As America continues to be divided over the issues of race, history, and politics, a #Charlotte, North Carolina, mayoral candidate announced on Facebook both her politics and race when she posted she was a Republican, smart, white, and traditional. The post backfired, and the candidate faced a backlash for advertising her race as a qualification for office.

Facebook post causes controversy

The Washington Post reported that candidate Kimberley Paige Barnette, a former magistrate who is running for office for the first time, posted the offensive post on her Facebook profile. It started out with the "Vote for Me!" Barnette included her name, the phrase "Mayor of Charlotte 2017," and then a line in all caps below.

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It said, "Republican & Smart, White, Traditional. The post, which appeared at the top of her profile, drew angry responses on social media while the Republican Party chose to distance itself from the candidate. GOP Chairman Robin Hayes, in a statement from the Republican Party, said that the contest for mayor needed to be based on issues like public safety, infrastructure, and economic development. To suggest that skin color alone was the only qualification for office would be considered offensive to the Republican Party.

The dangers of identity politics

People Magazine said that the candidate was being slammed by the Republican Party for the Facebook post, which she later deleted. In a later post by Barnette, she said that there was a Congressional Black Caucus, and she apologized for describing herself as white when it offended others.

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Barnette's Facebook account is no longer active although she is registered to take part in the upcoming Republican primary. Her opponents have spoken out against her, and she is considered to be a long-shot candidate. Charlotte City Council member Kenny Smith said that Barnette would probably only get about one percent of the vote. Other comments Barnette made that may have contributed to the backlash included that she thought Charlotte should discourage low-income people from coming to Charlotte and work on encouraging more high-income people to come to the city. She also criticized last month's protesters during the Mayoral Debate for their expression of "Democratic behavior."

The Daily Caller wrote that it was dangerous to engage in identity politics. Claims of racism and white supremacy are often used as a way to shut people up. There are times when people do say racist things, and it is best not to ignore it. Besides being stupid, it tears people apart, and race alone is never a reason to vote for a candidate. At the federal level, Republicans are expected to be heavily favored in the races in 2018.

#Mayoral Race #Charlotte North Carolina