You ever hear that saying about people who pull up the ladder behind them right after they’ve gotten where they want to be? I’d say it perfectly describes Austin Chenge, a Nigerian-American and Black Republican who is running for governor of Michigan against incumbent Gretchen Whitmer, who is up for re-election next year.
As is typical of Black Republicans, the sentiment Chenge has chosen to lead his campaign with is apparently “I don’t like Black people that much either.”
Or maybe he just doesn’t like Black Americans. What else explains Chenge’s recent announcement that he feels Black History Month is “offensive, unfair, maybe illegal...” and that he will cancel it in Michigan if he is elected governor?
Chenge, who is originally from the Bengue state in Nigeria, according to the local This Day news, proudly shared a badly designed graphic on his social media channels on Monday in which he pledges to “cancel” Black History Month and declare “American History Month” instead, to save America from the apparent tyranny of having to spend the shortest month of the year hearing about Black people’s contributions to the U.S.
The disgusting promise is one Chenge will have a hard time implementing, given that Black History Month celebrations are deeply embedded in the national cultural fabric. Since the first Negro History Week was introduced by Dr. Carter G. Woodson in 1926, several presidents have official issued messages and proclamations recognizing the observance of Black people’s contribution to the U.S., and Congress has passed several measures and resolutions over the years to acknowledge the recognition of Black history during February.
Not to mention that no cut-rate politician could cancel the ability of African Americans people to recognize and celebrate their people and their accomplishments, no matter what any state or federal law says.
But outside of the shameless posturing of Chenge, it is patently disturbing that a man who was able to migrate to the U.S. and serve in this nation’s army as a Black man, directly as a result of the sacrifices of African Americans, would now turn around and deem it “unfair” for the Black Americans he is a beneficiary of to be recognized for breaking barriers throughout history, and against the most brutal odds.
The nasty hypocrisy is further underscored by the fact that Chenge boasts on his official campaign website about making history in Nigeria by designing a tricycle!
But somehow, it’s offensive for Americans to celebrate George Carver’s history-making inventions?
All I can say is, I am disgusted. But it’s pretty obvious Black voters and first-generation Americans like himself aren’t Chenge’s target audience. His platform includes promises to push for voter ID laws and cut funding to sanctuary cities for immigrants, and his official campaign has profiles on social networks known for being the home of white supremacists—Gab and the now-deplatformed Parler.
Chenge’s recent appearance on Breitbart News and his claim that the violent Capitol insurrections were simply “overcome with passion,” as reported by the Detroit News, reveal exactly the role that Chenge wants to inhabit: that of a willing lackey for those who despise people who look like him, who will not only tolerate, but make more space for their racist derision—if only he can be spared.
We see right through Chenge. Hopefully this embarrassing bid for attention—during Black History Month itself—wins him exactly the kind of allies he seems eager to cultivate.