Corey Stewart refuses to fire spokesperson who called majority African-American cities "Sh**holes"
“The word #S---hole is an appropriate one to describe this particular s---hole,” Rick Shaftan tweeted in January, above a link to an article about the Tubman memorial, repeating the derogatory term used by President Trump to describe Haiti and countries in Africa.
Previously, Shaftan — a veteran adviser who worked in New Jersey before moving his base to North Carolina — similarly trashed New Orleans and Ferguson, Mo.
“The message out of Ferguson and Baltimore is a simple one: DON’T OPEN A BUSINESS IN A BLACK NEIGHBORHOOD!” Shaftan tweeted in 2015, following protests in those cities related to the deaths of young black men...
[Stewart] declined Monday to say whether he would sever ties with Shaftan.
“Black people didn’t have a problem with the #RebelXFlag or Confederate Statues until wealthy white people told them they did. #SlipperySlope,” Rick Shaftan wrote on Twitter in September 2017.
John Whitbeck, the immediate past chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, said Mondaythat he was disturbed by the posts.
“Republicans are facing the most important election in a long time. The Democrats’ only message against us right now is we’re racists, because they don’t have any agenda and they don’t have any message,” he said. “If you make despicable tweets like that, all you’re doing is feeding the narrative that the Democrats are trying to use against us.”
Whitbeck left his post as chairman just weeks after GOP primary voters picked Stewart last month as the nominee against Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine, who is seeking a second term. The National Republican Senatorial Committee has declined to assist Stewart in the race.
Stewart declined to comment for this story. Shaftan declined to answer whether he stood by his posts.
The spokesman for Corey Stewart, the GOP nominee for the U.S. Senate seat in Virginia, referred to three majority-Black U.S. cities as s**tholes, according to a report by The Daily Beast.
Rick Shaftan used the phrase when describing Memphis, New Orleans and Baltimore, saying that people should boycott New Orleans over its decision to remove Confederate monuments, per HuffPost.
“You can run your gang-infested s**thole without our tourist dollars and soon, our tax dollars,” he allegedly said in one of the now-deleted tweets.
Shaftan also said, “The word #S**thole is an appropriate one to describe this particular s**thole” when Baltimore replaced a Confederate statue with one of Harriet Tubman, per the Daily Beast.
Shaftan did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Shaftan has also worked for a political action committee that supported Paul Nehlen, a far-right candidate running for a House seat from Wisconsin. Nehlen has long expressed anti-Muslim views, and beginning late 2017 started posting explicitly anti-Semitic content, including an image of Jews’ heads on pikes in the Oval Office.
n May, Shaftan responded to a Twitter user who suggested a boycott of New Orleans, Shaftan wrote that he supported the idea, adding "you can run your gang-infested s---hole without our tourist dollars and soon, our tax dollars."
And two days later, he shared an op-ed piece in which an alleged former Peace Corps volunteer reiterated Trump's description of African nations. On that tweet, Shaftan urged his more than 7,000 followers to "read this about the world's #S---holes."
Some of the tweets remain on Shaftan’s Twitter feed and some have been deleted.
In response to ABC News inquiries, Stewart's campaign issued a statement that appeared to focus on the Daily Beast's headline -- which characterized the cities in question as "majority-black": "GOP Candidate Corey Stewart’s Spokesperson Called Majority-Black Cities ‘Shitholes'".
After the killings of African-Americans by white police officers in both Ferguson, Missouri and Baltimore, Shaftan also cautioned against business activity in areas with large black populations. “After #Ferguson, only a fool would start, finance or insure a business in a black neighborhood,” he tweeted in 2014. “The message out of Ferguson and Baltimore is a simple one: DON’T OPEN A BUSINESS IN A BLACK NEIGHBORHOOD!” he tweeted again the following year.
Stewart’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but Shaftan responded to The Daily Beast’s story in a Facebook post.
“I must have said something worse than that in all these years!” he wrote on Sunday. “They need to look harder.”
Following the protests in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014 after the death of Mike Brown, an unarmed Black teen killed by police, Shaftan tweeted disparaging comments about Black people.
“Crazed Black people looting a liquor store is the ultimate racist stereotype. #Ferguson,” he wrote in 2014.
Stewart, who is backed by President Donald Trump, has been a lightning rod of controversy.
He’s been connected to Neo-Confederate groups, according to the Daily Beast, and has refused to denounce violence by White supremacists.
he spokesperson for Virginia Republican Senate candidate Corey Stewart, who has twice called for an investigation into his Democratic opponent and who doesn’t have the support of even the most conservative fundraising group, has taken a racist page from President Trump’s book by labeling majority-black communities “shitholes.”...
Stewart himself is a neo-Confederate apologist and the National Republican Senatorial Committee has not endorsed him.