Earlier this week, I received the following robocall for Bruce Shuttleworth for Congress. I found it curious in a number of ways. But first, here’s a transcript of the call:
I’m Dr. Benjamin M Chavis, Jr. Thank you for listening to this call. I’m calling on behalf of Bruce Shuttleworth for Congress of the United States in the 8th Congressional District of Virginia. On June 12th it’s a most important election. Many of you know me from being a former leader of the NAACP to the national director of the Million Man March. For over 50 years I’ve been involved in civil rights, human rights, and voting rights throughout the state of Virginia as well as across America. This is a very important election, and that’s why I’m supporting Bruce Shuttleworth. We [something about Congress, I couldn’t understand it] need a real leader like Bruce Shuttleworth. Please go out and vote on June 12. The best candidate running is Bruce Shuttleworth for Congress. Thank you so much for listening.
So, what’s “curious” about this call? First, the way Chavis talks, it sounds like cut and paste, like he has no idea who “Bruce Shu-tel-werth” might be, let alone anything about the 8th Congressional District of Virginia. Weird.
Second, why would Benjamin Chavis, Jr. be getting involved in this Democratic primary (against Rep. Jim Moran) at all? Is there some issue of “civil rights, human rights, and voting rights” here that 8th CD Democrats are all unaware of?
Third, Chavis is not exactly the most savory character, having been removed by the NAACP board amidst “a flurry of accusations of financial and sexual improprieties, which almost buried the NAACP’s civil rights record.” Chavis also was closely aligned with noted/vicious anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan.
Finally, just to put the icing on the cake, Chavis praised Cuba’s Communist dictator Fidel Castro, arguing that “African-Americans, especially those who are conscious of how the world has changed during the past 50 years in terms of the progress for African liberation and self-determination, should be more than willing to express gratitude to Fidel Castro because of his outstanding historic and contemporary contributions to the advancement of the interests of African people throughout the world.”
Yep, that’s the guy doing a robocall for Bruce Shuttleworth in Virginia’s 8th CD. Needless to say, on June 12, I urge all 8th CD Democrats to head to the polls and vote for Rep. Jim Moran!