House Speaker Mike Johnson's Selective Deployment of His Black "Son"
He claims to have an adopted Black "son," but the mysterious family member only shows up when it works to Johnson's advantage.
In a June 2020 interview in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd, Mike Johnson (R-LA), the current Speaker of the House, made a claim that he had a Black son named Michael James.
[WALTER] ISAACSON: You live up in Bossier City, near Shreveport. And you and your wife a long time ago adopted a 14-year-old African-American young man and raised him, along with your other children. Tell me about how that gave you some perspective on this.
M[IKE]. JOHNSON: Yes, sure. We took Michael in almost 20 years ago. He was 14…And Michael is now doing great. This is 20 years later. He’s in his mid-30s. He lives in California, four children of his own.
And yet Johnson’s Black son doesn’t show up at any of the times most important times a family shares, and he’s not anywhere you’d expect him to be.
Not in Johnson’s biography, not at his wedding, not in any recent family photos, not on vacations.
The reasoning Johnson gives for this curious absence is that it was James’ choice.
A spokesperson for Johnson, Corrine Day, explained…
"At the time of the Speaker's election to Congress, Michael was an adult with a family of his own. He asked not to be involved in their new public life. The Speaker has respected that sentiment throughout his career and maintains a close relationship with Michael to this day."
And this language of “adopted son” is not accurate.
Day clarified that Michael was never legally brought into the family as a son because of the “lengthy adoption process.”
It’s giving Leigh Anne and Sean Touhy.
They “adopted” Michael Oher and raised him until he eventually became a professional football player in the NFL.
As it turns out, however, Oher was never legally adopted. Instead, and unbeknownst to him, the Touhy’s entered into a conservatorship with Oher and had complete control of his finances.
Even Mike Johnson sees the connection to the Touhy-Oher dynamic, and proudly proclaims it.
In the same June 2020 interview where he talks about his “son,” Johnson said…
I often — the easiest way to summarize the story is, I ask friends, have you seen the story “The Blind Side”? That was our story, except my Michael was not an NFL prospect, a similar story to that. And we took him in as our own.