Data News Staff
When Politics Goes Too Far
In a recent mailer from a PAC (Political Action Committee) calling itself NOTFORSALENOLA.com, has been attacking not only mayoral candidate Desiree Charbonnet, but Black leadership in general, categorizing them as corrupt and criminal. While this assertion is far from true, it has not stopped them from spreading falsehoods and more recently distributing ones of the most disturbing mailers featuring a cartoon image of candidate Charbonnet holding a gun.
While most understand politics as a full contact sport, this goes too far. This demonizing of a Black woman who is a former judge, who has no criminal record; putting a gun in her hand, sends the wrong message to residents of our city. New Orleanians, like residents of all other major American cities, have suffered far too much from gun violence in our communities. Secondly, it seems that their intent is to paint Black leadership as corrupt and not to be trusted, with the goal being to divide and distract our community, while the issues that truly matter to the people of our city in this election are being ignored. This political slight-of-hand funded by anonymous individuals, is an attempt to smear independent Black leadership. And we as concerned citizens that care for our city must ask ourselves, who is behind this dark money, where is it coming from and what is their agenda for our city?
Dark Money Sowing the Seeds of Racial Division
As we approach New Orleans’ 300th Anniversary, we must consider how important this election is for the future of our city in determining what direction it will be steered. It seems that this dark money group is attempting to contaminate our election process with a campaign of misinformation. Having witnessed this in the 2016 Presidential race, we cannot allow this to happen in our local elections. We want an election that is fair and where all candidates and interest groups can be identified and held to the same standards. In this scenario, the citizens of New Orleans can go to the polls armed with the accurate information when they make their choice at the ballot box.
But this does not seem to be the goal of notforsalenola.com as they have only distributed their printed mailers attacking Charbonnet and Black leaders in certain neighborhoods. This is a tactic that seems to attempt to polarize our community in a time where we all need to come together; finding solutions to the problems that plague our city.
Building Bridges and a Brighter Future for New Orleans
We must ask ourselves why this group is targeting Black leadership and the Charbonnet campaign? And, with this recent stunt of placing a gun in her hand, we must let them know this is unacceptable and some in our community are outraged. Charbonnet is now spending time responding via one of her latest campaign commercials, and we feel it is time for Jesse Gilmore, a campaign consultant who is listed on the Louisiana Ethics Administration Program website as the chairperson of NOTFORSALENOLA.com to make a public statement as to why they chose to do something that is inappropriate, unethical, unnecessary and playing to the worst racial stereotypes and prejudices.
We must reject the tactics of those who are taking the low road to smear someone running for the city’s highest office. It is a time where our city needs to build bridges of understanding and decide that all races and zip codes matter in New Orleans. In closing, we would like to say in more ways than one this is an historical election and we cannot let dark money get in the way of our bright future.
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