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VA Dem's move "reeks of subtle racism"

Michael Ahrens - October 18, 2017

As recent polling shows a neck-and-neck race in Virginia, this is the story dominating the Commonwealth – on the day before President Obama campaigns for Democrat Ralph Northam...

Founder of Collective PAC (supports black candidates): “It reeks of subtle racism, if not a tone deafness about how were going to win in November.”

Loudoun County NAACP president: “A lot of us feel the Virginia Democratic Party has never been a very inclusive group and they always kind of marginalize African Americans without providing any grounds for advancement.”

 

‘Reeks of subtle racism’; Black Democrat omitted from campaign fliers in Virginia
Washington Post
Fenit Nirappil
October 18, 2017 
https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/virginia-politics/reeks-of-subtle-racism-tensions-after-black-candidate-left-off-fliers-in-virginia/2017/10/18/de74c47a-b425-11e7-a908-a3470754bbb9_story.html?utm_term=.a3c6ed1328fb

Virginia Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Ralph Northam omitted any mention of Justin Fairfax, the party’s African American candidate for lieutenant governor, from about a thousand pieces of campaign literature, a move Fairfax called a “mistake” and that has stoked tensions within the Democratic ticket and threatens to alienate African American voters three weeks before Election Day.

The palm cards with photos of Northam and Attorney General Mark Herring (D) were produced for canvassers with the Laborers’ International Union of North America, which asked that Fairfax be excluded because it did not endorse him. Fairfax has spoken critically of two proposed natural gas pipelines that the union supports.

The literature was a sliver of the 1.5 million pieces produced by the Northam campaign, and homes that received palm cards without Fairfax also received literature with the entire ticket, the Northam campaign said.

Nevertheless, a photo of two palm cards - one with and one without Fairfax - made its way around social media this week and provoked outrage.

“It reeks of subtle racism, if not a tone deafness about how were going to win in November,” said Quentin James, the founder of Collective PAC that supports black candidates, including Fairfax. “Leaving Justin Fairfax off of mailers, even if it’s only for a small universe of union members, still sends the wrong message.”

The dustup over the palm cards comes one day before former President Barack Obama is scheduled to headline a rally in Richmond with Northam, Fairfax and Herring. Obama’s appearance, at the city’s convention center, is designed to motivate the Democratic base and particularly African American voters.

Fairfax would be the first African American elected statewide in Virginia since L. Douglas Wilder became the nation’s first elected black governor in 1989. Blacks, who make up roughly a fifth of the Virginia electorate, are crucial for Democrats to win statewide.

Phillip Thompson, the president of the Loudoun County NAACP, said the exclusion of Fairfax from mailers reinforces a perception that the Democratic Party sees him as an outsider and is also taking the black vote for granted.

“A lot of us feel the Virginia Democratic Party has never been a very inclusive group and they always kind of marginalize African Americans without providing any grounds for advancement,” said Thompson. “Hillary (Clinton) won the state of Virginia because of the African American, Hispanic and minority vote...Justin is perfect person to help them do that again, and they still don’t support him.”

.@RalphNortham deleted his own LG running mate off his fliers. Why? Because unions commanded he do so,” tweeted Republican Governors Association spokesman Jon Thompson.

To read more, click here.

 


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