Rayla Campbell, a black Republican candidate running for Congress in Massachusetts, is pushing back after a Black Lives Matter activist went on a lengthy racial diatribe against her last month without any apparent consequences for the activist or the officials associated with her.
Both Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) — whom Campbell is running to unseat — and Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.) have touted inflammatory activist Monica Cannon-Grant’s support in the past yet have not distanced themselves from her since the incident.
On Monday, Kennedy appeared with Cannon-Grant at a campaign event, the Boston Herald reported.
What’s the background?
In July, Cannon-Grant vulgarly attacked Campbell’s “blackness” and “proximity to whiteness” due to her interracial marriage to a white man in a video posted to social media.
In the video, Cannon-Grant spewed racially insensitive insults, calling Campbell a “heifer” and suggesting that “white vaginas and white penises jeopardize your melanin.”
Campbell, a mother of three and the only candidate running against Pressley, reportedly fled her home in fear for her life after Cannon-Grant posted the attack video.
In the aftermath, Campbell demanded apologies from Cannon-Grant as well as Pressley and Kennedy, but to no avail.
What are the details?
Instead of denouncing his association with Cannon-Grant, Kennedy decided to stand in solidarity with her at a recent campaign appearance. Kennedy is running in a Democratic primary race against incumbent Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.).
“He’s talking about racial justice and it’s pretty ironic that he’s got Monica Cannon-Grant and she’s standing right there behind him,” Campbell told the Boston Herald on Monday. “I just couldn’t believe he wouldn’t say anything or disavow this woman.”
Campbell was reportedly escorted from the event by Boston police after she interrupted the rally with screams demanding to know why Kennedy had chosen to stand by someone who attacked her interracial marriage.
According to the Herald, as Kennedy took the podium, Campbell confronted him, asking: “Are you going to say something about what she’s been doing while you’re standing up there giving hugs? She went on a 40-minute racial tirade about my family.”
Kennedy allegedly ignored Campbell and then left quickly without taking questions from reporters after the event.
Cannon-Grant, who runs an anti-violence nonprofit called Violence in Boston, previously said on the organization’s Facebook page: “I do wish I had been more careful with my words.”
Campbell called it an “un-apology” and slammed other elected officials for saying nothing.
“Kennedy hasn’t reached out to me and neither has [Cannon-Grant]. Ayanna Pressley has said nothing, the mayor — where are they? They’re hiding. They’re all sticking their heads in the sand,” Campbell said.
Kennedy campaign spokesman Michael Cummings responded Monday, saying, “Monica has said multiple times that she should have been more careful with her words. Few have fought longer and harder on the forefront of racial justice in Boston.”