Steve August 28, 2020
did-an-rnc-speaker-say-her-biracial-son-‘might-grow-up-to-be-a-large-intimidating-brown-man,’-and-her-‘biological-kids’-to-be-‘white-and-nerdy’?

On August 26 2020, the Facebook page “This American Carnage” shared the following meme, which purportedly shows a quote from Republican National Convention (RNC) speaker Abby Johnson on her biracial son growing up as a “large, intimidating brown man,” and describing her other sons as “white and nerdy”:

 

At the bottom and center left was a photograph of Abby Johnson. On the right, text read:

“Statistically, my brown son is more likely to commit a violent offense over my white sons.”

My biracial son might grow up to be a large intimidating brown man, while my biological kids grow up to be white and nerdy.”

Text at the top read:

RNC SPEAKER Abby Johnson, who has an adopted biracial son, on why the police should racially profile black and brown people.

No citations accompanied the post.

Broader Discourse about Abby Johnson and Her Sons

Variations on similar claims about Johnson spread as attention turned during the RNC in August 2020.

On Twitter, similar (but not identical) comments were attributed to Johnson:

Abby Johnson’s Video Comments

In the August 25 2020 article linked above, The Grio paraphrased Johnson and attributed the remarks to a purportedly deleted June 2020 video. The Grio referenced an anti-abortion blogger’s coverage of the video, which was said to be live for “hours” before Johnson allegedly deleted it in June 2020:

The video, currently viewable on Vice [as of August 25 2020], Johnson [went] on a 15-minute rant against Black fatherhood to justify police racism.

“Statistically, my brown son is more likely to commit a violent offense over my white sons,” she remarks in the video, detailing how she believes a “smart” officer is more alert when approaching Black and brown subjects.

“I recognize that I’m gonna have to have a different conversation with Jude than I do with my brown-haired little Irish, very, very pale-skinned, white sons, as they grow up.”

The 39-year-old continues to describe how her adopted biracial son will maybe grow up to be a “large and intimidating looking brown man,” while her biological children will grow up to be “white and nerdy.”

[…]

“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 Jude walking down the road, as opposed to my white nerdy kids, these police officers know in their head, that statistically, my brown son is more likely to commit a violent offense over my white sons,” she [said].

In the excerpt, The Grio partially excerpted the video and referenced reporting by Vice, whose reporting — also published on August 25 2020 — embedded a since-deleted video; however, we discovered that the clip originally embedded by Vice was different from the one uploaded and allegedly deleted by Johnson in June 2020:

“I recognize that I’m gonna have to have a different conversation with Jude than I do with my brown-haired little Irish, very, very pale-skinned, white sons, as they grow up,” Abby Johnson, a prominent anti-abortion activist, said in a 15-plus-minutes video posted to YouTube in late June [2020], after weeks of nationwide protests against the police killing of George Floyd.

“Right now, Jude is an adorable, perpetually tan-looking little brown boy,” said Johnson, whose husband blogged, in 2015, about adopting their biracial son at his birth. Johnson is white. “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.”

Whereas the meme quoted Johnson slightly differently:

“Statistically, my brown son is more likely to commit a violent offense over my white sons.

“My biracial son might grow up to be a large intimidating brown man, while my biological kids grow up to be white and nerdy.”

In May 2019, Johnson tweeted to United States President Tweety McTreason about her son:

A June 26 2020 Daily Caller post indicated the video was uploaded one day prior, on June 25 2020, and linked to a copy of the clip that was not actually deleted as of August 28 2020. The clip was uploaded by Johnson on her channel, and marked “unlisted,” archived here and titled “My thoughts on fatherhood.”

Johnson’s video had been viewed 15,362 times as of August 28 2020. In it, she said:

As many of you know, I have a biracial son. His name is Jude. He is just … in my opinion, the most adorable little brown boy you will ever see in your life. He looks like he has a perpetual tan, he has the most gorgeous hair on the planet, and he love love loves his brown skin …

[…]

I’ve got five boys and eight children … five boys, three girls … as a mom of three boys, one of those boys being biracial … I recognize that I’m going to have to have a different conversation with Jude …

[…]

Because right now, Jude is an adorable, perpetually tan looking little brown boy, but one day he’s gonna 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. And so I realize that I’m gonna have to have a different conversation with Jude than I do with my nerdy white kids … and you know what? That doesn’t make me angry …

[…]

… why? Because I look at statistics over emotion, okay? Now, I’ll tell you what does make me angry in a minute, but right now I’m going to look at statistics over emotion.

