comScore Jeh Johnson: Confederate Flag Represents Slavery of Relative

Obama DHS Secretary Holds Up Photo of Great-Great Grandmother, Says Confederate Flag Symbolizes She ‘Should Have ‘Remained a Slave’

Former Obama Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson held up a photo of his enslaved great-great grandmother when CNN’s Wolf Blitzer brought up recent discussion around the Confederate flag. Johnson said the flag is an offensive symbol that represents the idea that his great-great grandmother “should have remained a slave the rest of her life.”

Amid nationwide protests against racial injustice following the death of George Floyd, statues of racist figures and Confederate flags have been defaced or torn down. NASCAR banned the rebel flag from its races on Wednesday and the Navy reportedly is banning displays of the flag on its ships and installations.

“What’s your reaction to when the president is not even going to consider changing the names of U.S. military bases, the names of Confederate generals who served to oppose the United States,” Blitzer asked the former Obama official. “I know this whole issue of Confederate issues in the military is personal to you.”

“I know to some, the flag, is a sign they’re proud of their Southern heritage. I too have a Southern heritage,” Johnson said, as he held up a picture of his great-great grandmother, Julia Branch. “She was a teenage slave during the Civil War. And what the Confederate flag represents to me and all other descendants of slaves in this country is an indication, a sign that my great grandmother should have remained a slave the rest of her life. The Confederate flag personally is offensive to me and to many, many other people.”

Watch above, via CNN.

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