It’s no wonder that the residents of DeKalb, Gwinnett, Newton and Rockdale Counties who are part of Georgia’s 4th Congressional District feel disconnected from Hank Johnson, the man who represents them in Congress. Johnson’s Buddhist religion and Washington, DC, upbringing give him little in common with the people he represents. He has further distanced himself from his constituents with comments that have been deemed an embarrassment not only to his district, but the entire state.
Johnson is best known for stating his concern that the island of Guam would tip over and capsize, but he has also insulted the Jewish population, calling them termites and added insult to injury with a rambling statement about a cage fight between midgets and a giant. He followed that up with an apology for using the word “midget”. Johnson also addressed Congress about his concern that lack of access to helium would prevent comedians from being able to speak in a high-pitched squeaky voice.
Johnson, who is rarely seen in the community he represents, unless he is campaigning, has done little to improve economic conditions and opportunity within his district. He seems content to play the role of a career politician who rarely responds to the concerns of the people he is supposed to represent.
This year, Johnson has a well-qualified and credible opponent named Joe Profit. The son of sharecroppers, Profit grew up dirt poor in Louisiana. As the only African American player in a major southeast college football conference, Profit faced many obstacles. But he overcame them and became the number 1 draft pick for the Atlanta Falcons. Then he went on to become highly successful in business. For three years in a row, INC magazine rated Profit’s multimedia company one of the fastest growing privately held companies in the country.
Although Profit has never run for public office before, he has worked with Maynard Jackson, Andrew Young, John Conyers, Hosea Williams and Ralph David Abernathy, Sr. He was also appointed to presidential administration positions by Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.
In contrast to his opponent, Profit has been meeting with residents throughout the community he hopes to serve. He states, “I’m not just campaigning, I’m asking people what their main concerns are so I can address them when I get to Washington.”
For a video showing Hank Johnson statements, click here.