Trump-endorsed Senate candidate blames gun violence on Black people
On Thursday, June 2, former President Donald Trump made an endorsement in Arizona’s 2022 Republican U.S. Senate primary, throwing his support to Peter Thiel protégé and tech investor Blake Masters and saying that Masters would make a better senator than his primary rival, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich. Masters, according to Trump, is the more MAGA of the two. And one of the things that Trump no doubt appreciates about Masters is his willingness to say racist things.
Masters, journalists Jonathan J. Cooper and Jill Colvin noted in the Associated Press, has promoted the Great Replacement theory and “called for reducing legal immigration.” And in the Daily Beast, reporter Roger Sollenberger notes that Masters has blamed African-Americans for gun violence in the United States.
The Great Replacement, a far-right conspiracy theory that is popular among White nationalists and White supremacists, claims that liberals and progressives in the U.S. and other countries are trying to “replace” Whites with non-White immigrants. Masters has accused Democrats of trying to “replace Americans who were born here.”
During an April 11 appearance on “The Jeff Oravits Show,” a podcast, Masters acknowledged that the U.S. has a problem with gun violence but didn’t call for gun control. In fact, he opposes even modest gun control vehemently.
Masters told Oravits, “We do have a gun violence problem in this country, and it’s gang violence…. It’s people in Chicago, St. Louis shooting each other — very often, you know, Black people, frankly. And the Democrats don’t want to do anything about that.”
Daily Beast reporter Roger Sollenberger notes that while it isn’t uncommon for Republicans to bash Chicago, they usually avoid being overtly “racial” about it.
“Republicans frequently cite urban gang violence, most often in Chicago, in attempts to tap out of the gun control debate,” Sollenberger explains. “While their redirections are often as misleading as they are cliche, those officials aren’t always as forthright as Masters about the racial undertones. But Masters, whom the White nationalist website VDARE fêted last year as an ‘immigration patriot,’ was quite clear about his vision of two Americas.”
Masters, Sollenberger notes, gave the GOP base plenty of “red meat” during the Oravits interview — including claiming that Democrats “don’t like the 2nd Amendment.”
Masters is a disciple of Thiel, who has been making generous donations to far-right MAGA candidates —including “Hillbilly Elegy” author J.D. Vance, the GOP nominee in Ohio’s U.S. Senate race.
Another thing Trump likes about Masters is his willingness to promote the Big Lie and falsely claim that Trump won the 2020 presidential election.
How much of an impact Trump’s endorsement of Masters will have in Arizona’s Republican U.S. Senate primary remains to be seen. The primary will be held on August 2, and the winner will go up against incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly in the general election.
Arizona, once a deep red state that was synonymous with Goldwater conservatism — as in Sen. Barry Goldwater and his disciple, Sen. John McCain — has evolved into a swing state and presently has two centrist Democratic senators: Kelly and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, who isn’t up for reelection until 2024.
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