White North Carolina Candidate Who Once Attended Fish Fry Believes He Has Invitation to Cookout

Gary Shipman
Gary Shipman
Photo: Gary Shipman for NC House

Gary Shipman is a North Carolina politician vying for the Democratic nomination and the chance to challenge Republican Rep. Holly Grange for her seat in the North Carolina General Assembly.


And if the surname Shipman doesn’t give it away, Gary is also a white man. A full-fledged, hard-bottom-wearing, finger-gun-shooting, nits, raisins and various other fruits-in-his-potato-salad white man.

Gary Shipman also believes he’s a member of the African-American community.

This is Gary Shipman:

Gary Shipman
Gary Shipman
Photo: Gary Shipman for NC House

During an event called “Suit Up Wilmington Outreach,” a moderator reportedly asked the candidates about diversity and how they planned to promote inclusion and “enthuse African Americans” around their campaign, the News & Observer reports.

Shipman, an attorney who lives in a $638,000 house in Wilmington, N.C., countered, “I’m a member of the African-American community.” Shipman the white man continued, “I’ve been where you are. I’ve been in your communities.”

Gary. Gary Shipman. Gary “Von Dutch” Shipmannnnnn.

I say this with all due respect: Gary “Coonskin-Hatted-Ancestor Face” Shipman is not a member of the African-American community. Gary “Creased Khaki” Shipman isn’t even African-American-adjacent. Gary “Order His Haircuts Off the Supercuts Poster” Shipman isn’t even at the black cafeteria table.


I need to see who Gary “Looks Like the Guy on the Picture That Comes in Walmart Wallets” Shipman’s black friends are. I need to know why Gary “Side Swoop” Shipman’s black friends allowed this. Who are the Ben Carsons in his life who approved this behavior?

Attending a fish fry doesn’t give you an invitation to the cookout. Having a Crown Royal-bag savings account doesn’t mean you have a bank-approved black card. Shipman thinks he has a Wakandan passport because he’s play cousins with the guy who piloted the plane that saved Wakanda.


Shipman was reportedly trying to one-up remarks made by another Democrat in the District 20 race, Leslie Cohen, who told those gathered that if she was invited into the community, she’d come.

“Invite me to your churches and community groups, to whatever events you have. And to the extent that I can use my privilege to raise you up, I will do so,” Cohen said.


Shipman explained that “people don’t have to invite me in to the African-American community” because he’s already a part of it.

Cohen called Shipman’s comments surprising but declined to elaborate, the News & Observer reports. Cohen probably knew that Shipman was about to catch some fade.


On Monday, Shipman cleaned up his statement by noting that he never claimed to be black, but he couldn’t just leave it alone. In an email to the newspaper, Shipman just had to show how black adjacent he actually is by touting his black résumé in a collection of tone-deaf quotes:

“I’ve eaten at many a fish fry held by my ‘brothers’ and ‘sisters,’ ‘aunts’ and ‘uncles’ in that community; I’ve celebrated birthdays, births, marriages, graduations, Christmas, Thanksgiving, July 4, etc., with many members of the African-American community,” Shipman wrote.

“There are people within that community and elsewhere that refer to me (and treat me) like their ‘brother’ or ‘pops’ or ‘uncle’, and I refer to them (and treat them) like my ‘brothers’, ‘sisters’ and children,” he wrote.

“Like other members of my family, many members of the African-American community have called me in the middle of the night when someone was sick or to come help them or some other member of their family, and I’ve responded — because they are my family,” Shipman continued.

“Three years ago, when an African-American kid who I had known since he was born had his last parent die, I took him into my house for his final year of high school, helped get him ready for college, and just like I would one of my own, ‘pushed’ him out into the world to make his own way.

“I don’t see color, I see people; and not because I’m running for the NC House either — I’ve talked the talk and walked the walk for many, many years,” he said.


Yep, in one interview, Gary “Boat Shoes” Shipman explained how he’s down with “that community” because he doesn’t see color, how black people call him after supper (for white people, “supper” is a meal and a time of day) and how one time, he treated a little black kid like an actual human being.

Gary. Gary “Ugg Boots” Shipman. Please sit your white ass down.

Senior Editor @ The Root, boxes outside my weight class, when they go low, you go lower.



Shit like this always gets me irrationally angry, this whole fetish. Like, if you squint, you can almost make some semblance of a good intention there. But no, nah, fuck that...you had many a catfish and so now you’re a professor of African American studies and research scholar @ NC State? Miss me entirely forever and ever. Amen.