Black Men at Work

0_63_johns1_320CNN has a brief reference and picture of a hero from yesterday, at the Holocaust Museum.

Stephen Tyrone Johns, a six-year veteran of the museum’s security staff, later “died heroically in the line of duty,” said Sara Bloomfield, museum director.

Some 5,000 people go to that important museum on a typical day. Many Black men protect US institutions, and do many other hard jobs in this society, but very rarely get credit or media attention for the fine job they do.

And violent white men like the shooter never become part of a vilified racial category of “white men” in the media or public policy discussions. And as a convicted felon he had access to guns, and no one in the media has yet raised that issue?

Interesting how that works.

Update: Johns was also not wearing a bullet-proof vest, which his union had pushed for, as one of our commenters suggested.   And, the latest reports are that Johns – seeing von Brunn as an elderly man in need of assistance – was opening the door for him when von Brunn opened fire and killed him.


  1. Dave Paul

    I found it interesting how MSNBC described Mr. Johns as “a gentle giant” and a “jovial” man. To me, these words conjure up images of the happy-go-lucky slave.

  2. Joe No. 2

    Dave Paul,

    Are you kidding me? Should those words be banned from use in conjunction with describing black people because they conjure up the image of a “happy-go-lucky slave”?

    Get off your high horse and stop reading into things too much. It’s annoying.

  3. siss

    Joe, you are correct when saying “but very rarely get credit or media attention for the fine job they do” so, why overshadow this well-deserved praise by *for lack of a better word* bitching that it never happens. We know this type of thing isn’t prevalent, so, why not encourage more of it in a positive way rather than in a negative one? I’m not sure if that was the message this article was indented to convey, but it does.

    Dave: same thing that I mentioned to Joe, why the negativity in your statement? I haven’t read the description from MSNBC pertaining to the guard so I can’t attest to the article itself or the underlying message it conveys. However, I can’t understand why the two words you referenced would “conjure up images of the happy-go-lucky slave”? As someone who hasn’t lived through much in terms of civil-rights movements, these descriptions have no connotation to slavery.

  4. mia

    I stumbled across this article when looking for comments on the cnn site. I think that it is true that there should be more recognition for this hero who was killed yesterday. He lost his life and most of the focus has been placed on the jewish community and the museum. There are more pictures of bullet shattered glass then the person who died. The comment made by the directory that was quoted on this site was not in the article on cnn at all. Siss…If people dont speak up for things then it will never be fixed. It isnt bitching to point out that it isnt happening and if people dont want to hear us “bitch” then do something about it…help make a change…get involved.

  5. Paul

    This most evil and revolting old man went there with the intent to murder innocent people. He could have killed children! All this talk about black and jews and caca like that only shows ignorance, intolerance and hatred. There is a black man as president and there is also a lot of hatred being put out by these fringe groups who wish only death and destruction on anyone not like them. I hope that law passes and this kind of insanity will be dealt with most severely.

  6. Dan

    I hope this pathetic looser, like all white supremacists, survives his injuries, is convicted, and sent to live out his life, hopefully long, in prison. And I hope the prison he is sent to “racially mixed”. Beyond that, I hope this country starts treating all hatemongers, especially those in positions of influence – like druggie Limbaugh, Savage, Hannity, and other right wing nut-jobs including Evangelical and other so-called “Christian” hate groups – as domestic terrorists.

  7. Lynn Ford

    My heart goes out to the family of this slain officer. Why can’t people just leave their condolsences and pray for this family and the staff at the Museum who obviously suffered a great loss in the death of this officer? Why do you have to tarnish the statement about the officer being a hero by writing that it sounds like a “Slave”?

  8. Lonia

    Are we that blind a nation to not see hatred growing all around us at rapid speed? This young man opened a door which led to his death. That could have been any one of us, opening any door. How many lives must pay the price, how many people will die before we stand together and condemn this behavior? In a second a young life was taken. How many seconds, hours, days, and years will it take to stop this madness? Let’s all wake up and save our children.

  9. Son

    Hey Dan,

    Right wing Christian Hate Groups? Before you spout of your vicious hate against Christians study up on this guy. He is a radical leftist. Christians are PRO ISRAEL you moron. God, you people need to wake up and open your eyes before you wake and say, “What happened to all my Freedoms.”

  10. Joe

    It would be great to have some demonstrations in DC near the museum, against anti-Semitism and the rising white supremacist movement — and to strongly celebrate the contributions of men like Officer Johns.

    The nation does need to do some public mourning for the many recent victims of these white supremacists, and for their families.

  11. Son – Just being anti-semitic and anti-Israel doesn’t qualify as being a leftist radical. He’d also have to be for more environmental conservation, some kind of national healthcare system, etc and so on. He’d probably also think the 2nd amend right was limited to the collective right to have states’ national guards, etc. And he clearly doesn’t think that.

