Samuels says the use of racial epithets has included his being called a "house [epithet]" in both a whisper campaign and on the air by community TV host Booker T. Hodges, whose wife works for Johnson Lee. He said that allies of his opponent have associated his words with the KKK. He said he is concerned about the safety of his family.
Much of this ugliness was twisted out of comments Samuels made about the fact that he's had "advantages" in life because he has some white ancestry and his great-great-grandfather worked in the house of his slave master rather than toiling in the fields.
"I was trying to talk about a reality -- I know that I have had advantages others haven't had --and now it's been turned into 'I'm a hater of black people,' " Samuels said.
Well 4 years ago, Natalie's campaign was spreading rumors about Jackie Cherryhomes being a "ho". This is more of the same.
Samuels doesn't come to this fight disarmed. For example, he kept calling a publication Travis Lee works for, Trendsetter, "a porn mag" because of its ads for strip clubs and sexually explicit articles.
Alberto Monserate, publisher of Gente, wrote on the Minneapolis Issues list:
I'm frankly discusted with both campains for ward 5 and the tone of the campaign. instead of people of color in Minneapolis uniting to get a fair peace of the pie, we're fighting for the crums.
All this will achieve is to continue to digust minority voters, and continue to decline our participation in elections.
Calling a candidates husband a pornographer who most likely isn't and, and calling the other candidate a house negro is disgusting. Gente de Minnesota will definetly stay away from this race.
All that we'll see this year achieved in the Minneapolis elections is that the city council and other elective positions will be less diverse than ever. This is a sad year in the history of the city of Minneapolis. The city with one of the bigest learning gaps between white students and students of color in the country, and the city with one of the biggest gaps between minority population and their representation in elective offices.
Is this Minnesota or Mississippi?
The Urban League debate I observed was pretty tame compared to this.