DeSantis denounces false post claiming Gillum wants slavery reparations

Republican gubernatorial candidate Rep. Ron DeSantis (Fla.) is calling for a GOP official’s resignation over a Facebook post in which she falsely claims DeSantis’s African-American Democratic opponent supports slavery reparations for “his people.”

DeSantis on Tuesday condemned Orange County Republican Committee Member Kathy Gibson for posting a meme that read, “[Democratic gubernatorial candidate] Andrew Gillum says when he wins governor of Florida … ‘his people’ will be getting ‘paid back’ for slavery,” Politico reported.

{mosads}In a caption underneath the photo, Gibson added her own commentary.

“Just what every Floridian is dreaming of. Going Backward, not forward,” Gibson wrote in the now-deleted post, according to Politico. “If anyone living in Florida at this time was a slave holder, had family that were slave holders or committed acts against African Americans please let Mayor Gillum know so he can bill you & your Family. Where I & our family lived, we were integrated in our schools & have since the 1930s.” 

DeSantis, who has himself been accused of racism against Gillum, called her comments “disgusting.” 

“Kathy Gibson should resign, and so should anyone else that subscribes to this sort of disgusting thinking,” DeSantis told Politico in a statement. “This campaign is about issues and creating a better Florida for everyone. That’s what Floridians care about, and that’s what we’ll continue to focus on.”

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who unexpectedly edged out former Rep. Gwen Graham (D-Fla.) in an upset primary win last week, has not come out in support of such payments. 

Gibson claimed in a follow-up Facebook post that she was “hacked,” the news outlet reported. She denied knowing about the posts in a statement to Politico.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) in a statement called the posts an attempt to “divide the people of Florida by race or ethnicity.” 

“I will not tolerate ANY attempts to divide the people of Florida by race or ethnicity,” Scott said in a statement provided to Politico. “In my view Andrew Gillum is the wrong candidate to lead this state, but it has NOTHING to do with the color of his skin. Any attempt to divide us like this must be condemned and not tolerated.” 

DeSantis last week urged Florida voters to not “monkey this up” by voting for Gillum, which critics widely denounced as racist. Critics said the comment echoed age-old stereotypes comparing African-Americans to monkeys.

The Tallahassee mayor called the comment a “full bullhorn” as opposed to a “dog whistle.”

“In the handbook of Donald Trump they no longer do whistle calls, they’re now using full bullhorns,” Gillum said when Fox News’s Shepard Smith asked whether the remarks were racist.

DeSantis has denied the comment was about race.

“This race should be about the issues,” Gillum spokesman Geoff Burgan said in a statement to Politico. “This shouldn’t be about the mayor’s skin color. This race should be about red tide. This race should be about toxic blue-green algae. This race should be about citrus greening. And it should be about real green dollar bills that should be going into people’s pockets.” 

Tags Donald Trump Gwen Graham Ron DeSantis
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