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Georgia Democrat Matt Lieberman is in hot water over allegations of literary racism based on his self-published book.
Atlanta-based Lieberman is one of 21 all-party candidates trying to unseat incumbent U.S. Senator Kelly Loeffler on November 3, but there are now calls for him to drop out.
His 2018 novel Lucius “involves a racist character who is sympathetic to the Ku Klux Klan,” the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported.
“Lieberman’s 213-page novel features an elderly white man who regularly uses racist epithets and has delusions that he owns a slave named Lucius. That character, Benno, asserts that Black people have mystical connections to animals and plants.”
The chairwoman of Georgia’s Democrat Party denounced the book for “racist and discriminatory tropes” that won’t be tolerated. The president of the Georgia NAACP has insisted Lieberman, the son of longtime Connecticut U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman, exit the campaign over the divisive tome “even though there were good intentions” in writing it.
Lieberman so far has resisted pressure for him to withdraw his candidacy.
An entrepreneur, lawyer, and former school principal, Lieberman claims that he wrote the book after the 2017 Charlottesville white supremacist rally as a “clear-eyed and honest look at racism in America.” He added that the controversy won’t distract him “from seeking the support of Georgians, nor [deter him] from fighting against racism and for a more just society.”
He noted that the existence of the book was already well known and implied his rivals (presumably other Democrats) sprung it on him now because his campaign is gaining strength.
Setting aside the offensive and controversial content in the book in question for the moment, fiction authors often write about characters they and the readers abhor. The younger Lieberman is likely going to have a difficult time making that case, however, in an environment of identity politics and the prevailing cancel culture.
Although polling data is limited, according to Real Clear Politics, the latest poll has Loeffler leading GOP Congressman Doug Collins, with Lieberman in third place. A runoff will take place in January if no one gets 51 percent in November. If Loeffler and Collins manage to finish one and two in either order on Election Day, it will be an all-Republican runoff.
Based on his campaign materials, Matt Lieberman appears to be a standard-issue, platitude-espousing liberal.
Joe Lieberman, 78, who was Al Gore’s running mate in the 2000 presidential election, later positioned himself as an independent Democrat who endorsed John McCain in the 2008 presidential contest. In 2012, he declined to endorse either Obama or Romney, but returned to form in 2016 by backing Hillary Clinton. He left office in January 2013.
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