    Siss and Lynn – It does have connatations to the slave era. It’s reminiscent of the “happy slave.” Throughout our history, from slavery today, mainstream culture places black men in one of two categories 1-the angry black man, which includes basically any black man who doesn’t co-sign white supremacy, and 2-the happy black man, who basically does.
    Don’t get me wrong siss and Lynn. I do get your point. But is it too much to ask that people come up with a better adjectives? There’re 1mill words in the English langauge! Why not a family man or a kind man rather than a gentle sort of other-humanly being like a giant. It’s kinda hard to think of instances were white folk heroes like Sully the Pilot, are described in such simplistic terms.

  12. jay dee

    i think we know how this is going to end, the way the justice system runs in this country, hes not even going to jail, im sure he’ll get off on some technicality, its hard to be a minority in this country and white people will never understand that…

  13. Son

    Joe, I agree with your statement. White Supremists Anti-Semites need to be squashed. Others on this board and the Government run media blame Right Wingers. This is absolutely wrong. Christian Conservatives are Pro Israel and Pro all Races. These misguided people who believe otherwise are simply opening the door even more of this sickening Racist behavior !

  14. Reb One

    I’m very disturbed that CNN for one has not humanized Mr. Johns as of yet. A picture and his name is not hardly giving the respect to Mr. Johns or his family. Oh wait. Does he have a family? Or is he just a security guard that died in the line of duty? Besides reporting how much of a hero Mr. Johns “is” talk about those that have lost a son, maybe a father etc. Respect him as you would anyone else that has died or been killed. And for the rest of you disturbed at the “bitching” you claim is going on in this blog, take your heads out of that crack of yours and understand that although we have an African American president, all the racism in this country didn’t end. It’s alive and kicking and those having to live with it all their lives no it well. Respect it don’t criticize those that bring it to your attention. It’s Real, It’s Alive and with the help of the Rush Limbaugh, Hannity, & Gingrich to name a few it will continue to get worse not better. I’m seeing the blood on their hands as well.

  15. Son

    NokState – Your point is well taken. I just find it offensive that many in the news media and Dan blame everything on Right hate mongering Conservatives. I do not understand where these people come from. While there is bad apples in every group, most all conservatives believe in human rights of all races. God did NOT create one race as of man to be any better than the other. It pains me to see people right these lies about us.

  16. max

    Racists are cowards. This guy gunned down a “black” security guard in a Jewish memorial. The smile on this guys face must have been ear to ear. You never hear of these losers giving a beat down on a gang of murderers, rapists, or thieves that may or may not be black. They pick someone with an education and a job, something they are too lazy to get and blame on someone of a different color or religion. Useless, Ignorant, Cowards.

  17. -I should’ve added earlier that the problem with “jovial” and “gentle giant” is that they provide linguistic support for white supremacy.
    @Son – As a black person, I can understand your frustation. But what are conservatives actually doing to help people and not just demonize, for lack of a better word, the ones they disagree with – whether the disagreement is about politics and religion, etc? And if there are conservatives christians who really do love the sinner, and they’re just not covered by the news, I’d really be curious to hear about these people.

  18. emaNoN

    @ RebOne. True racism is still prevalent in the good US of A, difference is they use to hide under sheets to do there dirty lil deeds, not they’re just blatent with it. lets not forget the purpose of the murdering white racist supremist in the first place? and if your offended by me calling him white..oh well if it quacks like a duck….seems as if your all missing the point. its not who he killed..its why he was there in the first place? do you know what his objective was going there? to kills some jew sympathizers mayhaps? certainly not to kill the black security guy..he was just a added bonus. just be truthful…had that mad racist kkk (Kristian Koward Killer) made it past that security point this will be a entirely different conversation now wouldnt it and doesnt matter if he was gentle or a giant fact is he was killed.

  19. Son

    NO1KState – THANK YOU so much for your reply! My brand of conservatism represents the majority of conservatives, some (Republicans) – that you never ever ever hear about in a positive light in the BIG media…aka CNN, MSNBC, CBS, NBC etc etc. They constantly bag on us. But please notice – these people who bag on US, who label us racists, they are primarily Liberal White people. They are the ones who belittle other races and separate everyone into their little groups. Not conservatives. We conservatives (Truly) believe that all men are created equal by God. PERIOD ! And NO1Kstate – that is the true dominant trait about us that the Liberal establishments do not want you to know. I am telling you…what you hear from these Liberal establishments…it is a lie. I was taught to love everyone. I don’t care what you are. It’s just mind boggling to me how we (the majority) are demonized by the big media.

