Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) suggested at a rally in Nevada this month that Black people are criminals.
A day later in Arizona, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) appeared to refer to a specious conspiracy theory about immigrants that has been associated with white nationalists — baseless claims that at least two GOP candidates for the U.S. Senate have echoed.
And in Wisconsin and North Carolina, Democratic candidates for the Senate have faced a barrage of ads on crime that feature mug shots of Black defendants.
As the campaign heats up in the final weeks before November’s midterm elections, so have overt appeals to racial animus and resentment. And the toxic remarks appear to be receiving less pushback from Republicans than in past years, suggesting that some candidates in the first post-Trump election cycle have been influenced by the ex-president’s norm-breaking example.
“Anybody who’s got a title in the party could say something — senator, governor, anybody,” said Michael Steele, a former chair of the Republican National Committee, who noted a deafening silence in the party after Tuberville’s comment. “Anyone could stand up and say, ‘Can we stop this please?’ But they won’t.”
At the Nevada rally that was staged by Trump in the town of Minden last Saturday for the state’s top Republican candidates, Tuberville called Democrats “pro-crime.”
“They want crime,” he continued. “They want crime because they want to take over what you got. They want to control what you have. They want reparations because they think the people that do the crime are owed that.”
A debate over whether to provide reparations, or compensation, to the descendants of people enslaved in the United States has existed in the country for decades. By invoking it, Tuberville appeared to link Black people to crime in a battleground state where Republicans are fighting to gain one Senate seat — and with it potentially the majority in the chamber.
The remark drew condemnations from civil rights leaders and Democrats, but most national Republicans stayed silent or offered only mild responses. [Continue reading…]