To the Editor:
By now, it’s disappointingly clear that Madison Cawthorn, the Republican candidate to represent N.C. District 11 in the U.S. House of Representatives, intends to run a campaign of division and name-calling rather than put forth any fresh ideas for how he would improve the lives of all of his potential constituents here in Western North Carolina regardless of political party.
Still, while it wasn’t surprising to see him pandering to the furthest right-wing fringes of his base in Cory Vaillancourt’s excellent July 29 story (“Cawthorn: Davis, Democrats are ‘racist’”) by continuing his mindless attempt to denigrate “white liberals,” it was shocking to see just how intolerant and ignorant his views on race really are.
Setting aside the remarkable hubris required for a 24-year-old white man who has never left a county that is 94.5 percent white to speak for Black people about reparations while laughably accusing his opponent — retired Air Force Colonel and successful government racial discrimination prosecutor Moe Davis — of being a racist and claiming Confederate soldiers gave their lives to free slaves, I would be very interested to hear Cawthorn explain why his real estate company is called “SPQR Holdings LLC.” According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, “SPQR” was on flags at the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, which was merely one example of how the abbreviation has been adopted by white nationalist groups (Google: “SPQR white nationalism”). This seems like a very disturbing coincidence at the very least and one a candidate with such overt hostility to a conversation about racial justice should address immediately.