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GOP Criticized Over Political Attacks on Crime Some View As Racist

Black advocates and lawmakers are criticizing Republicans over attacks on Democrats regarding the issue of crime that they say carry racial undertones. A series of ads hitting Democrats as too soft on crime, directed at some white candidates but also Black candidates such as Stacey Abrams in Georgia and Mandela Barnes in Wisconsin, are using the issue of race to ignite fear, critics say, the Hill reports. The narrative is aimed at stirring up fear and it is being used against Black and Brown candidates, said Georgia state Sen. Tonya Anderson, chairwoman of the state’s Black Legislative Caucus, adding, “We are trying to make our communities better and this is a fear tactic to push people away from voting for what is good and proper and right.” Some point advertisements run by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp's campaign in the Georgia gubernatorial race, in which it appears that Abrams’s skin was significantly darkened. Kemp’s team has also been accused of using a darkened image of Abrams in a fundraising email and on social media that argued she was “putting criminals first.”

Gerald Griggs, president of Georgia’s NAACP, said the organization is aware of the ads run by Kemp’s campaign and is “very concerned about any attempt to racialize a candidate.” “Ms. Abrams is running on her own ability the same way Mr. Kemp is running on his own ability, and it should be about the policies, not racist dog whistles,” Griggs said. “This state is the birthplace of civil rights, we need to act accordingly.” Kemp’s team has dismissed the criticism, calling it “ridiculous.” “This is a desperate attack by a desperate campaign,” said Tate Mitchell, Kemp’s press secretary. “Stacey Abrams’s agenda for our state — including defunding the police, eliminating cash bail, and allowing criminals to roam our streets — is, in fact, dangerous.”


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