MPR Debate Countdown: Republican U.S. Senate Candidate Jason Lewis Has Repeatedly Made Disparaging Comments About Communities of Color

ST. PAUL [09/30/20]–Republican U.S. Senate candidate Jason Lewis’ extensive record of disparaging comments about Black people and communities of color makes clear he is unfit and incapable of being a leader who brings Minnesotans together.

Lewis has said that Black Americans have an “entitlement mentality” and he claimed that Black people on welfare have “substituted one plantation for another.” Additionally, Lewis has stated that “the problem in the Black community is the gangsta culture.”

When 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was murdered by George Zimmerman in 2012, Lewis said that Zimmerman was being “a good samaritan,” and that Martin was a “thug,” and “not a good kid.” Lewis went on to ask, “what are neighborhood watches supposed to do?”

Lewis has ignored calls to address these divisive and disparaging remarks. He has said “I’m not gonna self censor, I’m gonna say what I believe and I don’t care who it traumatizes.” Lewis has also said: “The positions I took on the issues then and the positions I take now, I believe in,” and “I don’t take views I don’t at root believe in. I really don’t.”

Meanwhile, Senator Tina Smith has been traveling across Minnesota to meet with Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC) community leaders to discuss issues that have been affecting their communities. She is pushing for transformative changes to policing so that all Minnesotans feel safe in their communities. Sen. Smith is also committed to addressing disparities in health care, including in maternal health care.

The choice posed to voters is clear: Minnesotans deserve to be represented by a strong, empathetic leader like Sen. Smith who has a long history of bringing people together to get results and work towards equality, not someone who spews hatred and sows division.

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