President Barack Obama returns to the campaign trail on Thursday to fire up voters in a crucial Virginia governor race. His appearance at a Richmond rally comes on the behalf of gubernatorial candidate Ralph Northam, who hopes the former president will help him excite Black voters. However, racial tensions are on edge among Virginia’s Democrats, which threatens to dampen Black turnout on Election Day.
The tension stems from Northam omitting Justin Fairfax, the Black candidate for lieutenant governor, from a group of campaign fliers that lists Democrats running for office, The Washington Post reports.
“It reeks of subtle racism, if not a tone deafness about how we are going to win in November,” Quentin James, the founder of Collective PAC that supports black candidates, told The Post.
The Laborers’ International Union of North America is behind the decision to omit the only Black candidate on the ticket, which includes Attorney General Mark Herring. Fairfax disapproved of two proposed natural gas pipelines that the union supports, so union leaders refused to endorse Fairfax.
This controversy is flaring weeks ahead of the election in a tight race between Northam and his Republican rival Ed Gillespie. Political analysts say that the Democrat cannot afford to underperform with Black voters.
Northam’s campaign said the fliers the omit Fairfax account for about 1,000 of the 1.5 million pieces of campaign literature. And the homes that receive the controversial fliers will also receive campaign literature that includes Fairfax.
However, James is unmoved. “Leaving Justin Fairfax off…even if it’s only for a small universe of union members, still sends the wrong message,” he told the newspaper.
Fairfax, a 38-year-old attorney, told The Post that the omission was a “mistake,” but he declined to characterize Northam’s decision as racist.
Meanwhile, Fairfax is also receiving subtle racist attacks from the right. His Republican opponent, Jill Holtzman Vogel, raised a question during their last debate about whether Fairfax can “talk intelligently” about issues.
If Fairfax wins, he will become the first African American elected statewide in Virginia since Douglas Wilder became governor in 1989.
SOURCE: Washington Post
Happy Presidents' Day! 44 Photos To Make You Miss Obama
1. Barack Gives Daughter Malia a KissSource:Getty 1 of 42
2. Michelle and Barack tell the kids a storySource:Getty 2 of 42
3. Michelle and Barack KissSource:Getty 3 of 42
4. Michelle and BarackSource:Getty 4 of 42
5. First Family PortraitSource:Getty 5 of 42
6. Two TermsSource:Getty 6 of 42
7. Michelle and Barack host a State DinnerSource:Getty 7 of 42
8. Barack Obama and Michelle ObamaSource:Getty 8 of 42
9. The Obamas on Air Force OneSource:Getty 9 of 42
10. The First Family in LondonSource:Getty 10 of 42
11. First Lady Michelle Obama with daughters Malia Obama and Sasha ObamaSource:Getty 11 of 42
12. Sasha and Malia Obama at the 2016 State DinnerSource:Getty 12 of 42
13. Turkey PardoningSource:Getty 13 of 42
14. Sunday ChurchSource:Getty 14 of 42
15. Gobble, GobbleSource:Getty 15 of 42
16. Malia Obama, the First DaughterSource:Getty 16 of 42
17. Barack Obama and his daughter Malia ObamaSource:Getty 17 of 42
18. A Family AffairSource:Getty 18 of 42
19. Flashback To The Old DaysSource:Pete Souza 19 of 42
20. Happy Birthday!Source:Getty 20 of 42
21. Candidly AwesomeSource:Pete Souza 21 of 42
22. Historic First FamilySource:Getty 22 of 42
23. Ice Cream TreatSource:Getty 23 of 42
24. TV TimeSource:Pete Souza 24 of 42
25. Always Giving BackSource:Getty 25 of 42
26. A Christmas StorySource:Getty 26 of 42
27. Hawaii Trip!Source:Getty 27 of 42
28. Obama Loves Team USA & His WifeSource:Getty 28 of 42
29. Malia and Sasha ObamaSource:Getty 29 of 42
30. Michelle Plays on a BikeSource:Getty 30 of 42
31. Obama Loves Team USA, His Wife & MaliaSource:Getty 31 of 42
32. Reading TimeSource:Pete Souza 32 of 42
33. Family SupportSource:Getty 33 of 42
34. The Sister SelfieSource:Pete Souza 34 of 42
35. Supporting MomSource:Pete Souza 35 of 42
36. Giving Back On MLK DaySource:Getty 36 of 42
37. Obamas Give Back To The CommunitySource:Getty 37 of 42
38. Always Supporting Small BusinessesSource:Getty 38 of 42
39. Obama SwaggerSource:Getty 39 of 42
40. Laughs & TurkeysSource:Getty 40 of 42
41. Christmas With The ObamasSource:Getty 41 of 42
42. 50th Anniversary Of March On SelmaSource:Pete Souza 42 of 42
Obama Campaigns In Virginia Amid ‘Subtle Racism’ Dustup Among Democrats was originally published on newsone.com