Phoenix – Arizona Civil Rights Activist the Rev. Jarrett Maupin says recent mailers designed, distributed, and authorized by the Arizona Democratic Party and that benefit the campaign of Congressional Candidate Kyrsten Sinema are “Absolutely racist.” The campaign mailers, which show Sinema’s opponent and current CD9 front-runner Vernon Parker (who is Black) with exaggerated and stereotypical racial features, were sent out to Arizona voters on at least two occasions. Maupin says many Black Arizonans, Democrats and Republicans, feel the literature was designed to portray Vernon as “the angry black man” or to characterize him as a political version of “Stepin Fetchit.” Others were deeply hurt when it arrived in the mail.
Arizona Civil Rights Leader the Rev. Jarrett Maupin is demanding that the Arizona Democratic Party and Sinema Congressional Campaign denounce and apologize for campaign mailers sent to voters that include manipulated, offensive, intentional, and racially exploitive photographs of Vernon Parker, a Black American and front-runner in the race to represent Congressional District 9. The photographs, which have clearly been edited to give Mr. Parker dramatically darker skin and exaggeratedly whiter teeth and eyes, are: “The most offensive race-targeting campaign materials that Black Arizonans have had to deal with in decades”, Maupin says. The Reverend is demanding that the staffers who designed and authorized the use of the photographs be fired: “Somebody decided that it would hurt Vernon to make him blacker, that it would stir something in voters if he were made to look like a villainous field-negro cut-out from some Jim Crow era minstrel-show poster. These photos are insulting and do not respect the ethnicity of Vernon, President Obama and all Black Democrats.”
Maupin is now demanding that The Arizona Democratic Party and Sinema’s campaign apologize to the entire Black community and directly to Black Democrats, Vernon Parker, and President Barack Obama who has also been the victim of similar political race-baiting this election season. “It isn’t right. The Party knows it, Kyrsten knows it, and the staff responsible for it should all be fired,” said The Reverend. The activist says many now question Kyrsten Sinema’s commitment to her district’s Black residents, “As a minority, Ms. Sinema should understand how hurtful this literature is. She has fought for respect for L.G.B.T.Q. but does she herself respect B-L-A-C-K?” Not if she doesn’t apologize and demonstrate leadership by righting an obvious and offensive wrong, the preacher says.
If Kyrsten Sinema and the Arizona Democratic Party don’t move quickly to address this insult, Maupin says Sinema may well be running against the entire Black community, not just Vernon Parker. “Arizona has been a state for 100 years, and in 100 years we haven’t had one Black Congressperson ever elected. How will we ever, whether they are liberal or conservative, if people don’t stop making the “color” of their skin more important than the content of their character?” said Maupin. Until the apologies come, Maupin says he and others will take the message to the Black churches and neighborhoods in and out of Congressional District 9, starting today. “I’ve got a forum I’m addressing tonight at one of the largest and oldest Black churches in Arizona and you can bet the farm that this will be issue number one. For this to come from Democrats, from within Obama’s party, how can the President win if this is how the Arizona Democratic Party’s leadership really sees Black people?” Maupin asks.