Chris Fields calls Keith Ellison a reverse racist
Photo: Chris Fields.
With the election inching closer, GOP-endorsed Congressional candidate Chris Fields is upping the attack rhetoric, now accusing Keith Ellison of "reverse racism" in his latest campaign literature.
The implication appears to be that Ellison -- the first Muslim to be elected to Congress and Minnesota's first black person in the House -- harbors a bias in favor of black politicians.
"Sadly, Keith Ellison and his cronies in the Congressional Black Caucus practice reverse racism and racial politics all the time," reads the literature. "As a candidate for Congress, I'm not afraid to confront the racial politics practiced by Ellison."
Pulling the race card is a natural enough progression from Fields, a candidate who just last week called Ellison "militantly anti-American." At the same time, it seems like strange logical gymnastics from the candidate who a month ago also said Ellison wasn't doing enough for black people.
The most clearly exaggerated piece of the literature is Fields's claim that so-called reverse racism inspired Ellison to walk out in protest the GOP's vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt earlier this summer. From the ad:
When Democrats and Republicans voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt for hindering the investigation of the murder of a U.S. Border Patrol Agent, Keith Ellison and the Congressional Black Caucus walked out and refused to vote.
In reality, dozens of congressional Democrats walked out on the vote -- not just Ellison and the Black Caucus.
Here's a description of the protest from The Daily Beast that paints a slightly different picture:
The walkout was led by the Black Caucus, the Hispanic Caucus, the Asian-Pacific Caucus, and the Progressive Caucus, and bolstered by the Democratic leadership: Nancy Pelosi in a bright white suit and second-in-command Steny Hoyer, whose decision to leave the House floor and join their members gave the walkout added heft. "You're seeing the whole diversity of the Democratic caucus," said Rep. Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri, who took the microphone first.
Ellison's campaign was quick to release a response condemning the attack.
"Chris Fields' divisive rhetoric is completely out of line with Minnesota values," reads the statement. "He continues making statements that seek to divide our communities rather than trying to bring people together. Despite Fields' attacks, our campaign will continue working to unite the Fifth District's diverse communities around solutions that move America forward and create economic prosperity for all."
Fields didn't respond to a voicemail Wednesday, but here's the literature in full:
Racism is Wrong
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss City Pages' biggest stories.
- A terrible Minneapolis park deal just got $2 million worse
Sat., Sep. 19, 12:00am
Sat., Sep. 19, 7:00pm
Sun., Sep. 20, 12:00pm
Sat., Sep. 26, 2:30pm
- Why you should never run over a kid while flying a confederate flag
- Minnesota has eighth most expensive cigarettes