Virginia’s gubernatorial race was the most watched election of the 2021 cycle, but the woman who won the number-two spot in Richmond is getting her share of the attention — as a proxy in arguments over which political party is more racist.
Winsome Sears was chosen as Virginia’s first Black woman Lt. Governor, and conservatives are using her victory to flip conversations about race and partisan politics on their head, according to the Washington Post.
“She was national chair of Black Americans Making America First, a coalition that promotes initiatives by former President Donald Trump and has defended him after controversies and racist comments. Asked about her support for Trump, Sears told CNN, ‘I am an independent thinker’ and promised to ensure ‘more diverse representation is appointed on boards and commissions.’ She also said she would increase funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities. In general, Sears has downplayed the influence of race on her political outlook and touted the progress of equality for Black Americans, but has also acknowledged that there is more work to be done. ‘There is no Census Bureau category called ‘of color.’ I am Black. Virginians are ready for strong, principled and sensible leaders who will serve them — no matter one’s color.”
That might be news to her conservative supporters, who seem to want everyone to know that Sears is Black and that it was Republicans, not Democrats who supported her rise.
From the Wall Street Journal:
“What did all these racist Virginia voters do Tuesday night? In addition to electing [Glenn Younkin] as governor, they elected Winsome Sears as Lt. Gov. She will be the first African-American woman to be elected to statewide office in Virginia history...Despite what Democrats say, voters know their neighbors and they don’t see a racist society or country.”
It’s not clear which voters they asked whether racism was still a thing in politics, but for the record, it definitely is.
Meanwhile, Sears is weighing in on social media. After the Atlantic columnist Jemele Hill tweeted that Republicans’ pickup of the Virginia governor’s mansion was due to white supremacy, Sears tweeted her disagreement with a photo of herself holding...an assault rifle.
Not sure how, exactly, the gun refuted Hill’s point, which was more about Republican policies and rhetoric that uphold white supremacy than Winsom’s skin color (or her weapon of choice.)