The gubernatorial race in Georgia continues to be marred by racist antics and overt voter suppression. Republican Brian Kemp is catching backlash for taking a photo with a known White nationalist who was wearing an anti-Muslim T-shirt in the photo.
James J. Stachowiak created a video in which he threatened to kill Black women and kids. “I don’t care if they are women or children, they should be shot on site,” Stachowiak said in the video posted on his YouTube page. “They should be shot exiting the store. If they make it down the street, take their a–es out, shoot them in them back.” In the same video, he threatens Black Lives Matter while holding an assault rifle showing a bullet with the letters “BLM” on it.
Stachowiak is a staunch Kemp supporter and recently took a picture with the gubernatorial wearing a T-shirt that read, “Allah is not God.” Kemp may have been unaware of the words on Stachowiak’s shirt, but some believe that he embraced Islamaphobia by agreeing to take the picture.
Similar to Democrat Andrew Gillum’s words to his Republican opponent Ron DeSantis during their heated gubernatorial debate in Florida, “the racists believe that he’s a racist.”
Kemp’s spokesman Ryan Mahoney downplayed the incident. “Brian Kemp takes hundreds of photos a day while traveling the state. It’s ridiculous to think he should be held responsible for the beliefs of every person who wants to snap a picture with him, Mahoney said. “Brian Kemp stands against hatred. He believes we should treat all people with respect.”
The rhetoric being spewed by Donald Trump and some in the Republican Party is creating a dangerous atmosphere for Americans. Within a week, three White domestic terrorists have committed acts of violence that allegedly were motivated by politics and racism.
On Oct. 24, bombs were mailed to Democrats, including Barack and Michelle Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton, former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and California Congresswoman Maxine Waters. A bomb was also mailed to Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey days later. On Oct. 26, Cesar Sayoc, a Trump-supporter, was arrested in South Florida.
Also on Oct. 24, Gregory Bush, who is White, killed two Black people at a Kentucky grocery store after attempting to shoot people at a Black church. And on Oct. 27, Robert D. Bowers, 46, killed 11 people in a Pittsburgh synagogue. Some believe his attack was fueled by Trump’s rhetoric that Jewish people were funding undocumented immigrants.