Skip to main content

Racist Senator Ron Johnson Booed at Juneteenth Celebration in Milwaukee

The Wisconsin Republican blocked legislation to make Juneteenth a national holiday in 2020.

ron johnson

Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson was booed by a crowd of people at a Juneteenth celebration in Milwaukee. Attendees shouted “We don’t want you here,” as Johnson tried to pose for photos and glad-hand with the crowd. The Trump-loving senator frankly should have seen this coming, considering he blocked bipartisan legislation to make Juneteenth a federal holiday only last year. John only conceded last week and changed his stance, remarking, “While it still seems strange that having taxpayers provide federal employees paid time off is now required to celebrate the end of slavery, it is clear that there is no appetite in Congress to further discuss the matter.”

So Johnson really thought he was welcome to attend a celebration for a holiday he previously refused to acknowledge? I can’t decide whether this is purely audacity or a complete and utter disconnect from his constituency. Maybe both. Johnson commented on his cold reception saying it’s “not how you heal the nation.” He added, “You come down here and try to interact with people and be nice to people. But this isn’t very nice, is it?” Wow, you think, Ronald?

But Johnson has done much more than singlehandedly delaying the bill to make Juneteenth a federal holiday. In an appearance on “The Joe Pags Show,” Johnson downplayed the January 6 insurrection attempt on the Capitol, where he described the mob as people who “truly respect law enforcement” and “loved this country.” Because nothing says patriotism like vandalizing the Capitol, murdering a police officer, and assaulting over 100 more.

Johnson not only lied about the Capitol attack, but then tried to smear the Black Lives Matter movement saying, “Now, had the tables been turned, now, Joe, this will get me in trouble, had the tables been turned and President Trump won the election and those were tens of thousands of Black Lives Matter and antifa protesters, I might have been a little concerned.”

Johnson’s comments were roundly criticized and called out for their blatant racism. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) called Johnson “racist” on the Senate chamber floor, adding “”For one of our colleagues to cast those who attacked the Capitol as harmless patriots while stoking the fear of Black Americans is like rubbing salt in an open wound.”

Johnson was roundly mocked on Twitter for showing up to the celebration:

Johnson is up for re-election in 2022, in what will surely be a highly competitive race. Biden secured a victory in the state in the 2020 presidential election with a narrow 0.63% margin over Trump. And given Johnson’s unpopularity, democrats consider his seat flippable. To find out more about the campaign against Ron Johnson, check out the Wisconsin Democrats.

(via Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, image: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Want more stories like this? Become a subscriber and support the site!

The Mary Sue has a strict comment policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling.—

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow The Mary Sue:

Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.