On October 4, 2017, Army Sergeant La David T. Johnson was killed in action in Niger. His body was recovered two days later on October 6th, and his wife Myeshia Johnson waited with her two children for his return to US soil for burial. What should have been a straightforward and tragic story of a young family mourning the loss of an American hero, unfortunately turned into Donald Trump’s newest smear campaign — this time against Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL).
Now, all anyone can talk about is a three to five minute call between Donald Trump and Myeshia Johnson, and the flurry of soundbites, statements and commentary around Rep. Frederica Wilson’s defense of Myeshia and attack of Trump’s insensitive language and general obliviousness.
In those three to five minutes, Donald Trump seemed unsure over Sgt. Johnson’s name, referring to him as “your guy” to Ms. Johnson, and said Sgt. Johnson “knew what he signed up for," accoring to Myeshia Johnson. The cruelty of speaking to a Gold Star widow this way highlights Trump’s lack of human emotion and inability to lead. Rep. Frederica Wilson heard the entire conversation between Trump and Mrs. Johnson, because she was in the car with Johnson made the call, and hasn’t been mincing her words: “The White House itself is full of white supremacists.”
The racial components to this are undeniable: Four US Army soldiers were killed in action in Niger, but only one of them is black, with a black wife, black kids, and within the district of a black Congresswoman. It is no coincidence that this particular soldier and family have faced the harshest of "condolences" from the White House. Trump has been tweeting for days, literally, about “wacky” Wilson, attacking her for “secretly” listening in on the call (except the phone was on speaker purposefully so the whole car could hear) and claiming she is “killing the Democratic Party” (except, like, Trump is clearly the decline of our entire political landscape). All Rep. Wilson has been doing is calling Trump a disgusting, awful, liar of a President — which is true. Wilson told MSNBC, “not only does [Trump] owe me an apology, he owes an apology to the American people, because when he lied on me, he lied to them,” referring to Trump’s accusation that Wilson is lying about Trump’s phrasing and tone during his condolence call to Ms. Johnson.
Congresswoman Wilson isn’t lying. It would serve her no purpose but to hurt the Johnson family, who she is close to. Rep. Wilson was in the car at the time of Trump’s call because she is a family friend who was offering condolences and support, she told the New York Times. She witnessed Myeshia Johnson openly weeping in the fetal position during this call. Wilson was there when Johnson hung up and sobbed to the family and friends in the car, “He [Trump] didn’t even know his [La David Johnson’s] name.” To make matters worse, Trump then sent out General John Kelly, chief of staff, to the press and shot everyone in the foot. Kelly called Congresswoman Wilson an “empty barrel,” further suggesting she is taking advantage of this press for personal gain. Wilson quickly responded by calling Kelly a “puppet for the president” which seems increasingly true, since Kelly’s comments referencing a 2014 speech by Wilson have been proven false by a literal video of her exact words. Do people in the White House not realize the internet has all the receipts?
Rep. Wilson isn’t taking advantage of the moment for personal gain, as Trump is accusing her of doing. She is taking advantage of her privilege as a Congresswoman to address Trump’s racism, insincerity and inability to lead.
Over a dozen black female congresswomen have together released a statement condemning Kelly’s comments and demanding an apology because “Congresswoman Wilson’s integrity and credibility should not be challenged or undermined by such blatant lies.” The women of the CBC (Congressional Black Caucus) have stood up for their fellow CBC member, Congresswoman Wilson, in the fight against Trump’s unjustified attacks of her and his comments about Sgt. Johnson’s death to his mourning wife.
As loud as their voices are, the silence from white Congresspeople is deafening.
Congress has an obligation to defend and represent the citizens of this country, especially when the Commander in Chief seems more like a Commander of Twitter Temper Tantrums. Congress has an obligation to refute these lies and defend Congresswoman Wilson’s accurate description of events, because the truth will set of free.
Trump may be trying to spin another story away from him, focusing all blame and attention on Congresswoman Wilson, but it all comes down to him: Why did you send these troops to Niger, Mr. President? Why did Army Sergeant La David Johnson die? Why was his body not recovered for two days? Why do you think that’s what he signed up for?
Rest in Power, Sergeant La David Johnson. And Myeshia Johnson, Congresswoman Wilson and the women of the CBC have got your back.
Header Photo via Wikicommons/Science Democrats
Second Photo via youtube.com/MSNBC
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big haired nerd who likes to talk about books, politics, coffee and anything else you can think of. Be warned of shennanigans: follow me on twitter @BRIawesome