In an increasingly bitter Georgia gubernatorial race, Republican Brian Kemp is now trying to tie his Democratic opponent, Stacey Abrams, to a radical group that posted pictures of a few members showing their support for Abrams. The photos surfaced in an article from Breitbart, a conservative news outlet that regularly publishes right-wing conspiracy theories.
“Abrams is TOO EXTREME for Georgia!” Kemp tweeted Monday night, linking to an article that showed armed New Black Panther Party members posing with an Abrams campaign sign.
In a Facebook post, the Atlanta chapter of the New Black Panther Party said it did not work for either campaign when it planned its “Armed Rally Against Voter Suppression.”
“We have members with different political views both here in Atlanta as well as nationwide and even right here in this post,” the group stated.
The New Black Panther Party, founded in 1989, is different from the revolutionary political organization that was originally founded in 1966 as the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense. The Southern Poverty Law Center has described the New Black Panther Party as “a virulently racist and anti-Semitic organization,” and members of the original Black Panther Party have rejected the new group.
In a statement to Breitbart, Kemp spokesman Ryan Mahoney called on Abrams to denounce the “dangerous” Black Panthers.
When asked about the images Monday, Abrams campaign spokeswoman Abigail Collazo did not address them directly but said it was Kemp who needed to denounce racism.
“Brian Kemp is the only candidate in this race who has posed for pictures with supporters wearing racist, hate-filled T-shirts and refused to denounce them, while Abrams continues to condemn any racist, anti-Semitic, or otherwise discriminatory words and actions,” Collazo stated.
Collazo was referring to a photo Kemp had taken last month with a supporter wearing a T-shirt that said “Allah is not God.” Kemp later said he did not know the man and that he did not agree with his “extreme views.”