The Republican candidate, Mark Robinson, is in a close race with Democrat Yvonne Lewis Holley for the key Council of State office.
“Most people probably assume we’ve got two relatively normal candidates running relatively normal races,” NC Sen. Jeff Jackson wrote on Facebook Sunday. “We don’t.”
Bashing Black voters seems to be a recurring theme for Robinson, who is also Black. He is pitted against a Black candidate, Democratic state Rep. Yvonne Lewis Holley from Wake County. If elected, either candidate would become North Carolina’s first Black lieutenant governor. A Sept. 2 poll by East Carolina University’s Center for Survey Research, shows Robinson with 43% of the vote as opposed to 40% for Holley.
“Michelle Obama is an anti-American, abortion and gay marriage supporting, liberal leftist elitist and I’ll be glad when he takes his boyfriend and leaves the White House.” Robinson wrote in 2017, implying that the former first lady is a man.
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“Half of black Democrats don’t realize they are slaves and don’t know who their masters are” he wrote about African Americans who cast their ballots for Democrats. “The other half don’t care.”
Robinson also expressed disdain for Black audiences who went to see the Marvel superhero movie Black Panther, saying the film was created by an agnostic Jew who is also a satanic Marxist.
“How can this trash, that was only created to pull the shekels out of your Schvartze pockets, invoke any pride?” Robinson asks.
“Schvartze,” the Yiddish slur for Black people that Robinson used may be deliberate, because in another post he blames President Trump’s failures to deal with the novel coronavirus on a cabal of globalists, an anti-Semitic far right theory that The New York Times reported has been buoyed by the president.
Jackson’s criticism of Robinson is somewhat unusual in that the two are not pitted against each other in this year’s election. The senator has gained many social media followers for his no-nonsense, get-the-information-out-there approach, including his measured review of an alleged kettling incident in uptown Charlotte last summer where Charlotte Mecklenburg Police officers trapped peaceful protestors and bombarded them with chemical munitions including tear gas.
“I feel our divisions are growing deeper each day,” Jackson wrote in an October 2018 Twitter post. “So, let me just take a moment and commend my opponent on running an honest positive campaign. She’s a good person and deserves your consideration.”
But for Robinson, Jackson is raising a red flag.
“Read (the posts) for yourself and come to your own conclusions,” Jackson wrote. “He apologizes for none of this.”
In a field crowded with many prominent Republicans, voters chose first-time candidate Robinson, Jackson wrote. In fact, Robinson won the March Republican primary in a landslide, beating eight other candidates, including a former member of Congress, a state senator and the state’s current superintendent of schools.
Robinson rose to prominence in a 2018 Greensboro City Council meeting, angrily rebuking council members for suggesting a gun show be canceled in the wake of the shooting at a Parkland, Fla., high school.
On a Thursday night taping of On The Record, which aired September 26 on WRAL-TV. Robinson defended his social media posts. Holley was also on the show.
“I don’t back up from them a bit,” Robinson said. “May hurt some people’s feelings, some things that people may not like, but those are my personal opinions.”
“How can you sit there and say that stuff?” Holley told WRAL in a follow-up interview after the show.
Holley, a longtime state leader, has focused her campaign on education and criminal justice reform. Robinson has centered his campaign on gun rights and abortion.
In a public debate early in September, Robinson dismissed climate change, calling it “wild ideas” and “unproven science” despite widespread scientific consensus on the issue. He also denied that systemic racism exists in America.
“We have far too many communities that are ruled by lawlessness. We need to …stop putting the police under the microscope,” Robinson said, ignoring the police murder of George Floyd and the killing of Breonna Taylor, where the controversial findings of Attorney General Daniel Cameron, another Black Republican, have come under scrutiny.
“[Robinson] denied racism,” Holley told WRAL-TV. “He denied climate change. He denies police brutality even exists. … How are you going to solve problems if you don’t believe they exist?”
If his social media posts are any indication, Robinson also believes in a LGBTQ conspiracy to undermine America.
“We have pushed homosexuality over the top. Mark my words PEDOPHILLA (sic) is next, which will be closely followed by the END of civilization as we know it,” he wrote.
Even the 2016 Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando did nothing to stem Robinson’s disdain for gay people.
“Homosexuality is STILL an abominable sin and I WILL NOT join in ‘celebrating gay pride’ nor will I fly their sacrilegious flag on my page,” he wrote.
“The hateful and conspiratorial language in these screenshots is exactly what we need less of in our lives,” Sen. Jackson wrote on his page.
The lieutenant governor calls the NC Senate into session, rules on matters pertaining to floor debates, and is charged with setting the tone of professionalism and mutual respect in the chamber, Jackson continues. The LG also casts a vote to break ties, a vote that may decide many issues next term.
“It’s unusual to have your attention called to a race for Lieutenant Governor in this manner,” Jackson concludes, “but honestly I consider this a Public Service Announcement.”