Bob Menendez calls Ron Johnson a 'racist' on the Senate floor: 'Like rubbing salt in an open wound'
Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) did not mince words when it came to sharing his opinion of Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) and his remarks about the U.S. Capitol riots that erupted on Jan. 6.
On Tuesday, March 16, Menendez appeared on the Senate floor where he lambasted the Republican senator for his remarks during a conservative talk show where he insisted that he was not afraid of the Capitol rioters simply because they were not members of Black Lives Matter or Antifa.
According to Menendez, the remarks suggest that he is "a racist," reports NBC News. The senator did not hold back when he offered his opinion of Johnson's remarks.
"Look, I get no one likes to be called racist, but sometimes there's just no other way to describe the use of bigoted tropes that for generations have threatened Black lives by stoking white fear of African Americans and Black men in particular," Menendez said on the Senate floor.
Menendez went on to discuss the United States' sordid volatile history of oppression and discrimination against people of color. The Democratic lawmaker continued, "I don't think the senator is ignorant of the fact that for centuries in this country white supremacy has thrived on using fear to justify oppression, discrimination, and violence against people of color. I do, however, think my colleague may be ignorant of the pain caused by his comments and unaware of how they compound the trauma that so many still feel in the wake of the events of January 6."
The lawmaker went on to acknowledge that he's broken from Senate appropriacy with his speech. However, he seemed to defend his actions arguing that we "often twist ourselves into pretzels to avoid saying anything that might be interpreted as a criticism of another senator."
Menendez also revealed he'd personally received a letter from one of his longtime aides, who is Black, verbalizing concerns about the Wisconsin lawmaker's choice of words. Before reading his aide's letter, Menendez said, "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."
Bob Menendez just called out racist Ron Johnson over his BLM comments...https://t.co/68MPbabyf2— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@Rex Chapman🏇🏼) 1615933603
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