In a statement released yesterday (November 3), a group of Black New Jersey politicians and their allies have accused the Republican Party of Burlington County of using coded and racist language in a mailer it sent to local residents:
The mailer, which you can see above, shows a northern New Jersey map with a red pushpin on Newark, a city that is about 53 percent Black and 34 percent Latinx. The accompanying words say, "If you don’t want Burlington County to turn into this part of New Jersey….Then vote for the people who make our country a special place to live!" Burlington County, by contrast, is about 18 percent Black and 8 percent Latinx.
In their statement, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, the NJ Black Mayors Alliance for Social Justice and other state politicians of various races called the mailer blatantly racist:
The not so subtle message is that Newark and its suburbs are all that White voters fear in a community: Black, Latino, Poor, Dangerous, and Blighted. The characterization is slanderous and false. It exploits the worst racial stereotyping. The message is that if you elect Democrats, minorities will take over your community and destroy it. You will be driven out.
The statement also connects the "divisive language" of the mailer to the Donald Trump presidential campaign and to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who will head up Trump’s transition in the case of a Trump victory. "[The campaign’s] blatant racism has emboldened local Republican candidates and given them permission to campaign on a message that has heretofore been confined to White supremacists," reads the statement.
Josh Foote, executive director of the Burlington County Republican Committee, did respond to our request for comment by press time. A worker answering the committee’s phone told us that only Foote would comment.