"I want to make sure that we don't racialize, and, frankly, weaponize, race as a part of this process," says Florida governor candidate Andrew Gillum, after he is targeted by racist robocalls https://t.co/8TSB4YVsHv #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/RbpFURyINP cnnbrk:http://twitte…— Shabbir A (@ShabbirA1) September 3, 2018
Andrew Gillum could be Florida’s first African-American governor after securing the Democratic nomination.
However, the gubernatorial race in the Sunshine State has been marred with racist innuendos and remarks.
Gillum's Republican opponent, Florida Rep. Ron DeSantis, faced immense backlash after he urged voters to not “monkey this up” by voting for the outspoken progressive.
The comments were undeniably racist and ignorant of historical context that any grade school student could be aware of.
However, that was not the end of it.
Gillum was then targeted in a Neo-Nazi robocall, mocking his heritage and laden with offensive language — the call featured the n-word a couple of times.
The audio starts with an individual pretending to Gillum, with drums and monkey sounds in the back ground.
The call, which was obtained by NBC, also featured the pretend “Gillum” saying that the African-American community “done made mud huts while white folk waste a bunch of time making their home out of wood an’ stone.”
The caller also said he would pass a law that would make sure a black person would not be arrested if “fo’ sho he didn’t do nothin.”
The extremely derogatory call had a disclaimer message at the end which said it was funded by The Road to Power, an Idaho neo-Nazi website and video podcast, according to the Tallahassee Democrat. The same site is reportedly responsible for racist, anti-Semitic and anti-immigration calls in relation with the deadly Charlottesville rally in Virginia and Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts’ death.
A spokesman for DeSantis, despite his racist comments (and its defense) and administration of a racist Tea Party Facebook group, called the robocall “absolutely appalling and disgusting.”
"Our campaign has and will continue to focus solely on the issues that Floridians care about and uniting our state as we continue to build on our success,” DeSantis’ spokesperson Stephen Lawson added.
Florida Governor Rick Scott also blasted the robocall saying racial politics would not be tolerated in Florida.
There is no room for any racial politics here in Florida - none. Florida is a melting pot of people from all over the globe, and we are proud of it. No attempts to divide people by race or ethnicity will be tolerated, from anyone. THIS. STOPS. NOW. https://t.co/LX72MvP89P— Rick Scott (@ScottforFlorida) August 31, 2018
Gillum himself said slammed the call as “deeply regrettable.”
Appearing on CNN’s State Of The Union, the Florida governor candidate said he did not “want this race to turn into is a race of name-calling.”
“I want to make sure that we don’t racialize, and frankly, weaponize race as a part of this process,” he said. “People are taking their cues from [DeSantis], his campaign and from Donald Trump. And we saw in Charlottesville that that can lead to real, frankly, dangerous outcomes.”
While Gillum has not called his Republican opponent a “racist,” he has called out for him to “tone down his rhetoric.”
WATCH: Andrew Gillum calls on Rep. DeSantis to stand against racist attacks in Florida Governor's race. #MTP@andrewgillum: "I have not called [Rep. DeSantis] a racist" but "his rhetoric, in my opinion, has to be toned down" pic.twitter.com/Ge0ru49gRJ— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) September 2, 2018
Thumbnail/ Banner Credits: REUTERS/Joe Skipper