Black candidate's sign hit with racist and obscene graffiti; newspaper yawns

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From Rusty Weiss at Newsbusters:

Bill Randall is a candidate for Congress, running in North Carolina's 13th Congressional District. Mr. Randall also happens to be an African-American. In early October, Randall had a campaign billboard vandalized with a spray-painted, vulgar phallic symbol, accompanied by the letters "KKK". It was the kind of message that would normally launch the media into full-blown racial apoplexy.

One small problem. Bill Randall is a Tea Party Conservative Republican.

Randall filed a complaint over a month ago with the local sheriff, issued a news release, but the local daily, the Raleigh News & Observer, has ignored the story, despite having covered similar acts of political vandalism in the past, according to Weiss's research, including one incident that occurred just 10 days after Randall's sign was vandalized.

One TV news station, albeit not in the same market, did cover the story, showing part of the graffiti (the KKK) and obscuring the obscene part. (Via

Randall grew up in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans and served 27 years in the Navy, rising to the rank of Command Master Chief.

Randall was the Republican nominee in NC-13 in 2010, when the district was heavily Democratic, receiving 44.5% of the vote against a four-term Democratic incumbent. This time around the legislature has redrawn the district to be predominantly Republican (and drawn the incumbent into a different district).

The aforementioned News & Observer scolded the Randall campaign in an October 28, 2010, editorial (Tulsa Library NewsBank link) about the campaign's "overzealous" poll monitors, watching early voting to ensure against voter fraud. Early voting would make it possible for someone to show up and vote in one person's name at the early voting location (no ID was required in NC), then show up again on Election Day and vote in your own name at your usual polling place. The N&O editorial pooh-poohs the risks of this sort of fraud, but Tulsans have heard of this sort of thing happening.


Here's a link to the Bill Randall for Congress website.

Publius Forum has a video from the Randall campaign, spoofing the media double-standard and lack of interest in this case of hateful vandalism. (The video shows the graffiti uncensored.)

Thurber's Thoughts has more about Randall and notes the broader problem with the liberal backlash against the growing number of African-American conservatives who are running for office or are otherwise active in the political sphere. She mentions two speakers at last week's BlogCon '11: Deneen Borelli of the National Center for Public Policy Research and PJTV video humorist Alfonzo Rachel -- both conservatives who happen to be African-American and who spoke at BlogCon about the hostility directed at that combination of characteristics.

The challenges facing African-Americans who move from left to right is documented in an upcoming film, which was previewed at Blogcon. A Runaway Slave focuses on the Reverend C. L. Bryant, a Baptist minister who served as president of an NAACP chapter and is now active in the Tea Party movement in Shreveport. The slavery Bryant calls all Americans to escape is an enervating dependency on government. Here's a preview:

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Roy said:

A friend who is professionally experienced in media, especially radio, recently made a remark that, despite its obviousness, surprised me. Commenting on radio news, including his own work, he said, "It's all about money."

Of course I knew that. I mean, after all, hadn't Limbaugh said as much in his books. He boldly and clearly told us that much of his spiel is entertainment intended to gain and keep an audience. And, for that matter, isn't it obvious one cannot broadcast for free? I guess the surprising (read discouraging) aspect was acknowledging a "hardened" professional view that even the truth was not enough to have the audience needed to pay the bills.

Maybe that's the case for the "News and Observer." Maybe the story its staff thought not sufficiently newsworthy to pay the bills will gain that status as bloggers tell the truth. Might even force recognition of other agendas. Blogcon could have a significant impact.

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