Former Planned Parenthood employee turned anti-abortion advocate Abby Johnson will give a 5-minute speech during the second night of the 2020 Republican National Convention. However, hours before the RNC convention kicked off August 25, a speech Johnson posted on YouTube back in June started to go viral on Twitter.
In the more than 15-minute video, the 39-year-old mother of eight says it would be “smart” for police to racially profile “my brown son,” who’s named Jude, and mentions that “he is more likely to commit a violent crime.”
Johnson adopted Jude at birth in 2015, according to a blog post written by her husband Doug Johnson. Following the murder of George Floyd, Johnson explains in the video, she’s just looking out for her boy’s future.
“Right now, Jude is an adorable, perpetually tan-looking little brown boy. 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.”
In the video, originally titled “My biracial boy,” according to Simcha Fisher, Johnson says, “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.”
Johnson, who wears a purple t-shirt with Vanilla Ice lyrics emblazoned on the front, continues:
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 [my son] 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.
“So the fact that, in his head, he 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,” Johnson says.
In an interview, Fisher asked Johnson which specific statistics she cited in the video. Fisher prefaced the question by mentioning how statistics show Black men don’t actually commit more crimes but are incarcerated at a higher rate.
Johnson replied, “I don’t know. I’d have to look at numbers showing that. I don’t have that data in front of me. I think it’s possible. I think we just have to look at data as it comes. I’m always interested in looking at data. I can say that I am a person who, in general, appreciates data over emotion.”
Johnson Said Her RNC Speech Will Be ‘Provocative’ & ‘Memorable’
During an interview with “The Church Boys Podcast,” Johnson said she hoped “to make the most provocative, impassioned, memorable pro-life speech ever made” and mentioned she likes “shocking people out of their apathy and into action.”
“I feel like people are going to listen to this 5-minute speech and they’re going to walk away … and they’re not going to ever be able to say, ‘Wow, we had no idea that those things happen during abortion.’ They’re going to know.”
While speaking with hosts Chris Field, Lucas Miles and Billy Hallowell, Johnson gave a preview of her upcoming speech. “I was talking to my husband and I said, ‘They could have asked a lot of people. There are a lot of great pro-life speakers out there and they asked me,’” Johnson said, while also pointing out that her “lived experience” is what sets her apart from many other voices in the anti-abortion circuit.
In 2019, Johnson wrote a memoir, Unplanned: The Dramatic True Story of a Former Planned Parenthood Leader’s Eye-Opening Journey across the Life Line, which was later adapted into a film.
Who Else Is Speaking at the RNC on Tuesday Night?
In addition to Johnson, as reported by CNBC, the GOP convention’s line-up of speakers on August 25 includes First lady Melania Trump, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, Nicholas Sandmann, Maine lobsterman Jason Joyce and Navajo Nation Vice President Myron Lizer.