The St. Petersburg, Florida, mayoral race took a racist turn Tuesday when one of the candidates made bigoted comments toward an opponent and his supporters.
According to Fox 13 News, candidate Paul Congemi had some choice words for Jesse Nevel, a white man who represents the African Uhuru movement and is also running for mayor.
"Mr. Nevel you and your people talk about reparations,” Congemi said during a mayoral debate. “The reparations that you talk about, Mr. Nevel, your people already got your reparations. Your reparations came in the form of a man named Barack Obama.”
The Uhuru movement, or the African People’s Socialist Party, focuses on the theory of African Internationalism and aims to advance the social and economic conditions for Africans throughout the world. This context, presumably, is what triggered Congemi’s next comments.
"My advice to you, if you don't like it here in America, planes leave every hour from Tampa airport. Go back to Africa,” Congemi added. “Go back to Africa. Go back!”
Congemi’s inappropriate remarks reportedly came after he was called a "non-factor" at some point earlier in the debate.
Following Congemi's rant, Nevel repeated the "non-factor" jab, which can be heard in the clip.
The targets of this tirade were the Uhuru movement and their candidate @realjessenevel After, you hear Nevel saying Congemi is not a factor— Evan Axelbank Fox13 (@EvanAxelbank) July 19, 2017
This type of blatant racism has become normalized in politics following the controversial campaign rhetoric that President Donald Trump used to win an undeserved seat in the White House. Congemi seems to be taking a page out of Trump's book in hopes that it will work for him the same way. Voters in St. Petersburg must join forces to make sure that it doesn't.
Banner/Thumbnail Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Fibonacci Blue