A West coast Florida mayoral candidate made national news when he went way off the rails in a bizarre, racially-charged rant at a candidate forum Tuesday night.
VIDEO: Paul Congemi, cand for mayor of @StPeteFL tells activists in debate their “reparations were Barack Obama” and to “go back to Africa” pic.twitter.com/QlSmDhGAPw
— Evan Axelbank Fox13 (@EvanAxelbank) July 19, 2017
St. Petersburg Republican mayoral hopeful Paul Congemi addressed International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement-affiliated candidate Jesse Nevel when answering a question about opportunities for youth in the city.
“Mr. Nevel, you and your people, you talk about reparations. The reparations that you talk about, Mr. Nevel, your people already got your reparations,” Congemi said. “Your reparations came in the form of a man named Barack Obama.”
Nevel’s campaign slogan is “Unity Through Reparations.”
“My advice to you, if you don’t like it here in America, planes leave every hour from Tampa airport. Go back to Africa. Go back to Africa. Go back!”
Congemi told The Washington Post afterwards that he was a lifelong Democrat who was prompted to switch to the GOP when Barack Obama came out in favor of gay marriage.
“I had never met Jesse Nevel until last night,” Congemi added. “It’s obvious he is a self-hating white man.”
He said he has “nothing against African-Americans who are doing their best here in America,” but that Nevel and his supporters lack real solutions and are “unhappy about the whole system in America.”
And then Congemi took his defiance against the backlash a step further.
“I’ll run again in 2019 and, God willing, if I’m alive in 2021, I’ll run then too,” he said. “I intend to keep running and running and running.”
The issue of reparations was addressed in the United Nations. In this video, Mireille Fanon-Mendes-France, chairwoman of a UN working group for people of African descent, reads findings about institutionalized racism after an official visit to the U.S., and concluded that Congress should pay reparations for slavery and mass incarceration.
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