If you solely look at Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson’s tweets about his appearances at local Juneteenth events, you’d probably get the impression that he showed up and just had a good ol’ time mixing, mingling and celebrating the newly-minted national holiday with his constituents.
But, as the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports, that wasn’t the case.
Johnson told reporters that his experience interacting with attendees had been generally positive, except for “one nasty comment.”
However, as more people recognized him, he was drowned out by a chorus of boos. Members of a growing crowd swore at him and said, “We don’t want you here.”
That’s right. Sen. Generic Stock Photo of a Grandfather that Comes with a New Picture Frame thought he was just going to show up to the function and kick it after voting against the legislation to make Juneteenth a federally-recognized holiday in 2020–which he said he objected to because it would be expensive.
He ultimately dropped his objection when the bill made the rounds again this year, and issued this statement on the matter:
“While it still seems strange that having taxpayers provide federal employees paid time off is now required to celebrate the end of slavery, it is clear that there is no appetite in Congress to further discuss the matter.”
Johnson might have thought that his ... seemingly very reluctant ... acceptance of the inevitable would have been enough to give him the pass at this event in Milwaukee, but as Seth told Greg on the soccer field, people don’t forget.
Now, this might be weird, but I love the sound of someone being booed. It reminds me of music, coming straight from Yo-Yo Ma’s cello to my ears.
I want to say this might have something to do with the fact that I was a professional wrestling fan growing up, as you were encouraged to heckle the more nefarious characters–or heels, in wrestling terms–that appear in-ring. Like, no matter where Kurt Angle was on the good-bad spectrum, that dude could never make an appearance without people chanting “You Suck” to the beat of his entrance music. John Cena, arguably the most popular figure within WWE for the past 15 or so years, damn near got booed out of New York during ECW One Night Stand in 2006 because ECW fans thought he was a herb.
Booing is very simply the most effective way to let someone know that you don’t like them, you don’t like what they stand for and you want them to leave NOW.
According to the Journal-Sentinel, Johnson said this about getting booed:
“This is unusual for Wisconsin. Most people in Wisconsin say, ‘You are in our prayers; we are praying for you.’ ... But you got some people here that are just sort of nasty at some points.”
He said the situation was “not how you heal the nation.”
In his tweet, Johnson said that the Juneteenth celebrations he attended reminded him of “what unites us.” Those people were definitely united, but I’m going to assume that it wasn’t in the way that Johnson was expecting or wanted.