  20. Son

    NO1KState – I also like your comment re: the gentle giant. I’ve heard this said about large white men as well but in this context I certainly find it suspect. I really wish the Black leadership would come to us conservatives without preconceived notions that we are racists. We want to work with you. We want all to succeed you see. Because, the more all Americans of all race and creeds succeed, the more successful we all become. It is that simple and is our belief system. I believe this would represent real “Positive” and true change.

  21. Reb One

    @ emaNoN. Seems you’VE missed what I was saying. The Bitching I was referring to is coming from those accusing anyone in this blog for being negative when it comes to how Mr. Johns is being described etc.

  22. siss

    Mia – “It isnt bitching to point out that it isnt happening”. The thing is though, it has been pointed out. I’m assuming you aren’t a regular to RR.

  23. @Son – You’re welcome. Who’s not open to dialogue? As far as MSM represenation of conservatives, Newt, Rush, and Cheney aren’t helping you out too much. Neither or McConnel, Cantor, or Beoiner (sp?).
    As far as the conservative belief in the equality of everyone, here’s the problem: somehow, we still end up with race-based discrimination and disparity. From that comes so often denial from white conservatives. And that’s why it’s hard to believe the majority of you really believe we’re all created equal. When confronted with the facts of discrimination in housing, lending, criminal justice, school discipline, etc and so on, it seems like white conservatives deny it’s happening. When they can no longer deny it’s happening, they blame the victims – which lead to the third problem. If you believe we’re all equal, what are you doing to end racial discrimination? -I’ll agree that so-called “reverse” discrimination occurs, but not nearly at the rate or to the effect or with the impact of “regular” discrimination.
    This is not to excuse white liberals – they have their racism demons to exorcise. But at least they’re willing to address issues like discrimination in sentencing, educational tracking, etc and so on. What about conservatives? The liberal point of putting us in little groups boils down to this: society already does. And it’s not really a bad thing except when it has a negative impact on someone’s life. Liberals are at least trying to combat racism, what are conservatives doing to combat racism? If you have a better idea to combat racism than monitoring the opportunity each group has, what is it? Studies and research show that “colorblind” policies don’t work.
    Also, acknowledging your own privileged position as a white and/or male doesn’t mean you accept the status quo. You can’t solve a problem you don’t first acknowledge.
    May I ask, in what terms do you identify as a conservative? Social, economics, foreign policy?

  24. Michael

    @Son Says- Rush Limpballs is a conservative. That where you got that ridiculous talking point that the shooter was a leftist. The other representatives of the conservative movement are Insanity Hanity, Wiener (his real name) Savage, Glen Beck, et al. You are only kidding yourself in claiming conservatives are not racist, and are open the the “other”. Your arguments, if you can call them that, are particularly absurd.

  25. Michael

    Tim Wise is amazed by the venality of Glenn Beck, who claims the shooting at the Holocaust Museum was a left-wing act. Why? Because Nazis were really leftists! Got that? Yeah, and this we know because “Socialist” was part of their official name (sigh). Why didn’t this idiot just keep drinking? He probably made more sense before he got sober…

  26. Sue


    David Letterman’s hate is as old as some ancient Hebrew prophets.
    Speaking of anti-Semitism, it’s Jerry Falwell and other fundy leaders who’ve gleefully predicted that in the future EVERY nation will be against Israel (an international first?) and that TWO-THIRDS of all Jews will be killed, right?
    Wrong! It’s the ancient Hebrew prophet Zechariah who predicted all this in the 13th and 14th chapters of his book! The last prophet, Malachi, explains the reason for this future Holocaust that’ll outdo even Hitler’s by stating that “Judah hath dealt treacherously” and “the Lord will cut off the man that doeth this” and asks “Why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother?”
    Haven’t evangelicals generally been the best friends of Israel and persons perceived to be Jewish? Then please explain the recent filthy, hate-filled, back-stabbing tirades by David Letterman (and Sandra Bernhard and Kathy Griffin) against a leading evangelical named Sarah Palin, and explain why most Jewish leaders have seemingly condoned Palin’s continuing “crucifixion”!
    While David, Sandra, and Kathy are tragically turning comedy into tragedy, they are also helping to speed up and fulfill the Final Holocaust a la Zechariah and Malachi, thus helping to make the Bible even more believable!
    (For even more stunning information, visit MSN and type in “Separation of Raunch and State” and “Bible Verses Obama Avoids.”)

  27. @Sue – I’m not familiar with you, so take this with a grain of salt – 1) What “hate” speech has Letterman made against Palin? and 2) Why does it always seem like white people don’t know what does and doesn’t constitute hate speech? and lastly 3) What’s with drive-by idiocy?

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