Cynthia Johnson

New: Michigan Capitol bomb threat suspect got Secret Service visit over 2014 Obama threat

BY: - March 18, 2021

Newly released documents from the Michigan State Police show Michael Varrone, who was accused of making a bomb threat on Jan. 7 to the Michigan Capitol, has a lengthy history of contact with law enforcement — including a 2014 visit from the Secret Service for threatening then-President Barack Obama by email.  The heavily redacted police […]

Rep. Johnson says she feels ‘used and abused’ after Trump impeachment team shows manipulated video

BY: - February 12, 2021

On the fourth day of former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial for inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, Michigan was once again in the limelight. State Rep. Cynthia A. Johnson (D-Detroit) is furious that an edited version of her early December Facebook video was selectively edited down even more making it appear […]

After threats and armed protests, BIPOC lawmakers still struggle to get GOP leaders to address racial justice

BY: and - February 4, 2021

State Rep. Sarah Anthony (D-Lansing) grew up during the 1980s and 1990s and remembers watching in astonishment the awarding-winning PBS documentary series, “Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Movement.” The African American lawmaker was raised in a Capital City community where whites and people of color interacted, for the most part, without incident. “What […]

Rep. Johnson gets committee posts, so do Republicans who backed overturning the 2020 election

BY: - January 21, 2021

After being kicked off her committee assignments in early December at the end of the legislative term, state Rep. Cynthia A. Johnson (D-Detroit) was assigned to a number of committees for the 101st Legislature — but not the Oversight Committee.  Johnson, who previously served as the Democratic vice chair of that panel was removed from […]

Rep. Johnson demands apologies from leadership, committee assignments restored

BY: - January 11, 2021

Detroit state Rep. Cynthia A. Johnson is calling on legislative leadership to refuse to seat any lawmaker who participated in the Jan. 6 insurrection in Washington, D.C., or a partner rally that occurred simultaneously at the state Capitol.  “Anyone who was at that Capitol at that demonstration, at that thuggish behavior, that you were just […]


Susan J. Demas: Fascists planted their flag in the U.S. Capitol this week. Let’s stop denying it.

BY: - January 10, 2021

We need to be very clear about the thousands of Trump loyalists who swarmed the U.S. Capitol last week, many decked in pro-Nazi attire, screaming the n-word at Black police officers and waving Trump, Confederate and Gadsden flags, with many looking to murder members of Congress and the vice president in a plot keep Trump […]

New: ‘This is absolutely racism’: Rep. Johnson says death threat wasn’t investigated for weeks

BY: - January 8, 2021

Updated, 9:23 a.m., 1/11/21 A Black female lawmaker from Detroit is accusing the Michigan State Police of “racism and implicit bias” in its handling of a death threat issued against her on Dec. 12.  Chad Michael Varrone, 48, of Charlotte, was identified in mid-December as the man who called state Rep. Thomas Albert (R-Grattan Township) […]

‘It was a digital lynching’: Rep. Johnson discusses video and punishment 

BY: - December 10, 2020

Detroit Democratic state Rep. Cynthia A. Johnson didn’t hold back when asked about the findings of an Advance investigation into how her personal Facebook live video was edited and moved through the right-wing mediasphere.  “It was a public lynching,” she said. “It was a digital lynching is what it was. And it was accepted by […]


Todd A. Heywood: Down the right-wing rabbit hole: How did the video of Rep. Cynthia A. Johnson go viral?

BY: - December 10, 2020

Updated, 3:12 p.m., 12/10/20 It started with a Facebook Live Video that was sucked into the underbelly of the internet. There it churned and clipped and passed from person to person. Someone slapped a label on the video accusing the speaker of being a domestic terrorist. As it slushed around the far-right social media site […]

AG’s office has not identified imminent threats during high-tension Lame Duck session

BY: - December 9, 2020

As a contentious 2019-20 Michigan Legislature session nears closure this month, the Attorney General’s office said on Tuesday that it has not identified any substantive threats that place either its buildings or employees in imminent danger.  “We cannot comment on what other agencies or departments may have received, but the Attorney General’s office has not […]

Black lawmaker who had racist threats leveled against her chided by white colleague

BY: - December 8, 2020

State Rep. Cynthia Johnson (D-Detroit) said she received a barrage of hateful voicemails, including a death threat, following Wednesday’s House Oversight Committee hearing where people falsely claimed that voting fraud had taken place in Detroit during the Nov. 3 presidential election.  On Monday, the Black first-term lawmaker made public on Monday a critical response from […]

Lawmaker receives lynching threat, Trump supporters descend on SOS’s house

BY: - December 7, 2020

Two Michigan officials from Detroit faced threats over the weekend in connection to state election results.  State Rep. Cynthia Johnson (D-Detroit) said she received racist death threats and threatening voicemails. She shared one on her Facebook page.  Johnson, Democratic vice chair of the state House Oversight Committee, took part in a hearing on Wednesday where […]