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Mon Feb 22, 2021, 02:58 AM

North Carolina's lieutenant governor has Jewish community on high alert

Earlier this month, Mark Robinson, North Carolina’s outspoken new Republican lieutenant governor, organized a press conference to protest an editorial cartoon published in the opinion section of WRAL.com, a local news site in Raleigh. The drawing waded into a controversial debate around proposed education standards requiring that social studies teachers acknowledge systemic racism. But it drew fierce condemnation for its depiction of Republican school board appointees, who objected to the rule change, as members of the KKK.

“We prefer to start with a clean sheet,” read a speech bubble emanating from a menacing elephant — the GOP’s mascot — begarbed in the Klan uniform of a white hood and robe.

Robinson, who sits on the board of education, was outraged. The 52-year-old politician emerged from relative obscurity when he was elected North Carolina’s first Black lieutenant governor in November — and, addressing a gaggle of reporters on February 2, he railed against the admittedly preposterous suggestion that his beliefs in any way aligned with the Klan. “Free speech, yes, I’m all for it,” Robinson huffed. “But when your free speech proves you to be a hypocrite — and I will say this publicly, proves you to be a hypocrite and a liar — we won’t stand silent.”

Those familiar with the multitude of inflammatory pronouncements Robinson put forth before he became a public servant were no doubt rolling their eyes at the lieutenant governor’s complaint. During the election, Robinson came under scrutiny for a litany of troubling past comments in which he denigrated Jews, Muslims, transgender people and Black voters who support Democrats, among other groups.

Read more: https://jewishinsider.com/2021/02/mark-robinson-lieutenant-governor-north-carolina/

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