Johnson continued, indicating “brown” men are disproportionately incarcerated (“particularly for violent crimes”), and continued:

… 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. ‘Kay?

So the fact that in his head [the police officer] 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.

Now, if he treats my brown son violently — more violently — than my white son, that makes me angry. But if he’s on more high alert with my brown son than he is with my white son, that doesn’t make me angry … because … that’s just smart … because of statistics, okay?

Now if he’s … if he acts in an unjust manner to my brown son than my white son, that makes me angry. But statistically, if he’s on more high alert, that — I’m not angry about that. So I recognize that I have to have a different conversation with Jude, I recognize I’m going to have to talk to him about how to behave when he gets pulled over …

From that point, Johnson went on to claim definitively that Black men are incarcerated at a higher rate due to “fatherlessness … in black homes.”

Johnson’s video was just over 15 minutes long, and it wasn’t clear if she specifically described her white sons as her biological sons. However, she and her husband previously spoke about Jude’s adoption and the circumstances under which he was conceived.

Johnson’s Husband Doug’s Blog Post About Adopting Jude

In May 2015, Johnson’s husband Doug published a blog post, “Adopting Jude: From Absolutely Not To Let’s Do This!”

That post discussed the couple’s decision to adopt Jude in 2015, and he wrote:

Abby took me back to the beginning. Her best friend, Kris, knew a gal in a crisis situation who needed a family to adopt her baby. A baby who was coming SOON! (1 month, to be more specific.) Kris knew the birth mother well. She interprets her church service for the deaf. Jude’s birth mother just happens to be deaf. The birth mother, let’s call her Diana, knew about Abby and our family through Kris. She thought very highly of Abby and was very comfortable with the idea of us adopting her baby. Again, I started with the questions…

Abby shared more about Diana’s situation with me. She already had 3 kids, but was separated from her husband. While they were separated, Diana began seeing another man who treated her well at first. Unfortunately, Diana hadn’t been treated well by a man for a long time, if ever. Unfortuantely, it didn’t take long for her to realize that he had a pretty bad drinking habit. When she called him out on that, things turned violent. On multiple occasions, he assaulted her, and then one of her kids. I don’t want to say too much, but thankfully, this guy is going to prison for his actions.

Doug Johnson also described his initial mixed feelings about adopting Jude, adding:

Once [he and Abby] came to an understanding of where the other was coming from, we agreed to see if any other families would step up first. Kris told us there were a couple other families interested, but not for sure. None of these families ended up working out for various reasons. Out of respect for Diana I won’t list the stupid questions they asked, but it was pretty evident that they were not interested in any baby who wasn’t the right color, gender, or who we could absolutely guarantee would be 100% healthy. There are no guarantees in parenting, bio parenting or adoption.

Johnson concluded:

There are several reasons why I agreed to adopt [Jude], but ultimately it came down to one thing. Every time I looked five, ten, thirty years down the road, I couldn’t see my life without this child. In my heart and in my head I had already made him part of our family. In my mind’s eye, I saw him playing in the yard with our other boys. I could imagine his high school graduation and fixing his tie before his wedding. There were visions of my dad teaching him to shoot a gun and ride a horse. At this point, there was no way I could say no. How could I remove him from my heart when he already had such a firm grip on it? For Abby, it was instant, but for me it took some time. I needed to be reminded of how awesome our little family is. That our children love each other and we all take care of each other. Like Abby says, we are open to all life. That includes the lives that God injects into our lives out of the clear blue sky. Sometimes you have to forget the script, allow yourself to be uncomfortable, and ride the wave.

Summary

After Abby Johnson was slated to speak at the August 2020 RNC, comments she made in a June 2020 video she set to “unlisted” went viral. A meme quoted Johnson as saying:

Statistically, my brown son is more likely to commit a violent offense over my white sons.

My biracial son might grow up to be a large intimidating brown man, while my biological kids grow up to be white and nerdy.

In the relevant portion of the video, Johnson said:

… 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.

Although the wording was slightly different and perhaps paraphrased, it was true Johnson said “statistically, my brown son is more likely to commit a violent offense over my white son[s],” and described her biological sons as likely to grow up to be “white and nerdy” men.

The post Did an RNC Speaker Say Her Biracial Son ‘Might Grow Up to be a Large Intimidating Brown Man,’ and Her ‘Biological Kids’ to be ‘White and Nerdy’? appeared first on Truth or Fiction?.

Read More