Rolling Out

Congressman Hank Johnson discusses Black community, COVID-19 and 2020 Census

Congressman Hank Johnson discusses Black community, COVID-19 and 2020 Census
Photo courtesy of U.S. House of representatives

Congressman Hank Johnson is a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Georgia’s 4th Congressional District. He works to empower underserved minority communities and help ex-offenders reenter society after incarceration. Rolling out spoke with the congressman about the state of Black America during this global health pandemic, the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act,” and the important things we should know about affecting the change we want to see.

What is your opinion on the CARES Act? A lot of individuals don’t know how to apply for assistance under this new legislation or are receiving misinformation.

If we complain about the fake news out there, then we have to understand that some organs are solid and established in the community, respected and capable of getting the word out. When the majority begins to trust the minority with the money, we will be able to do a whole lot more to uphold the whole.

Black people, we have our own unique experiences, but we do have friends in other communities who will help us, but the way that they want to help us is not necessarily the way that we need to be helped. We need them to understand that the money they conveyed to us … we know where to place it so that the word gets out to those who support the entire effort.

Please discuss our current political landscape.

We have no choice but to participate in this political system that we live under. If we choose to say that “politics is not important, it doesn’t matter to me,” then we will continue to reap the same consequences that we’re experiencing now. If we say that “the Democrats are not gonna do anything for you, so what does it matter,” you might as well either drop out or go with the other guy. And you see him mismanaging this coronavirus crisis, this pandemic. You see him mismanaging it to such a degree that tens of thousands of people are dying. Yet you would rather vote for him, or you would stay out because you’re dissatisfied with Democrats. If you look at what you have now, it is based on what Democrats in the Democratic Party have stood for, and so we have to play a part in this political arena.

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