Senate candidate who smoked blunt in ad burns Confederate flag in latest spot
Gary Chambers, a U.S. Senate candidate in Louisiana who went viral last month for smoking a blunt in a campaign ad, burned a Confederate flag while decrying restrictive voting laws in his latest video released on Wednesday.
In a one-minute video titled “Scars and Bars,” Chambers is seen wearing a camo jacket as he pins a Confederate flag on a clothesline and ignites it with a lighter — right after he cites the famous Declaration of Independence line “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”
As the flag burns, the Louisiana Democrat argues that inequality lingers and “remnants of the Confederacy remain” in the South. The candidate mentions gerrymandered districts and restrictive voting laws as “byproducts” of the Confederacy.
“The attacks against Black people, our right to vote and participate in this democracy, are methodical,” he said. “Our system isn’t broken. It’s designed to do exactly what it’s doing, which is producing measurable inequity.”
According to the Brennan Center, 19 states passed 34 restrictive voting laws in response to a conservative push to tighten up elections following former President Trump’s false claims that the 2020 election was stolen.
Earlier this year, Congressional Democrats attempted to push through a voting rights package to address the restrictive voting laws but failed to secure enough votes in the Senate.
Chambers is running to unseat Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) in the upcoming midterm election. He gained national attention last month with the release of a campaign ad in which he puffs on a blunt while arguing for the legalization of cannabis, the criminalization of which disproportionately affects Black people.
The candidate is a co-founder of a media outlet called The Rouge Collection and ran unsuccessfully for a U.S. House seat last year in Louisiana.
In Wednesday’s video, Chambers mentioned other issues that affect Black Americans, including access to health care, which has been highlighted during the pandemic, as minorities have had higher rates of severe illness and death from COVID-19.
Chambers said 1 in 9 Black Americans do not have health insurance and 1 in 3 Black children live in poverty.
“It’s time to burn what remains of the Confederacy down,” he said in the video. “I do believe the South will rise again, but this time it will be on our terms.”
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