Councilman Michael Jackson has invited Umar Johnson, a controversial speaker, to speak at a campaign event. He said Johnson will talk about the “importance of voting” at an event at Jacksonville Restaurant on Friday night.
Johnson has advocated violence against police. He has also railed against homosexuality, interracial marriage, and white people.
“It’s time for one of us, when we get into fight with one of these police, to take that damn weapon and blow his god damn brain out,” Johnson says in a video.
Gerald Palmer, a minister out of Kansas City, Mo., described Johnson as a “very vile speaker of hate.”
Palmer urged Jackson to disinvite him from the event.
“He’s a very educated person,” said Jackson of Johnson. “He speaks about some of the truths that goes on in our community. I don’t condone anyone speaking about hate. He won’t be speaking about hate at my event.”
Jackson said Johnson will be speaking at his restaurant at 9 p.m. tonight about the importance of voting. Jackson is among six people running for mayor.
“His comments are very homophobic and violent driven,’ said Palmer. “He’s also said black people shouldn’t vote.”
A phone number was not available to reach Johnson, who is out of Philadelphia, for comments.
Johnson is not new to Paterson. He visits the city 3-4 times a year, according to Palmer, who is part of a group that monitors Johnson’s various speaking events throughout the United States.
“If he’s really concerned about being the mayor of Paterson, he should disinvite him,” said Palmer. “If he was smart, he would get him off of there. Umar’s views, hopefully, does not reflect what he wants to do in Paterson,” said Palmer.
Palmer said Jackson should research Johnson’s past speeches and look at his background. He said Johnson has faced problems with the Pennsylvania Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs for portraying himself as a psychologist.
Johnson faces fines for claiming to be a psychologist practicing counseling without license, according to a Philadelphia media report.