Over the weekend and throughout Monday, MIGOP co-chair Meshawn Maddock earned several headlines highlighting the racist comment she made about Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist – the first Black person to assume the role in Michigan’s history. Maddock tweeted: “Show this video to a babies [sic] and watch them cry. Scary masked man should #StayHome.”
Now, conservative columnist Nolan Finley is taking it one step further by calling on the MIGOP to ask their co-chair “to step down, and if she refuses, [be] forced out,” highlighting how blatantly offensive her remarks were.
Read more below for Finley’s analysis of Maddock’s actions that “suggest Republicans are running an exclusive club for bigots.”
Detroit News (op-ed): GOP Must Shed Its Loose Cannon
By Nolan Finley
A political party facing a calculated campaign to smear it as racist should not hand its attackers a paint brush.
It might also help if party leaders checked their own racism.
Meshawn Maddock, co-chair of the Michigan Republican Party, set Democratic social media on fire this weekend with a derogatory post about Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist.
Gilchrist, who is African American, announced he has recovered from a bout with COVID by posting a close-up video of himself wearing a mask.
Maddock’s knee-jerk response: “Show this video to a babies (sic) and watch them cry. Scary masked man should #stayhome.”
I don’t know if Maddock is racist or clueless, and the distinction doesn’t really matter. She’s for sure a loose cannon who is hurting the GOP here.
If you’re the co-leader of a party that is trying to broaden its appeal, you have to avoid saying or doing things that suggest Republicans are running an exclusive club for bigots.
Here’s a bit of advice that might help: If you look at your screen and see a photo of a person of color and a smart-alecky comment written by you, do not hit the send button.
Democrats are pounding Maddock’s post, and who can blame them?
She’s given them great material for casting state Republicans as people you’d want to cross the street to avoid.
Last week, Maddock reposted an absolutely ridiculous report that the Midland Public Schools are placing litter boxes in school buildings to accommodate “furries” — people who live in a stuffed animal fantasy world.
That rumor went viral and prompted the Midland superintendent to issue a public statement declaring the report untrue, with the comment, “It is such a source of disappointment that I felt the necessity to communicate this message to you.”
Disappointing, too, to learn the GOP co-chairman’s brain is so addled by conspiracy theories she’d lend credibility to the foolishness that children are being allowed to do their business in litter boxes.
Maddock was also one of 16 Michigan Republican officials who signed a document submitted to the Electoral College saying Michigan’s electoral votes should go to to former President Donald Trump, even though he decisively lost the election here.
She boasted at a local party meeting that she and the others did so at Trump’s urging. Subverting an election is not something for which anyone should be proud.
Another video surfaced this week of Maddock taunting protesters during a Black Lives Matter protest in 2020.
Republicans have an incredible opportunity this year to exploit the electorate’s discontent with failed Democratic leadership.
To do so, they’ll need to bring independents into their fold. Polls suggest unaligned voters are open to hooking up with the GOP.
But few are likely to walk through a door being held open by a hater.
This is a time for mature, sober, intelligent leadership in the Republican Party. But the antics of one highly placed crackpot can influence the perception of the whole party.
Republicans must be aware of their image problem. If they don’t want voters to think they are rubes and racists, they have to stop upholding those who act like rubes and racists.
Maddock should be asked to step down, and if she refuses, forced out.