A series of racist robo-calls targeting Democrats Stacey Abrams and Andrew Gillum — both of whom are black — have been rolling in ahead of the Tuesday’s midterm elections.
“This is the magical Negro Oprah Winfrey asking you to make my fellow Negress Stacey Abrams the governor of Georgia,” begins one robo-call that began circulating last week in Georgia, where Abrams is the Democratic candidate for governor, according to the Hill. The call describes Abrams as a “poor man’s Aunt Jemima.”
The call also includes an anti-Semitic reference to the “Jews who own the American media” and says that Oprah was used as a tool to “trick dumb white women into thinking that I was like them.”
“It is not surprising that in a race that has consistently been very close, we’ve seen several weeks of increasing desperation from many dark corners trying to steal the election, cheat, lie, and prey on people’s fears rather than having the respect to listen to voters and speak to their hopes,” Abrams spokeswoman Abigail Collazo said in a statement to the Washington Post.
Abrams’ opponent, Republican Brian Kemp, decried the call as “racist” and “absolutely” disgusting, but Abrams said Kemp’s disavowal wasn’t enough.
“I think it’s a little late for him to repudiate racist remarks given that he’s stood with someone wearing an anti-Islam T-shirt,” Abrams said Monday on CNN. “He refused to denounce the same man earlier who accused black veterans of not being people who support our country.”
Kemp, who is Georgia’s secretary of state, has been accused of attempting to suppress black voters in the state. Last month, Kemp’s office delayed 53,000 votes — 70 percent of them black voters — for failing to meet an “exact match” qualification. Kemp, offering no evidence to back up his claim, has also accused Democrats of attempting to hack the state’s voter registration system.
In Florida, calls that included chimpanzee noises with a racist approximation of Gillum, who is the state’s Democratic candidate for governor, began circulating late last month.
“Well hello there. I is the negro Andrew Gillum and I'll be askin’ you to make me governor of this here state of Florida," the call says.
“My state opponent, who done call me monkey, is doin' a lot of hollerin’ about how ‘spensive my plans for health care be.”
Both calls were reportedly produced by a Idaho-based website called the Road to Power, which also hosts a racist and anti-Semitic video podcast. Road to Power has been labeled a “right-wing extremist website" by the Anti-Defamation League.
Gillum, the progressive who shocked with a surprise victory in the Democratic primary and is polling 7 points ahead of his Republican opponent in a recent Quinnipiac poll, also expressed disgust over the robo-calls. The calls echoed comments made by Gillum’s opponent, Ron DeSantis, who warned Florida voters in August not to “monkey this up” by electing Gillum.
“This is reprehensible — and could only have come from someone with intentions to fuel hatred and seek publicity," Gillum campaign spokesman Geoff Burgan said in a statement.
Cover image: ATLANTA- Former President Barack Obama speaks to a crowd of thousands at Morehouse College as he campaigns for Democratic nominee for Georgia Governor Stacey Abrams in Atlanta, Georgia Friday November 2, 2018. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)