Some idiot political wannabe, somewhere, anonymously posted a heaping pile of racist manure to the web on Sunday while posing as Supervisor Sandra Fewer.
The post, which was hosted on the essay website Medium, was apparently meant to satirize race relations between San Francisco politicians running to represent the Southeast in this November’s supervisors race, but did such an abhorrent and offensive job of it it’s frankly tough to discern exactly who they’re lampooning.
Titled “Why Progressives Should Support Tony Kelly Over Shamann Walton,” the post claimed Fewer will be a future candidate for mayor, and satirically defended District 10 supervisor candidate Tony Kelly’s decision to run against two black candidates, Walton and Theo Ellington. Kelly is white.
It also took aim at Walton’s alleged ties to Lennar, a housing developer with thousands of units planned at the former Hunters Point Shipyard, a neighborhood at the center of controversy since Navy contractors were found to have falsified radioactivity tests to deem it safe for habitation. More directly, the post claims Walton is “bought and sold” by Lennar, clearly evoking slavery.
Hell, the post went further into the swamp of racist baiting with its header image, a photo of the book Uncle Tom’s Cabin, a jab apparently meant for Walton.
But while the post on the surface seemed to take aim at the moderate Democrat-aligned candidates on behalf of progressives, it could also be read as satire meant to flame Kelly’s supporters by painting them as racists in progressive clothing. It’s tough to know just who exactly this post was meant to make look bad — other than the person who created it.
For instance, it features choice lines like this one: “I am pretty sure the black community would rather have a white man like Tony Kelly who cares about their interests than a black man who gives them cancer.” It also features a caption reading “Mayor London Greed,” with a photo of Aunt Jemima brand syrup.
In less than a day, the post was deleted, but it has already left its mark on those its targeted. You can’t unsee hate.
It was offensive enough that I felt uncomfortable reposting some of the images used. And though I detest giving the blogger further reach, this needs to be called out.
Walton declined to comment. For their part, Kelly and Fewer disavowed the post.
“An anonymous blog account using my likeness has posted a racist, homophobic, and unbelievably disrespectful article about my friend and former colleague Shamann Walton, who I am supporting for District 10 Supervisor,” Fewer wrote in a statement shortly after the blog was posted. “I disavow this anonymous troll and demand whoever is responsible to take down this hateful blog immediately and refrain from ever using my likeness again. There is no place for this kind of hateful misinformation.”
Kelly penned a Facebook post and wrote “I am appalled by the post and want nothing to do with it or anyone who was involved in writing it … This kind of racism has no place in this election.”
While the original Medium post is abhorrent, it does call attention to a stark divide in the race to represent the neighborhoods home to one of San Francisco’s last thriving black populations. Why are progressives running a white man against two black men to represent, in part, the Bayview? The post also touched on a key issue in the race: How did each candidate defend the community before anyone in the mainstream knew or believed the Hunters Point Shipyard was radioactive, and therefore unsafe?
Those are complicated questions entirely worth asking. But no truths will be revealed by shoving racist diatribes into the mouths of opponents.
Bluntly: That’s just dumb.
On Guard prints the news and raises hell each week. Email Fitz at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow him on Twitter and Instagram @FitztheReporter, and Facebook at facebook.com/FitztheReporter.