ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – The racial tenor hit fever pitch Wednesday in the highly contentious Florida gubernatorial race between Ron DeSantis and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum. With just seven days left until the November 6 midterm election, an oldie but goodie has returned: monkey robocalls. If that wasn’t enough, in the wake of the deadliest attack on Jews in the United States at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, this latest robocall smears the Jews too–just for good measure.
Earlier in the race, Florida voters received robocalls with jungle and monkey noises, intended as a swipe at Gillum. After media attention and outrage, the calls died down, but it appears they’re back in a last hurrah to gin up the DeSantis (and Trump) base as early voting winds down and November 6 draws near.
WHAT’S ON THE MESSAGE
The voicemail message is spoken by what sounds like a black male in a hyperbolized southern accent, ostensibly a black American in the Jim Crow South. “Well, hello there! I is the Negro Andrew Gillum and I be axin’ you to make me governor of this here state of Florida!” The message hits on other stereotypes, including the use of “chicken feets” as “the medicine [pronounced med-i-sign in the message] of my African people,” which the character offers as an affordable healthcare solution in comparison to “the White Man’s medicine” which is very expensive “because of science and whatnot.”
The message’s Jew-smearing is a double-whammy by: a) lumping them into the slave trade while b) stating that Gillum supports that. “My esteemed opponent likes to claim that I don’t like the Jews, but that ain’t be further from the truth. In fact, it was the Jews that owned the slave trade…and brought my people here, and it was the Jews that put the Negroes in charge over the White folks, just like they did after the Civil War.”
Orange County Democratic Party Chair Wes Hodge was among the voters who received the message Wednesday and had strong words in response. “I think it is disgusting that these things are creeping back into politics,” he told FNN News in a statement. “We are better than this, Andrew Gillum deserves better than this, and the voters of Florida deserve better than this.
“The Republicans have given these extremists a platform, and we are calling on them to disavow these groups and people immediately.”
Given the Pittsburgh mass shooting and the mailed bombs aimed at Trump’s perceived enemies (courtesy of a Floridian) last week, plus Trump’s remarks on the refugee caravan and on abolishing birthright citizenship, the national climate stands on the edge of a knife. This robocall adds more gasoline to the inferno.
Mellissa Thomas is Editor for Florida National News. | firstname.lastname@example.org