Political News

Homeland Security's head of community outreach resigns over past controversial comments on black community, Islam

Posted November 16, 2017 7:25 p.m. EST

— Rev. Jamie Johnson resigned Thursday as the head of faith-based and neighborhood partnerships at the Department of Homeland Security after a CNN KFile report revealed inflammatory past comments he made about the black community and Islam.

In past radio appearances, Johnson had said the black community was responsible for turning major US cities into "slums" and argued that Islam's only contribution to society was "oil and dead bodies."

DHS Press secretary Tyler Houlton confirmed the resignation, which was first reported by The Hill, to CNN in a statement.

"Acting Secretary Duke has accepted Rev. Jamie Johnson's resignation as Director of the Center for Faith-Based & Neighborhood Partnerships at DHS. His comments made prior to joining the Department of Homeland Security clearly do not reflect the values of DHS and the administration. The Department thanks him for his recent work assisting disaster victims and the interfaith community," Houlton said.

Prior to his resignation, Johnson apologized for his comments, telling CNN earlier Thursday: "I regret the manner in which those thoughts were expressed in the past, but can say unequivocally that they do not represent my views personally or professionally."

Johnson was appointed in April by then-Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly to lead the Center for Faith-Based & Neighborhood Partnerships at the department. The center was created in 2006 after Hurricanes Katrina, Wilma and Rita to "engage a broader cross-section of faith and community-based organizations in all stages of the disaster sequence and provide resources for faith and community leaders to help them prepare for emergency situations," according to its website.