MSNBC host Joe Scarborough criticized Republican Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson on Monday over comments he made about the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
“There’s nothing subconscious about this racism,” Scarborough said during the broadcast of “Morning Joe.” The senator claimed he would be more concerned for his personal safety if the Capitol rioters had been members of Black Lives Matter or antifa. (RELATED: Joe Scarborough: Ron Johnson ‘Not Worthy To Be A United States Senator’)
The segment began with a video clip of Johnson discussing the riot on “The Joe Pags Show.” He stated he knew the rioters were people who “loved this country” and “respect law enforcement,” and if the tables were turned and “those were tens of thousands of Black Lives Matter and antifa protesters,” then he might have been concerned.
“First of all, let’s get a couple of things straight. So that guy, Ron Johnson, said that the people who were bashing law enforcement officers’ brains in with American flags and cracking their skulls … these are the people that Ron Johnson says truly respect law enforcement. No, they actually brutalized law enforcement,” Scarborough said after the video.
He went on to say that “there’s nothing subconscious about this racism” and that it’s just “overt bigotry” because Johnson is “more concerned by Black Lives Matter marchers than he is with white rioters.”
“And here’s the takeaway that I think is actually the most disturbing part of this. Ron Johnson wants his listeners to know that he’s a bigot,” Scarborough continued. “He wants his listeners to know that he’s more afraid of black marchers, black protesters than he is with white rioters, white seditionists, white terrorists who brutalize police officers and commit sedition against the United States of America.”
Sharpton concluded the discussion explaining that it’s “unbelievable” Johnson is sitting in the U.S. Senate and has no problem at all being a “proud, proclaimed bigot.” He added that Johnson’s words were “expressions of the Confederacy” and something “that 150 years ago Jefferson Davis would have been applauding.”
Johnson has received heavy criticism from Democratic lawmakers over his comments in the Thursday interview, including from his home state of Wisconsin. Democratic Rep. Mark Pocan called him “racist” and said he should be “ashamed.”
So let me get this straight @SenRonJohnson, armed white domestic terrorists attacking the nation’s Capitol are just “patriots,” but Black people protesting for their lives are scary & violent?
Being unapologetically racist is not something to be proud of—you should be ashamed. https://t.co/FKbMEaY6Sd
— Rep. Mark Pocan (@repmarkpocan) March 13, 2021
Johnson hasn’t yet responded to the criticism from Democrats.