'People who think like me are being canceled, bullied, fired, threatened, and deplatformed,' charged Kathy Barnette.
Senate candidate Kathy Barnette released a video on Tuesday that compared being a conservative to enduring the systemic racial oppression faced by Black people in America for hundreds of years.
Barnette, who is Black, is running for the Republican nomination for the Pennsylvania U.S. Senate seat currently held by Republican Pat Toomey, who announced in October that he would not run for a third term in 2022.
In the video announcing her campaign, apparently filmed at the historic battleground in Gettysburg, Barnette says that following Abraham Lincoln's 1863 Emancipation Proclamation, which declared that people held in slavery were free, "people who looked like me could not fully integrate into the fabric of this nation."
Noting that Black people had successfully fought for the right to vote, and that now she can even run for office, Barnette says, "There are still deeply personal and demeaning hurdles we must overcome."
"Now, the issue isn't just for someone who looks like me," says Barnette, "but it's for people who think like me as well. People who think like me are being canceled, bullied, fired, threatened, and deplatformed. We're told that Black lives matter, except of course my Black life, because I'm a Black conservative."
Republicans have adopted the term "cancel culture" as a political weapon, applying it to any criticism they receive for racist, homophobic, and misogynist statements and actions.
Barnette's comparison of being criticized for right-wing views in 2021 to enduring systemic racist oppression continues the practice.
Barnette is launching her campaign just five months after losing the 2020 election for Pennsylvania's 4th Congressional District against Democratic incumbent Madeleine Dean by 19%.
On Nov. 3, Barnette filed a lawsuit alleging that election officials had violated the law by opening some ballots early and allowing voters to correct deficiencies in their ballots.
U.S. District Judge Timothy Savage, who was appointed by George W. Bush, said during a November 2020 hearing on the suit, "I don't understand how the integrity of the election was effected."
Just a few days later, Barnette dropped her case.
In January, Barnette appeared alongside conspiracy theorist and Trump ally Mike Lindell and promoted conspiracy theories about the 2020 election, including unsubstantiated allegations about her own electoral loss.
Before becoming a serial candidate, Barnette was a conservative commentator, making frequent appearances on Fox News.
In 2017, she slammed NFL players for kneeling in opposition to police abuse of Black people, telling Fox News that "police brutality is not even in the top five" issues that Black people should be concerned about.
That same year she accused President Barack Obama of "stoking the fires of division" for acknowledging the existence of systemic racism within police departments.
In 2018, Barnette claimed the Disney animated film "Ralph Breaks the Internet" promoted "the weaponization of the #MeToo movement," saying:
We have actually blocked the Disney channel because, no, I do not appreciate smart-mouthed little kids running around everywhere, trying to usurp the authority of their parents, and I reject this whole feminism and this push of very liberal ideas onto my children. I will parent my children; you entertain them with fun, friendly, imaginary kind of characters, and we can all get along.
Defending the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court after credible allegations of sexual abuse surfaced against him, Barnette told Fox viewers that Democrats want to go "back to the days under Jim Crow."
Barnette also minimized the mass shooting on Feb. 14, 2018, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, telling Fox News that yes, shooter "killed 17 little souls on that day, but Planned Parenthood kills over 800 babies on a daily basis, and where is the moral outrage on that?"
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.