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Top McDonnell supporter condemns governor for Confederate History Month

Anita Kumar


Sheila Johnson, one of Gov. Bob McDonnell's top African American supporters and the wealthy co-founder of Black Entertainment Television, condemned him for declaring April Confederate History Month.

McDonnell (R) left out anti-slavery language in the seven-paragraph declaration that called for Virginians to "understand the sacrifices of the Confederate leaders, soldiers and citizens during the period of the Civil War."

"I must condemn Governor McDonnell's Proclamation honoring 'Confederate History Month,' and its insensitive disregard of Virginia's complicated and painful history, the remnants of which many Virginians still wrestle with today,'' Johnson wrote in a statement. "The complete omission of slavery from an official government document, which purports to be a call for Virginians to 'understand' and 'study' their history, is both academically flawed and personally offensive. If Virginians are to celebrate their 'shared history,' as this proclamation suggests, then the whole truth of this history must be recognized and not evaded."

Johnson, a Democrat, was one of McDonnell's biggest supporters last year on the campaign trail. She even came to his defense when some questioned his commitment to women's rights after the publication of his 1989 graduation school thesis in which he wrote that working women were a detriment to a society. She argued as a working woman that she trusted McDonnell to be helpful in boosting the economy.

McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin called Johnson a great friend and a great businesswoman. "We respect her right to her opinion on this and all matters. We have nothing but tremendous respect for her," he said

This post has been updated since it was first published.

By Anita Kumar  |  April 7, 2010; 4:05 PM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Comments

"Johnson, a Democrat, was one of McDonnell's biggest supporters last year on the campaign trail. She even came to his defense when some questioned his commitment to women's rights after the publication of his 1989 graduation school thesis in which he wrote that working women were a detriment to society. She argued as a working woman she trusted McDonnell to be helpful to boost the economy."


You're an idiot for trusting and believing anything this man says. You're also committing career suicide by backing him. I wonder how many BET viewers know that you supported him. Probably not very many, maybe I'll make a commercial specifically for BET stating the truth. TRUTH, we could use more of that in our government.

Posted by: Bigfoot_has_a_posse | April 7, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

The dwindling uneducated evangelical rednecks of Virginia have something to celebrate!

Yee-Haw!

Posted by: kenk3 | April 7, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like buyer's remorse to me! She crossed the line into that party, so she's getting exactly what she deserves. She bought his lies hook, line and sinker - how smart of a businesswoman is she really? Or is she just the wife of a millionaire businessman? BTW - The Johnsons sold BET years ago.

Posted by: warner_shelton | April 7, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Interesting that when the Post discussed Johnson's backing of McDonnell in early September, they used a very unflattering picture of her.

Fast forward a few months.... The Post reports that Johnson criticizes McDonnell's proclamation and uses a very flattering, smiling stock photo image of her and a very unflattering picture of McDonnell.

Move along, nothing to see here...

Posted by: lingering_lead | April 7, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, well, I don't know what she was thinking when she did those ads for McDonald--maybe that he would somehow help with that spa she's building in Middleburg? McDonald is just what many of us knew he was, but he was mostly elected by Republicans and non-voting Democrats and Independents. Johnson went further and actually abandoned the Democratic party to support this guy. Too late now.

Posted by: seller11 | April 7, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Sheila Johnson is learning that Republicans cater to the most base racist elements of society when it suits them. I'm sure most of the Republican party consider Black Republicans as 'House n*****'.

McDonnell accepted Sheila Johnson's support when he was running for office and now that he is in office he is showing that he could care less about her. Black Americans, this is what the Republican party thinks of you.

Posted by: Jimof1913 | April 7, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Getting into bed and building alliances with the divide and conquer politicians can really put the “Are You Black Enough” question to the test and yet Sheila Johnson wants the little black boys and girls studying slavery and experiencing economic disadvantages to believe her condemnation of a racist document disassociated the author whose intent was to race bate and create an already explosive and dangerous political environment.

Sheila or “Ms. Johnson if your nasty” poisoned millions of young black minds over a (20) year span with the gangster, pimp and H## videos and earned a good living doing so. Sad enough but graveling at the foot of a segregationist to get your luxury spa of the ground beats all!

So let changes the question from are you black enough to “ARE YOU RICH ENOUGH”. Save our children stop selling out, selling short and making a buck while doing so.

If you want to take a stance start with the poison you and Bob (who was allegedly in the hood) and questioned President Obama integrity but was in the hood to pimp the avenue to view detrimental video to weak minded youth.

Stop visiting the hood through the window (BET ) you created and doomed million of youth to drugs and jai l and take down to our level where a racist is racist no many how many votes it addenda generates.

Posted by: blkisin | April 7, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Sheila, too bad you wasted all that money thinking you could make a difference from the top down . . .

Posted by: raindancer7 | April 7, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Sheila, too bad you wasted all that money thinking you could make a difference from the top down . . .

Posted by: raindancer7 | April 7, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Sheila, too bad you wasted all that money thinking you could make a difference from the top down . . .

Posted by: raindancer7 | April 7, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Jimof1913 wrote: "I'm sure most of the Republican party consider Black Republicans as 'House n*****'."

I'm a Republican. I didn't vote for this d-bag. The Dems didn't offer up much more in Creigh Deeds. The definition of Republican has been changing lately. I believe in smaller govt, personal responsibility, a strong military, no welfare, freedom from religion and the right to choose.

Personally, I think McD and his AG Cucchinelli are both a bit retarded. Yes, I said retarded. It's a good description as neither of them think very clearly.

Maybe it's because I'm from the north, but VA seems to be stuck in the 1860s. At any rate, celebrating Confederacy, no matter what race you claim, is just abhorrent. How anyone can still celebrate owning a human being is completely beyond me. I definitely don't consider any of my black friends "house n..." That's so beyond offensive.

