Politics

Racist Social Media Posts by Corey Stewart Consultant Unearthed

Consultant for Virginia Senate candidate ridiculed NAACP and opening businesses in black neighborhoods

Virginia Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine, left, listens as Republican challenger Corey Stewart makes a point during a Virginia Bar Association debate on July 21. (Steve Helber/AP photo)

A consultant to Virginia Republican Senate candidate Corey Stewart repeatedly made racist social media posts, according to a report.

Among Rick Shaftan’s most racist posts was one comparing NFL players who do not stand for the national anthem to monkeys.

“If black ‘leaders’ want better race relations, which of course they don’t, they could start by telling football players to stand for the National Anthem, instead of sitting on the bench eating a banana,” he said.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch found that Stewart paid Shaftan’s Atlantic Media & Research more than $113,000 for consulting and advertising.

Stewart also paid Shaftan during his unsuccessful run for governor last year. A Minnesota native, Stewart has defended preserving monuments to the Confederacy.

Shaftan did not respond to questions from the Times-Dispatch on whether he stood by his posts, but he said the banana comment was based off a Washington Post story about the Oakland Raiders’ Marshawn Lynch sitting and eating a banana during the national anthem.

Shaftan also said black people were tricked into opposing the Confederate battle flag.

“Black people didn’t have a problem with the #RebelXFlag or Confederate Statues until wealthy white people told them they did. #SlipperySlope,” he tweeted in 2017.

Following 2014 riots in Ferguson, Missouri, after the police shooting of Michael Brown, he said, “Only a fool would start, finance or insure a business in a black neighborhood.” 

The remarks were unearthed after the Daily Beast reported that he called New Orleans, Memphis and Baltimore “shitholes.”

The same report found that he called the NAACP “the Black KKK, only more violent and dangerous.”

John Whitbeck, who recently stepped down as chairman of the Virginia Republican Party, said the posts were bad for the GOP as a whole.

“Republicans are facing the most important election in a long time. The Democrats’ only message against us right now is we’re racists,” he said. “If you make despicable tweets like that, all you’re doing is feeding the narrative that the Democrats are trying to use against us.”

Kaine spokesman Ian Sams called the remarks “disgusting.”

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