Jamaal Bowman Loses NY Primary To George Latimer Campaign Fueled By Racist Dog Whistles

Jamaal Bowman Campaigns One Day Before New York Primary

Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) at a Get Out the Vote campaign event on June 24, 2024, in Mount Vernon, New York. | Source: Michael M. Santiago / Getty

Incumbent New York Congressman Jamaal Bowman lost his primary election Tuesday night to an accused Democrat in name only whose campaign received record funding from a powerful conservative lobby in a race that was replete with racist dog whistles and attacks.

Westchester County Executive George Latimer won in part with a pro-Israel platform that paved the way for the fountain of anti-Black rhetoric and sentiments he and his surrogates espoused during the most expensive House primary ever.

Nearly $25 million was spent on the primary, including nearly $15 million alone from AIPAC, the powerful Israel lobby that typically attaches itself to Republican candidates. But with Bowman’s defiant stance in opposition to the accused genocide in Gaza at the hands of Israel, the combination of AIPAC, Latimer and his supporters proved to be too formidable a challenge for the incumbent to overcome.

Bowman, a former educator and member of the “Squad” of progressive U.S. House representatives who was first elected in 2020, took the high road conceding defeat and didn’t mention his opponent’s focus on the topic of race.

“It was never just about this race, in this moment. This movement has always been about justice. It has always been about humanity. It has always been about equality. And it always has been about our collective liberation. Always, always, always,” Bowman said Tuesday night. “And it always will be. We all are here because we all believe in our responsibility and our opportunity to build a better world.”

Previously, though, Bowman made no secret of how he felt about Latimer’s political tactics in the primary.
“It is unfortunate that George Latimer has decided that the best way to win an election is to divide our communities with a blatantly racist campaign,” Bowman told NewsOne in a statement earlier this month.

Bowman’s campaign manager Gabe Tobias pointed out to NewsOne that “AIPAC’s Super PAC is funded by Republican billionaires and Donald Trump’s megadonors, and now those very same MAGA extremists are bankrolling George Latimer’s increasingly — and unsurprisingly — racist campaign against Congressman Bowman.”

NY Democratic Representative Candidate George Latimer Holds Primary Night Event In White Plains

Westchester County Executive George Latimer speaks to supporters after winning his race against Democratic incumbent Representative Jamaal Bowman in the 16th Congressional District of New York’s Democratic primary on June 25, 2024. | Source: Spencer Platt / Getty

A brief look back at the campaign validates the concerns expressed by Bowman’s campaign.

Throughout the primary, Latimer and his campaign trafficked in tired racial tropes, including darkening Bowman’s skin color in a pair of mailers.

Latimer also suggested that he was exempt from being guilty of racism because he appointed a Black man to be his deputy county executive. “No racist person does that,” Latimer insisted just last month.

He also suggested he couldn’t be racist because he grew up in a Black neighborhood, City & State reported.

A HuffPost article in February provided a deeper look into the psyche of a man who would make such a tone-deaf assertion:

“If you look at me and see I’m white, you might make assumptions about who I am, what I am, what my exposure to the African American community is,” said Latimer, who now lives in the predominantly white coastal town of Rye. “‘He’s living up there in Rye, New York. What does he know?’ And I’m telling you, this is the world I live in.”

“I’m comfortable in my own skin dealing with African Americans as well as whites,” he added. “I do not have the mindset that, ‘Oh my God, I have to speak carefully, because I might offend,’ because I speak honestly and openly.”

Latimer employed similar logic after an endorsement from former New York Congressman Mondaire Jones, who is Black.

“The argument about me running a racist campaign falls flat on its face when people who are African American, Latino and Asian are supporting me,” Latimer told the New York Times earlier this month.

During a debate last month, Latimer used terms to describe Bowman that are consistent with the “angry Black man” trope that’s traditionally been employed as a racial fearmongering tactic.

It’s that type of energy that Latimer’s supporters and surrogates have likely fed off of. That includes Terry Degatano, the Vice Chair of the Westchester County Democratic Committee who told us how he really felt when she described Bowman on Facebook as being “angry” and suggested she hoped he suffered from a stroke.

“We urge George Latimer to denounce racist rhetoric from his supporters and for the Westchester County Democratic Committee to remove Degatano from her position in party leadership immediately,” the Westchester-Putnam Chapter of the New York Working Families Party said in a statement last month.

Weeks later, not only did Latimer — who, again, ran as a Democrat — not denounce the above examples of racist dog-whistling, but he also went on to win the primary via tactics that could be used as a roadmap for Republicans and other conservative-leaning candidates in the 2024 general elections.

This is America.


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The post Jamaal Bowman Loses NY Primary To George Latimer Campaign Fueled By Racist Dog Whistles appeared first on NewsOne.

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