Matt Lieberman faces calls to drop out of Georgia Senate race over 'racist and discriminatory' tropes in 2018 book

Matt Lieberman, the son of former vice presidential nominee Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), is facing calls to drop out of the Georgia Democratic Senate race for writing a book in 2018 that contains “racist and discriminatory tropes.”

Nikema Williams, chairwoman of Georgia’s Democratic Party, on Friday condemned Lieberman for writing the 2018 self-published novel “Lucius,” which involves a racist character who is sympathetic to the Ku Klux Klan, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

“Let me be clear: racist and discriminatory tropes have no place in our politics and no place in the Democratic Party,” said Williams, who is also a state senator and congressional candidate. “These kinds of offensive writings are antithetical to our party’s values and will not be tolerated.”

ADVERTISEMENT

James Woodall, the president of the Georgia NAACP, said the book is deeply troubling.

“I know there were good intentions in writing this book, but it doesn’t undo the real damage these kinds of narratives create,” Woodall told the outlet. “Get out of the race. We don’t need that kind of division or distraction in a time where our democracy is literally on the line.”

The blistering condemnation comes after HuffPost published an article reexamining the book, which centers around a main character named Benno who has delusions about owning a slave and believes that Black people have mystical connections to animals and plants.

Benno, an older white man from the South, frequently uses a racial slur in the novel and describes some KKK members as “basically good people.”

Lieberman, an attorney and former principal of an Atlanta Jewish school, is one of 21 contenders running in the special election for Sen. Kelly LoefflerKelly LoefflerDemocrats ramp up pressure on Lieberman to drop out of Georgia Senate race The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden on Trump: 'He'll leave' l GOP laywers brush off Trump's election remarks l Obama's endorsements GOP, Democrats look to galvanize women with SCOTUS fight MORE’s (R-Ga.) seat.

He rejected criticism over his novel in a statement to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, saying he penned the story in response to the white supremacist neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville in 2017.

ADVERTISEMENT

Lieberman referred to it as a  “clear-eyed and honest look at racism in America.”

“The fact that I published this book has been known since I began this campaign last year, so an attack surfacing only now is testament to the strength of my candidacy today,” he said.

He rejected call to drop out of the race.

“I’m not going to be distracted from seeking the support of Georgians,” Lieberman said, “nor deterred from fighting against racism and for a more just society.”

Georgia Gov. Brian KempBrian KempPolitical reporter: Suburbs vital to winning Georgia in November Obama endorses Warnock in crowded Georgia Senate race Georgia GOP Senate candidates cite abortion in pushing Ginsburg replacement MORE (R) appointed Loeffler to finish the term of former Sen. Johnny IsaksonJohnny IsaksonDemocrats ramp up pressure on Lieberman to drop out of Georgia Senate race Obama endorses Warnock in crowded Georgia Senate race Lobbying world MORE (R), who retired last year. She is facing a Republican challenge from Rep. Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsDemocrats ramp up pressure on Lieberman to drop out of Georgia Senate race The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden on Trump: 'He'll leave' l GOP laywers brush off Trump's election remarks l Obama's endorsements GOP, Democrats look to galvanize women with SCOTUS fight MORE (R-Ga.).

Lieberman is among the top Democratic challengers along with Rev. Raphael Warnock, a pastor and civil rights activist who is backed by former gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams (D). 

A poll released late last month found that Loeffler was leading the crowded field of candidates with 26 percent support, followed by Collins at 20 percent, Lieberman at 15 percent, Warnock at 9 percent and Democrat Ed Tarver at 5 percent.

If no candidate in the special election surpasses the 50 percent mark, the top two vote-getters will go to a run-off in January.