Atlanta Daily World: Jason Johnson on Syria

Hiram College professor Jason Johnson was quoted in the Atlanta Daily World about the crisis in Syria and the reaction of the Congressional Black Caucus to a possible authorization of the use of military force.

Hiram College political scientist Jason Johnson believes it’s much less complex than that. “It’s really simple: Black people are tired of war. It really has nothing to do whatsoever with Barack Obama.”

“You have a situation here where George Bush is like a really bad ex-husband,” quips Johnson. “He ruined everyone’s ability to trust the president when it comes to war.”

But Johnson adds that other practical considerations come into play when African Americans consider the consequences of military action in Syria — regardless of any effort to explain it as “limited.” Many Black men and women view the military as a pathway to middle class stability as the armed forces are used to pay for college expenses, family healthcare and future financial support. Hence, a disproportionately large number of African Americans typically find themselves on the front line when hostilities break out.

“And Black people just don’t understand why Syria is important,” argues Johnson. “They just don’t see the relation to gas prices, or rent, or how this tackles unemployment.”

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