Conservative PAC draws charges of racism in Missouri
O'FALLON, MO (AP) - A Conservative Political Action Committee in Missouri is charged with racism after posting a website using pictures of violent protests and photos of black politicians to identify the Democratic nominee for governor for her Support the police attack.
Nicole Galloway, Missouri's chartered accountant, seeks to evict Republican Governor Mike Parson, a former sheriff who works on a law and order platform. The website recently launched by the Uniting Missouri PAC is titled "Nicole Galloway's Anti-Police Allies" and says, "If you want to know where Galloway is, see who she supports."
The site includes photos of black St. Louis politicians and activists Cori Bush and Rasheen Aldridge, as well as Clem Smith, a black man who is the incumbent leader of the Missouri Democratic Party. Also pictured are multiracial members of the Sunrise movement. The video in the background shows violent scenes from protests.
Several Democrats, along with St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Tony Messenger and the Kansas City Star editorial team, believe that it is more than coincidental that the images are of mostly black people.
“For me it's not just a dog whistle. It's a megaphone, ”said Lindsey Simmons, a Democrat who is running for the US home in the 4th District of Missouri against incumbent Republican Vicky Hartzler. “They say straight out, 'Hey, be scared of Nicole Galloway, she's crime-friendly because look at the black people she's hanging out with and they're crime-friendly too. 'It's just unbelievable, openly racist. ”
Parson's campaign is not involved in the website. His campaign did not return email messages looking for comments.
John Hancock, chairman of the Missouri Association, denied any racist intent, saying the people depicted meet two criteria: they support Galloway and they "hold documented radical views against law enforcement".
"The website simply gathers raw testimony from Nicole Galloway's allies who are working to defuse the police, free convicted cop killers and even set fire to a police station," Hancock said in an email.
"If Nicole doesn't want to be criticized for supporting candidates who want to disappoint the police, she should withdraw her endorsement - it's that simple," said Hancock.
Galloway Campaign spokesman Kevin Donohoe said in a statement that the website is evidence that Parson's allies are "desperately trying to divide Missourians on account of Governor Parson's failures on crime, law and order, and health care Pandemic distract. "
Bush and Aldridge are longtime activist leaders in St. Louis. Bush caused an astounding political surprise in August, defeating ten-year-old incumbent Democratic US Representative William Lacy Clay in Missouri's 1st District Elementary School. She is expected to win easily in November. Aldridge represents a district in St. Louis at Missouri House. Smith was a five-year state official who was named acting chairman of the Missouri Democratic Party in July.
The website features a tweet from Bush that read, "We need to disappoint the police and make sure the money goes back to the communities that need it." It cites a June story on KSDK-TV's website in which Aldridge said activists' demands include exonerating the police and paying redress for past racism.
The website links to a news article in which Smith signed a letter calling for the "immediate freedom" of a man serving life sentence without parole after killing a Philadelphia police officer in 1981.
Clarissa Rile Hayward, a professor of political science at Washington University in St. Louis with expertise in the relationship between race and politics, said there were many other races activists with similar views that could have been imagined. She said the website smells like the "strategy of the south" of communicating a racist message through encrypted language rather than overt racism.
“The message is, 'Galloway is not on your side; she's on her side, "said Hayward." I think it's pretty insistent and I think there is a racist sub-text that is not difficult to see and not subtle. "
Opinion writers for the two largest state newspapers have also made exceptions to the website.
A celebrity editorial on Wednesday accused Uniting Missouri of "using ugly tactics in their campaign" against Galloway. Messenger wrote Tuesday that standing on his own record as sheriff is not enough for Parson.
"It's like his campaign, or the one run by his pals, is the little boy in the Sixth Sense movie with a bit of a racist twist," I see black people, "Messenger wrote.
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