Posted by: ms1234 | April 7, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Sheila, Sheila, Sheila. What did you expect?

Posted by: bobbarnes | April 7, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Less than 1.5% of Americans in 1860 owned slaves. How come all you mental midgets only equate the Confederacy with slavery? Why don't you wax poetic on the societal and economic differences between the North and the South in the late 1850's? Why not mention the advent of an industrialized economy in the North and how it clashed with the aggrarian economy of the South? There was more to the Civil War than just slavery. Kind of like there was more to Obama winning in November than just Iraq.

Don't folks read anymore?

Posted by: lingering_lead | April 7, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Well Ms. Johnson, how does it feel? he got what he wanted from you - your $$$$...and now his true colors are there for you and all to see. That's what she gets.

Posted by: Libramom | April 7, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

All his camp could say was that you have a right to your opinion.

How does it feel having been used, Ms. Johnson?

Posted by: schooletal | April 7, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Mrs. Johnson.... better late than silent witness to hate and bigotry on the march.

Posted by: Geopolitics101 | April 7, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

When you have nothing to offer...play the race card.

Get the f over it. Who alive today lived through slavery? The Great Depression evened the score for most of our families...no one owned anything and most lost everything.

If you perceive yourself as a "victim" - then you need to bow out of life in America. Go somewhere where you can be happy.

We left the "skin color" issue in the dust decades ago...but apparently, some blacks just can't let it go.

Posted by: easttxisfreaky | April 7, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

The Governor has recanted, but deep in his heart you know his first Proclamation is where his sympathies really lay. Just as 20 years ago his anti-working woman diatribe thesis is really what this man is all about. In both cases, the Governor has found it politically expediant to back-pedal.

Posted by: logcabin1836 | April 7, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Well Sheila, you're about 5 months too late!

Why won't you listen to us who were trying to tell you back then who this guy really was?

This apology is a day late and not heart felt at all. I believe his first response of

" it didn't think slavery was important enough to include..."

What more did you need to hear? He's a just a political dirty bag, nothing more. The only thing missing is a macaca or two.

Posted by: vanzal1 | April 7, 2010 9:15 PM | Report abuse

If you folks want to bury your heads in the sand and forget the Civil War happened, then have at it. This proclamation is targeted at those folks who are smart enough to realize that by remembering and studying the past, we can hopefully avoid the same mistakes.

Posted by: sf46 | April 8, 2010 12:29 AM | Report abuse

Ah, Shelia, shame on you for trying to skinny into the Middleburg white-owned, horse-country enclave and trying to join up with the Republican party who put up Steele to get other black votes and money like yours. Now they see another movement, the tea party - and they will disassociate with them, too, as soon as they've got their money and it becomes convenient.

Posted by: pharrington | April 8, 2010 1:39 AM | Report abuse

When you have nothing to offer...play the race card. Get the f over it. Who alive today lived through slavery? The Great Depression evened the score for most of our families...no one owned anything and most lost everything. If you perceive yourself as a "victim" - then you need to bow out of life in America. Go somewhere where you can be happy. We left the "skin color" issue in the dust decades ago...but apparently, some blacks just can't let it go.

Posted by: easttxisfreaky | April 7, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse


I'm so sick of that rebuttal to racial issues. Just because it happened "a long time ago," doesn't mean its effects on society no longer exist. While minorities have more opportunities today that they did 40 years ago, look at today's racial disparities is housing, employment and the criminal justice system, for example. Those are the ripple effects of a society that was built on the belief that blacks were inferior; a belief that, sadly, many people still have today. For you to say, "Get over it," shows an ignorance towards how slavery impacted the U.S. and continues to do so today.

And just because one "plays the race card" doesn't mean that there isn't a racial problem.

Posted by: stwasm | April 8, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

WHAT?!?! We Virginian's send bigots and troglodyts to Richmond and then they act like this?!? Shocked, we should be shocked I tell you! I am as surprised as you are Ms. Johnson!

Posted by: soanyway | April 8, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

lingering_lead wrote: "How come all you mental midgets only equate the Confederacy with slavery?"

Personally, I do not equate the Confederacy only with slavery. In addition to slavery, I equate the Confederacy with TREASON and the illegal slaughter of American servicemen who were defending the United States of America. Now that's something to celebrate!

Posted by: pbuchberg | April 8, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

easttxisfreaky wrote: "We left the 'skin color' issue in the dust decades ago...but apparently, some blacks just can't let it go."

The Holocaust was decades ago but apparently some Jews (like me) just can't let it go. I admit it, I would be upset if the Chancellor of Germany declared a Third Reich Month to "promote tourism," or if the Bundestag voted to make the birthdays of Himmler and Eichmann national holidays. Fortunately for me, post-war Germans would not descend to that level of moral depravity--apparantly the postbellum whites running Virginia would and have.

Posted by: pbuchberg | April 8, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

The only color Sheila Johnson can see is GREEN. She backed this man knowing his statements about women (no telling what he said about Blacks) and now she gets on her high horse and condemns him????

Sheila, stick it where the sun don't shine.....

Posted by: punchdaclock | April 9, 2010 7:51 AM | Report abuse

I wish people would maybe do some more reading before they just blare their ignorance.

I live very close to Manassas Battlegrounds (VA), they have historical parks and even battle reinactments. Much of the civil war happened in Virginia making it a huge part of its history and heavy in tourism. This is more what McDonnell was emphasising.

Calling people “uneducated evangelical rednecks of Virginia” is very ignorant and even somewhat racist. McDonnell shouldn’t have omitted slavery, but lets face it, we were going to have ignorant bloggers trying to slam him either way.

Posted by: LiquidClay23 | April 10, 2010 8:18 AM | Report abuse

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