It looked like a clever new political strategy when President Donald Trump attacked Andrew Gillum on Twitter shortly after the 39-year-old Tallahassee mayor made history on Aug. 28 by becoming the first African-American nominee for Florida governor.
Trump tweeted the next day, on Aug. 29, “Not only did Congressman Ron DeSantis easily win the Republican Primary, but his opponent in November is his biggest dream. . .a failed Socialist Mayor named Andrew Gillum who has allowed crime & many other problems to flourish in his city. This is not what Florida wants or needs!”
Flip through a political history book. Don’t yawn. The point is it looks like Trump’s and DeSantis’ race-fueled-mud-slinging are neither clever nor new. Minority political candidates have (and continue) to face three issues: Race, money, and turning out African-Americans voters.
The same three issues confront all three history-making African-American gubernatorial candidates. Gillum joins Ben Jealous, who is running for governor in Maryland, and Georgia’s history-making gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, who is the subject of a new attack ad by the Republican Governor’s Association.
Look closely. Here you see one of the three, time-honored issues playing out in the TV ad by Abram’s opponent. The ad says Abrams should stop “tap-dancing” around the issues. The ad shows a pair of dancing feet, reminiscent of an African-American performer like Sammy Davis Jr. and then criticizes Abrams for failing to pay her taxes. Abrams’s Republican opponent, Brian Kemp, is known for several provocative ads, including one in which he revs the engine of his pickup truck and says he’ll use it to “round up criminal illegals and take ‘em home myself.”
Another example (of the three issues that minority political candidates often face) surfaces in the governor’s race in Maryland. Here, it’s all about the money.
By Rosaland Tyler
New Journal and Guide
…see Governors, page 13, Vol. 118, No. 35 (Sept 6 -12, 2018)