The litany of screams that is the Republican National Convention trudges into night two on Tuesday, with a lineup of speakers including First Lady Melania Trump (from her new and gloomy rose garden), Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (in a legally questionable conflict of interest, at least according to Democrats), a Trump campaign adviser who’s been retweeting anti-Semitic QAnon conspiracy theories, and Abby Johnson. Who is she, you ask? An anti-abortion activist whose factually dubious memoir inspired the anti-abortion propaganda film, Unplanned. No surprise, then, that Johnson bills herself as staunchly “pro-life” — as long as we are talking about white lives, it seems.
On Tuesday, Vice resurfaced a YouTube video Johnson posted in late June, against a backdrop of national anti-racist protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. In the video, she says that police would be “smart” to racially profile her biracial “brown son,” whom she and her husband adopted when he was born.
“Right now, Jude is an adorable, perpetually tan-looking little brown boy,” Johnson, who described herself as “a very white person,” said. “But one day, he’s going to grow up and he’s going to be a tall, probably sort of large, intimidating-looking-maybe brown man. And my other boys are probably gonna look like nerdy white guys.” She continued:
Statistically, 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 Jude walking down the road — as opposed to my white nerdy kids, my white nerdy men walking down the road — because of the statistics that he knows in his head, that these police officers know in their head, they’re going to know that, statistically, my brown son is more likely to commit a violent offense over my white sons.
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.
Of course, what Johnson is actually referring to here is systemic racism — white people walking around with myths in their heads about Black people being dangerous and violent. They’re myths that white people created in service of a racial hierarchy, and which are not supported by actual FBI data. Or, you know. Statistics.