Michigan lawmaker on the receiving end of racist threats, finds a new critic from her cabinet

Local News

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) State Representative Cynthia Johnson has received thousands of calls, emails, and racist voice messages from people angered by her appearance in last weeks hearing, looking in Michigan’s election results.

“I can’t even comprehend it, these are grown people,” says Johnson a representative of the 5th district.

Johnson decided to expose some of her aggressors on social media, sharing messages and the contact information of people sending her threats.

“You’re behavior is not tolerated, and we hope that your children might be watching some of this, so they won’t follow in your footsteps.”

According to Johnson, threats are being investigated by the Michigan State Police, Detroit Law Enforcement and possibly the FBI. To her knowledge, one person who left a disturbing voicemail has been identified as a woman from Illinois.

Johnson also shared a disturbing voicemail to fellow state representatives. Instead of sympathy, she received a rebuking response from Rep. Mary Whiteford saying “I don’t know why you would share this…” Whiteford proceeded to say Johnson put a witnesses life at risk, for asking her to spell her name during last weeks hearing, calling the act “heartless”.

In response, Johnson says she needed the witnesses name for verification because when her team was doing research no one came up with that name.

Regardless, Johnson says this entire experience has made her hopeful that doubters will realize racism is alive and well, so the Country can move towards healing and solutions.

“We’re going to change a lot in this Country.”

Whiteford declined 6 News request for an interview but sent the following statement.

“First and foremost, racism and violence have no place in our society and those who sent these horrifying messages to Representative Johnson should be held accountable. Rep. Johnson has posted some of these messages to her Facebook page and they are shocking, cruel and totally out of line. No one should be exposed to that type of behavior. I have been exposed to threats as well, including someone showing up at my house and coming onto my property unwelcomed.

“In a professional manner, I felt it was necessary to make clear my displeasure for how the Representative treated witnesses who testified about election irregularities in Michigan during the November election. I believe Rep. Johnson’s conduct was belittling, offensive and meant to humiliate. By asking for one witness to spell her name and give her maiden name after she made serious allegations regarding our state’s elections process, I feel Rep. Johnson was attempting to intimidate. Names are often recorded by a clerk for public record and that information would have been readily available after the hearing for the Representative.

“The people who testified before the House Oversight Committee were courageous to step forward with what they saw at places such as the TCF Center in Detroit. They put themselves out there in a high-profile setting. The hearing provided a platform for Michigan residents to share their experiences and generate ways to better Michigan’s elections in the future.

“No one should be subjected to intimidation for sharing their opinions.”

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