Angela Rye‘s efforts to get candidate Andrew Gillum elected as Florida’s first-ever Black governor aren’t going over well with critics, who’ve accused the political commentator of promoting identity politics.
In a video posted to Twitter this week, Rye said she’s been criss-crossing the Sunshine State on behalf of her friend Gillum, who’s been traveling ahead of Tuesday’s primary election as he seeks to clinch Democratic nomination in the governor’s race.
The Tallahassee mayor, who was recently endorsed by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (I), is currently polling behind Democratic contenders Gwen Graham and Phillip Levine, Local 10 News reported. His recent bus trek to South Florida comes as Graham and Levine are also campaigning for votes in the area.
“There are a lot of folks who say this can’t be done because Andrew doesn’t have the same resources as some of the rich folks in the race,” Rye said. “But we know that our power exists in our vote — the power exists in our voice and they cannot silence us, they cannot keep us from the polls as hard as they try.”
Rye then rattled off a list of Gillum’s campaign initiatives, including his track record of standing up against the NRA by fighting for stricter gun control laws and calling for the repeal of “stand your ground” laws.
“He has a record to stand on,” she added. “He’s not new to this, he’s true to this. And I hope that you all will stand with us, join with us and help to get Andrew in the governor’s race.”
Not everyone was feeling her vocal support for the Black candidate, however. Some critics on Twitter accused the former attorney of encouraging identity politics and only telling folks to vote for Gillum because he’s African-American.
“Doesn’t matter if he is qualified or not as Cousin Angela say, it’s because it’s he ‘first black governor,'” one person tweeted. “Exploiting minorities is what she does. It’s REALLY is sad to see he exploit blacks for her personal gain. Qualifications don’t matter, only skin color does, typical RACIST!!!!”
“So, you only support politicians based on the color of their skin? Sounds like you’re the true racist here Angela,” another critic chimed in.
Another user accused Rye of being racist against “her white relatives.”
This isn’t the first time the CNN commentator has openly campaigned on Gillum’s behalf. On Monday, she attended a rally at Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University (FAMU), where Gillum delivered his closing remarks before Tuesday’s primary. She’s now headed to Edward Waters College in Jacksonville for a speaking event with her former mentor Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, where the two will discuss the importance of getting out to the polls.
Watch more in the clip below.
— Cousin Angela (@angela_rye) August 27, 2018