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Angela Thorpe Campaign - Racist Remarks

Angela Thorpe Campaign - Racist Remarks

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Published by TalbertSwan

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Published by: TalbertSwan on Dec 20, 2012
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December 20, 2012 Springfield Branch NAACP Condemns Racist Remarks of East Longmeadow Republican Committee Treasurer and Peter Punderson Campaign Manager Carol K. Johnston. Calls on Punderson and Republican Committee for Apology Contact: Rev. Talbert W. Swan, II, President, (413) 650-6154

The Springfield Branch NAACP unequivocally condemns the racially insensitive remarks of Carol K. Johnston regarding the support received by Angela K. Thorpe in her campaign for the East Longmeadow Board of Selectmen. Furthermore, we challenge Peter Punderson to elaborate on his stance regarding the articulated sentiments. We find it disturbing that Mr. Punderson neither condemned nor addressed the comments. His reported response: “I’m not going to go there,” is wholly unacceptable regarding racially coded remarks made in his presence by his campaign chair. His silence on the matter infers complicity or agreement. Johnston, also the treasure of the East Longmeadow Republican Party, reportedly stated: "I can't believe she got that many votes," exclaimed Punderson's campaign manager, Carol K. Johnston. "It's just like with Obama ... people just came out to vote for him just because he's black." When questioned about those comments, she doubled down on her racist rant and added: "I didn't know we had so many blacks in town, but I guess we have more than I thought." Considering the support of African Americans for President Barack Obama, it is obviously too psychologically difficult for Republicans to blame their decades old problem with black and brown voters on an ideology that is anti-affirmative action, anti-choice, anti-the social safety net, pro-voter ID, pro-tax breaks for the wealthy, pro demonizing of welfare and accepting of birtherism. Instead of looking at the Republican ideology and realizing that it is hostile to blacks, they call blacks racist for their supposedly thoughtless skin-color-based support of Obama. Ironically, Johnston has chosen to apply the same racist ideology to those who chose to vote for Angela Thorpe. Perhaps mathematics isn’t her strong suit as she wrongfully assumed that everyone who voted for Thorpe was African American, a mathematical impossibility in a town with only 120 African American residents.

  The idea that blacks support candidates simply because they’re black is itself racist because it suggests a lack of political sophistication and brainpower, as if blacks would vote for anyone who shares their skin color. A cursory view of history would reveal that most blacks didn’t support Herman Cain, Allen West, Alan Keyes, Carol Mosley Braun or Al Sharpton in their bids for the presidency. The very notion ignores the nuances of reality. In the case of President Obama, his policies are a major factor for his high level of support among communities of color. Saving the auto industry, supporting universal health care, and fighting to protect the social safety net and a woman’s right to choose won lots of black votes. The nation reelecting Barack Obama serves to redefine blackness in the American collective mind via the radical act of having a brilliant black man as leader of the country. That notion was obviously reflected in the major support received by Angela Thorpe, an intelligent black woman, in a town where blacks represent less than 1% of the population. To callously comment that blacks reflexively supported Thorpe because of race with complete disregard for the evidence was a vapid critique, which was utterly disrespectful to Thorpe, her campaign team, her supporters, the residents of East Longmeadow and communities of color throughout the region. Ms. Johnston should be ashamed of herself and the Punderson campaign and Republican Committee should remit an immediate apology for her insensitive remarks.  

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