Don’t Believe The Hype: Republicans And MAGA Don’t Care About Racism.

Garrick McFadden
5 min readSep 9, 2022

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“They claim that I’m a criminal
By now I wonder how
Some people never know
The enemy could be their friend, guardian
I’m not a hooligan” — Don’t Believe The Hype by Public Enemy.

The GOP does not care about racism, they just want to weaponize black pain for electoral gain. In 2019 the current Secretary of State, Katie Hobbs (who is a democrat and our nominee for Governor), would receive the first of two million dollar plus verdicts against the state for her (and others) conduct. Sec. Hobbs, and others, discriminated on the basis of race and sex against a black woman. This black woman knew she had been wronged and strode into the Federal Courthouse, with her head lifted high and filed her own lawsuit and represented herself. The first jury came back with a $1,000,000.00 verdict. Let me remind you, this is Arizona. There were no black people on the jury. Yet, this jury, mostly comprised of white people, took one hour to review the evidence and come back with the verdict.

Then the state of Arizona appealed, not Sec. Hobbs, and once more another jury awarded this black woman over $2 million in 2021. Due to the law, the black woman’s damages are capped at $350,000.00.

Let us get one thing out of the way: what Katie Hobbs did was inexcusable: full stop. In 2019, I wrote one of only three pieces about the verdict. I came for her whole head. In fact, Katie quit following me on all social media, including Facebook. After, I wrote my piece I took the counsel of several black women who told me now just watch and I did. I saw her restructure all of the pay for all of the employees at the the Secretary of State’s office to make sure everyone received fair pay. I watched her send the final letter to get the Confederate monuments that desecrated the grounds of our state Capitol removed (this is Arizona why do we even have Confederate monuments? Oh, because we want to intimidate black folk). I saw her, work behind the scenes introducing her donor base to black candidates running for office.

Then I saw her meet the moment in the 2020 election. We flipped the state, and she got death threats. Her staff got death threats. Her CHILDREN GOT DEATH THREATS. People have even been arrested and sentenced for their criminal actions against her and her office.

Katie and I made amends. She asked for my endorsement and I proudly gave it to her. I then even wrote another Op-Ed about why I forgave her.

Picture of Katie Hobbs in the middle with many of Arizona’s black leaders, including me the great beard with the navy suit int he front row. Photograph taken on 9/7/2022.

Then the election got into earnest after the primary. At first, the Arizona GOP tried to paint Katie Hobbs as a racist. Let us be honest, being the main culprit in two verdicts for racial discrimination, both over seven-figures, allows anyone to call you a racist. They would try to come to me, but since I spoke out in 2019 they couldn’t get anything to land on me. I had the high-ground. I asked them if they were so concerned about her racism, why didn’t y’all say anything back then? Silence.

I had previously ran for office and had generated a large Twitter following. I gave people cover to support her, while calling out the blatant racism in their Party non-stop. Even highlighting the racist things that all of the Republicans were saying, not just the MAGA crowd. Let us make one thing clear: this MAGA movement is the logical conclusion of the Republicans. The only difference is that MAGA says the quiet part out loud, where the “normal” Republicans just think it, but only let it slip out when they let their guard down.

We, her campaign and Katie’s black validators, expected more of an onslaught. However, we were able to push back on all of these labels of racism, by pointing out the inherent racism in the GOP. These claims of racism were not landing or having the effect that they had anticipated they would have. About a month ago, something happened. The AZGOP switched tactics: they started saying that Katie was a BLM activist. Many and many others were floored by this flip-flop.

A Tweet that a prominent GOP activist posted, about Katie not being a racist, but being a supporter of BLM.

On September 7, 2022, I attended a Chamber of Commerce governor candidate forum. When Katie’s opponent got to speak in front of this GOP friendly crowd she labeled Katie a BLM activist. There were about five black people, including me, in this room of about 350+ people. When she leveled this charge against Katie, me and some others, broke decorum by letting out a loud and audible groan.

I had always known that the GOP and especially MAGA don’t give a damn about black folk. However, what I realized was that they only wanted to smear Katie with being a racist so they could depress the Democrats’ turn-out.

Each election voters are faced with three real choices in America: vote for Democrats, vote for Republicans, and the choice that Democrats do not acknowledge that exists: to stay home. We must be honest, staying home has the real home-field advantage. Republicans are perfectly happy with voters not voting. They are not hoping a black person who sees that Katie was the primary person responsible for two million dollar verdicts for racial discrimination will vote for their candidate. They want that black person to not vote.

“The minute they see me, fear me
I’m the epitome, a public enemy
Used, abused without clues
I refused to blow a fuse
They even had it on the news” — Don’t Believe The Hype by Public Enemy.

They charge Katie with being a BLM activist, because Black Lives Matter scares their base and causes them to be angry. Hate is the Republican turnout machine. They plant seeds of fear and hate all during the off-cycle. They nourish these seedlings with lies and misinformation. Then every November they come to harvest their base for votes. The GOP spread lies to engender and enflame anger in their base. Democrats must combat those lies with hope. We must show that we have a plan that allows everyone to thrive, not just the propertied and powerful. We must provide plans that will give opportunity to everyone not just the privileged and providential.

“As an equal, can I get this through to you” — Don’t Believe The Hype by Public Enemy.

Republicans don’t care about ending or confronting systemic racism. They only want to use it to turn out their base and keep our base from voting.

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Garrick McFadden

I am a civil-rights attorney. I write about #whiteness, #racism, #hiphop, policing & politics.