As she stumped around Atlanta accompanied by civil rights hero and veteran congressman, John Lewis, on Saturday, November 3, gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams learned that a number of Georgia citizens had received robocalls that used racist and anti-semitic language to mock Oprah Winfrey for supporting her, CNN reports.
Abrams and Georgia Secretary of State, Brian Kemp, are currently sweating it out on the campaign trail as they run neck and neck in the polls ahead of Tuesday’s election for the governor seat being vacated by Nathan Deal. According to data collected by half a dozen polls that Real Clear Politics is tracking, Kemp is just edging Abrams out by a consensus margin of 1.1 percent. While it is none-the-less a lead, there are those who apparently are not very comfortable by how strikingly close his Democratic opponent has come, and they’ve taken the low road in an attempt to further divide the state’s electorate given the news.
“This is the magical n**ro, Oprah Winfrey, asking you to make my fellow n**ress, Stacey Abrams, the governor of Georgia,” the disturbing calls in question began. The voice used in the recording speaks with the kind of deep inflection that has made Winfrey’s voice distinguishable for decades.
Much more cruel than poking fun at how she sounds, however, the actor who put the bit on tape continues on to deliver a first-person account of Winfrey in which she basically asserts that “the Jews who own the American media” planted her in the industry in an attempt to “trick dumb white women” into giving her influence.
According to reports from the Guardian and several other news outlets, the party responsible for the calls is an anti-Semitic, white supremacist video podcast host from Idaho named Scott Rhodes. Rhodes’ The Road to Power broadcast was also found to be behind similar robocalls that were sent to Florida gubernatorial hopeful Andrew Gillum’s potential voters back in August. However, the platform first got on the scene by exploiting fears over immigration when Rhodes recorded a segment that whipped up tensions against Latinos over Mollie Tibbetts’ murder, which was allegedly pulled off by an undocumented Mexican immigrant.
In recalling some of Republican Kemp’s alleged moves to suppress voting totals from African American communities, the Abrams campaign pinned blame over the calls on a political atmosphere of folks like President Trump and Kemp’s making.
“Over the last few weeks we’ve seen increasing desperation from many dark corners trying to steal the election, cheat, lie, and prey on people’s fears rather than having the respect to listen to voters and speak to their hopes,” Abram’s director of strategic communication, Abigail Collazo, said in response to the controversial recordings.