In a press release, Republican Michael Meunier accused Democratic Del. Vivian Watts of using racist tactics in her 39th District reelection campaign against Meunier. He immigrated to the U.S. from Egypt 15 years ago. Watts is white. The AP describes the kerfuffle as such:
The color brochure from Del. Vivian Watts, D-Fairfax, who is white, uses the tag line “delegate, community leader and one of our own” with the last four words in italics.
Watts said in a telephone interview Tuesday that the phrase is simply meant to highlight three decades of community service and that she has used similar wording in past campaigns against white opponents.
“It’s just saying that all politics is local, and it’s a reference to how long I’ve been active in the community,” she said.
If Del. Watts has used those words in past campaigns, then I imagine it’s just an unfortunate coincidence. (An apology would be in order, though.) But if this is a new slogan, it seems rather clearly designed to call attention to Meunier’s heritage in an us vs. them manner. If that’s the case, Del. Watts would do well to fess up and apologize for use of such racist code words. Such divisive tactics have no place among Democrats or, indeed, among civilized people.