The head of faith-based and neighborhood partnerships at the Department of Homeland Security has said in the past that the black community is responsible for turning cities into “slums” and argued that Islam’s only contribution to society was “oil and dead bodies,” a CNN KFile review of his time as a radio host reveals.
Rev. Jamie Johnson was appointed in April by then-Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly to lead the Center for Faith-Based & Neighborhood Partnerships at the department.
In radio appearances from 2008 to as recently as 2016, Johnson was critical of the black community and painted Islam as a violent, illegitimate religion.
The Center for Faith-Based & Neighborhood Partnerships, according to its official website, was created in 2006 after Hurricanes Katrina, Wilma and Rita to “engage a broader cross-section of faith and community-based organizations in all stages of the disaster sequence and provide resources for faith and community leaders to help them prepare for emergency situations.” The center is also involved in the DHS’s effort to fight human trafficking.
Prior to joining the department, Johnson was a fixture in grassroots Republican politics in Iowa, serving as a GOP state committeeman and working for Republican presidential candidates Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, and Donald Trump in the state. He also frequently appeared on the radio airwaves as a guest and as a host of his own weekend program and guest host for other conservative talk radio hosts.
In a statement to CNN, Johnson apologized for his previous comments.
“I have and will continue to work with leaders and members of all faiths as we jointly look to strengthen our safety and security as an interfaith community. Having witnessed leaders from the entire faith spectrum work to empower their communities I now see things much differently,” Johnson said. “I regret the manner in which those thoughts were expressed in the past, but can say unequivocally that they do not represent my views personally or professionally.”
Tyler Houlton, acting press secretary at DHS, told CNN, “The administration does not support these statements made by Rev. Johnson, some of which were said nearly a decade ago, and for which he has apologized. We believe Rev. Johnson has proven himself as a valuable supporter and proponent of the interfaith community’s recovery efforts, particularly during Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria and most recently bringing counseling and support following the tragic shooting at the church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.”
In 2008, during a discussion on “The Right Balance” on Accent Radio Network, Johnson said he believed black people were anti-Semitic out of jealousy of the success of Jewish people.
“I think one of the reasons why is because Jewish people from their coming to America in great waves in the early part of the 1800’s immediately rolled up their sleeves and began to work so hard and applied themselves to education and other means of improvement and other means of climbing the, I hate this phrase, but the social ladder if you will,” Johnson said. “And they have done exceptionally well for themselves. For only representing about 1.4% of America’s population, they make up 12% of America’s millionaires. Why? Because they work.
“And it’s an indictment of America’s black community that has turned America’s major cities into slums because of laziness, drug use and sexual promiscuity.”
Johnson then agreed with another guest who said the success of Jewish-Americans “removes the argument of victimization from the black community.”
In the appearance, Johnson also argued that the left in America did not want black Republicans because “diversity is simply a cloak to hide a far-left Marxist globalist ideology that seems to undercut and undermine every principle on which this nation was built.”
A harsh critic of Islam, Johnson argued in his radio appearances that Muslim terrorist groups were representative of the true meaning of Islam.
“I never call it radical Islam, if anything, it is obedient Islam. It is faithful Islam.” Johnson said, in another appearance filling in as host on the Iowa radio program “Mickelson in the Morning.”
He continued, “Just in the same way that we talk about nominal Christians — and we never say that as a compliment — you’re either a faithful and committed Christian, committed to the teachings and the writings of the laws and profits and our Lord and savior Jesus Christ, or you’re just kind of wishy-washy. And what the media, and sadly too many people in our camp, the Republican Party, want to refer to as militant or radical Islam, they’re simply being obedient, aren’t they?”
Johnson later stated that “Islam is not our friend” adding, “I agree with (conservative political commentator) Dinesh D’Souza, your friend and mine, who says all that Islam has ever given us is oil and dead bodies over the last millennia and a half.”
“It is not a religion of peace,” he said.
Johnson has made other inflammatory remarks about Islam while filling in on the “Mickelson in the Morning” show.
In 2011, Johnson said, “Jews do not want to cut our heads off, Muslims want to cut our heads off. Jews who believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are our friends, they will always be our friends, and the best supporter of the Jewish believer is the Christian who understands that Jesus was a Jew.”
Johnson argued in 2013 that Islam was an “ideology posing that is as a religion.”
“We need to have somebody who understands that there is an ideology that is posing as a religion that is standing against everything that America was built upon and everything that is basically rooted in a Judeo Christian tradition,” Johnson said. “And that is Islam. We have to have somebody who understands the Islamic threat to American freedoms.”
In 2016, Johnson said former President George W. Bush made a mistake when he called Islam a religion of peace after the 9/11 attacks.
“I always believe that in the days following the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and also on the Pentagon,” Johnson said. “That George W. Bush made a critical mistake that we are still in a sense paying for. He began to say a phrase that no one had ever said before in popular political culture, which is that Islam is a religion of peace.”