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Corey Stewart Refuses to Denounce White Nationalist Protest

| May 15, 2017 | 0 Comments | News

Corey Stewart cover photo from his Governor’s Campaign Facebook page.

Republican Corey Stewart did not drop out of the Virginia Gubernatorial race, Monday evening, as expected, nor did he take the opportunity to denounce incidents of racial hatred that flared up within the Commonwealth over the weekend.

Sunday, various media outlets asked Stewart if he would denounce the actions of white nationalist Richard Spencer and others who participated in a torch carrying protest against the removal of the Gen. Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville over the weekend.

He refused.

Throughout his gubernatorial campaign, Stewart, who is Chairman At-Large for the Prince William Board of County Supervisors, has gained state-wide attention for defending statues that celebrate confederate generals and soldiers as heroes, as well as symbols of the Confederacy such as the flag, saying it is about heritage not hate. He called removal of statues “historical vandalism” saying it is important people remember their history.

However, when the protesters shouted the message of white power loud and clear, rational people wondered if Stewart would denounce such bigotry, racism and hatred, or support it.

In Charlottesville, the defense of Robert E. Lee was not masked behind history or heritage. According to The Washington Post, self-proclaimed white nationalist Richard Spencer led chants saying “you will not replace us,” and “what brings us together is that we are white.”

The media wondered if Stewart wanted himself and his campaign associated with such an overtly white nationalist and what some would argue racist message since he claims he support of Confederate history was never about racial exclusion.

Stewart refused to comment, Sunday, Tweeting that it is Mothers’ Day. The next day, television stations rumored Stewart would be making an announcement at 7 p.m. Rumors spread that perhaps Stewart would drop out of the race.

Perhaps Stewart did consider dropping out at one point, or perhaps it was all another publicity stunt. On Stewart’s Facebook page, Monday night, was a live video streamed from the Northern Virginia Tea Party meeting. Stewart delivers a speech he entitles “It’s Time to Denounce.”

And while it includes various political entities Stewart feels he ought to denounce, white nationalists are not among them.

Corey Stewart’s video denouncement.

Around 8 p.m., Stewart shared the script of that speech. In it, Stewart denounces the media, calling The Washington Post fake news; mainstream Republicans like opponent Ed Gillespie; and Charlottesville Council member Wes Bellamy, who allegedly made anti-white statements in the past.

However, who and what he does not denounce includes Spencer, white nationalists, racists, their words or actions. Instead, Stewart said, “It’s time to stop apologizing. It’s time to stop running. It’s time to stand up for Virginia.”

After serving as Trump’s campaign chairman in Virginia before being fired for outlandish political stunts, Stewart seemed to have adopting a Trumpian campaign strategy. By creating controversy, Stewart is able to bring attention to his campaign.

Stewart does not deny this, but has also said, “I was Trump before Trump was Trump,” saying he was always blunt and brazen. He criticizes his Republican colleagues who play nice, toe the line being “politically correct” and try to distance themselves from their president.

However, while the attention Stewart’s gained seems to be mainly negative, it nevertheless resonates with a subset of people.

On the other hand, he has suffered backlash within his party. Those establishment Republicans who Stewart is all too happy to alienate, are the very same people who can always be counted upon to religiously get out and vote. Stewart has even lost the support of his Republican Committee in Prince William and members of his own board. He has been outspent and out supported by Ed Gillespie, who Stewart calls “Establishment Ed,” portraying him in a similar light as Trump did Clinton.

However, Clinton took Virginia, especially Northern Virginia, which calls Stewart’s strategy into question.

In Prince William County, where Stewart may likely return after the June 13 primary, Stewart’s actions have left many shaking their heads. Stewart’s anti-immigration policy, by which he has enlisted local police to round up undocumented immigrants previously arrested and hand them back over to ICE, is controversial enough.

But now, Stewart, who has often times portrayed himself as a pragmatist, campaigning on economic development and prosperity, has moved so far to the extreme right that he is alienating many of his constituents. Not surprisingly, there have been calls to recall him as Chairman.

Obviously, there are Prince William residents who support Stewart, but in a minority-majority county like Prince William, one would not expect overwhelming support for Stewart.

© 2017, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

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