candidate

A candidate for the 49th district state House seat in Kentucky would rather lose his election than admit his racism is wrong. Speaking to local news affiliate WDRB, state House GOP candidate Dan Johnson thinks posting racist memes about the Obama family to Facebook isn’t racist. It’s “entertaining,” he told reporters.

Dan Johnson Kentucky House candidate

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Johnson’s troubles began when he began posting images of the Obamas compared to chimpanzees and monkeys (among other racist posts).

Johnson – a bishop at the Heart of Fire Church in Louisville – doesn’t see anything wrong with his publication of racist memes and Confederate flags.

“I love America. I love people. I believe red, yellow, black and white, all are precious in God’s sight. I’m not a racist,” he told WDRB. That opinion appears to contradict his church’s sign that reads,  “Jesus and this church are not politically correct.”

Dan Johnson Kentucky House candidate

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When pressed about the images on his Facebook account, Johnson became defensive. “Well, I’d like to know first off, what images that are being considered offensive,” he said.

After being shown the offensive and racist imagery, he replied, “It wasn’t meant to be racist. I can tell you that. My history’s good there. I can see how people would be offended in that. I wasn’t trying to offend anybody, but, I think Facebook’s entertaining.”

He went on to call the images satire demonstrating he has no idea what the word satire actually means.

Dan Johnson Kentucky House candidate

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“I looked this up. There has been no president that hasn’t had that scrutiny. Not one. I think it would be racist not to do the same for President Obama as we’ve done for every other president,” Johnson added.

WDRB also questioned his publication of Confederate flag images.

“That flag was for state rights. The reason it is under attack now is we’re being attacked as state rights and constitutionalists. We are being attacked,” Johnson said.

Dan Johnson Kentucky House candidate

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For the record, the flag currently called the ‘Confederate flag’ didn’t actually become known as the symbol of the Confederacy until after the South lost the war. We previously wrote on the flag’s sordid history noting:

The Confederate flag – while not the official flag of the Confederate States of America – came to become the most noted flag of that rebellion following the South’s loss of the war.

It’s history doesn’t stop there though. The Dixiecrat party – the racist Southern wing of the Democratic party that would later be folded into the Republican party as a part of the Southern Strategy – actually adopted the flag as their resistance to federalism in 1948.

Following that, the Confederate battle flag everyone knows and recognizes took on a new life in the 1950’s and 1960’s during the civil rights movement as it was flown to oppose advances in racial equality. During that time the state of Georgia used it in the 1956 redesign of its state flag to support continued segregation. That era is also when the KKK began heavily using the flag at rallies as a symbol of purity and unity.

Speaking of “purity and unity,” Johnson also posted disconcerting messages and images about Muslims on his Facebook page as well arguing they don’t deserve the full protections the First Amendment afford all citizens.

Dan Johnson Kentucky House candidate

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“My thing for Islam, if you want to be in America, be an American. The thing about all religions in America, they don’t oppose America or want to destroy America, or some way or another get us to take on another law, like Sharia law. I hate that,” Johnson argued.

Because, as we all know, “be an American” is just another dog whistle for Christian Dominionist ‘my way or the highway’ speak among Christians who would use the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious freedom to impose their personal beliefs on the nation.

Though he proudly defended his racist, xenophobic and Islamophobic statements on camera (even going so far as to say “I want to be myself. I would rather be myself than be elected as state representative of the 49th”) he has since deleted the majority of the offensive messages and images on his account.

The Kentucky GOP has denounced Johnson’s statements though they’ve made no effort to curb his racist enthusiasm or ask him to step down. In a statement released by party chairman Mac Brown, the Kentucky Republican Party stated:

“Dan Johnson’s comments and social media posts are outrageous and have no place in today’s political discourse.  They represent the rankest sort of prejudice present in our society and do not in any way, shape or form represent the views of the Republican Party of Kentucky or the many fine candidates representing us on the ballot this November.  I want to apologize to the members of Kentucky’s African-American community and assure them that this man’s opinions do not reflect those of this Party.  We are proud to carry on our heritage as the party of Lincoln and we will continue to fight for the freedoms of each and every Kentuckian, regardless of race, to thrive and flourish here in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.”

Kentucky Democratic Party Chairperson Sannie Overly offered more biting remarks in a statement saying:

“Racism does not deserve a slap on the wrist or a second chance. The Kentucky Republican Party Chairman has called these comments outrageous and that they ‘represent the rankest sort of prejudice present in our society’, and I agree. The only decent option would be for this candidate to withdraw from seeking a role as a lawmaker and representative of the people of Kentucky.”

Here’s the WDRB interview with Johnson:

Tim Peacock is the Managing Editor and founder of Peacock Panache and has worked as a civil rights advocate for over twenty years. During that time he’s worn several hats including leading on campus LGBT advocacy in the University of Missouri campus system, interning with the Colorado Civil Rights Division, and volunteering at advocacy organizations. You can learn more about him at his personal website.

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