Spokesperson for Virginia GOP Senate Candidate Called Majority-Black Cities ‘S**tholes’, Warned Against Starting Businesses in Black Neighborhoods

Virginia Senate candidate Corey Stewart
Virginia Senate candidate Corey Stewart

Staff for a neo-Confederate apologist running for Senate from Virginia have disparaged minorities, previously worked for an anti-Semite, and praised a neo-Nazi.

Corey Stewart, the Republican candidate for Senate in Virginia, has been shunned by his own party over his ties with neo-Confederate groups and his refusal to condemn white supremacist violence. That hasn’t stopped several activists who express similarly extreme views from working for Stewart.

One of Stewart’s spokespersons, Rick Shaftan, tweeted that three majority-black U.S. cities were “s**tholes” and repeatedly warned against opening businesses in black neighborhoods. Shaftan, along with Stewart’s other spokesperson, previously worked on behalf of an anti-Semite running for House Speaker Paul Ryan’s seat in Wisconsin.

In addition, a Stewart volunteer was a member of a chat group that planned a sequel to the deadly right-wing rally in Charlottesville, The Daily Beast previously reported. Meanwhile, a former Stewart staffer appeared to praise the founder of the American Nazi Party, and recently left Stewart’s team for a role on the campaign of a New Jersey politician who has previously posted white supremacist content.

Shaftan, who runs communications for Stewart, has for years publicly disparaged black people on Twitter.

“Crazed black people looting a liquor store is the ultimate racist stereotype. #Ferguson,” he tweeted in 2014 after the unrest following a white police officer’s killing of a black teenager. “After #Ferguson, only a fool would start, finance or insure a business in a black neighborhood,” he tweeted again. After violence in Baltimore following the death of a black man at the hands of police, Shaftan tweeted “The message out of Ferguson and Baltimore is a simple one: DON’T OPEN A BUSINESS IN A BLACK NEIGHBORHOOD!”

Responding to the news of a robbery in 2011, Shaftan wrote in a now-deleted tweet: “Another reason why white people (and Asians and Latinos) don’t want to live with black people. #TheTruthHurts #Reality”

Later, he called three majority-black U.S. cities—MemphisNew Orleans, and Baltimore—“s**tholes,” the term President Trump has used to describe Haiti, El Salvador, and African countries.

“The word #S**thole is an appropriate one to describe this particular s**thole,” Shaftan tweeted this year above a story about Baltimore replacing a Confederate statue with a memorial of Harriet Tubman. Twice in 2010, he called the NAACP “the Black KKK, only more violent and dangerous.”

Shaftan did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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The Daily Beast