Republican Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson’s Democratic opponent, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, once compared black conservatives to slaves and refused to accept that a black sheriff shares the same race as him, past tweets reviewed by the Daily Caller show.
In a 2017 tweet, Barnes compared the black American musician Tina Campbell to a slave after she announced her support for former President Donald Trump. Barnes quote-tweeted an article headlined “Tina Campbell of Mary Mary supports Trump due to his Christian beliefs” to which he added the comment, “Guess the shackles are still on her feet after all.”
Guess the shackles are still on her feet after all. https://t.co/6Tr0HIuz8G
— Mandela Barnes (@TheOtherMandela) October 3, 2017
In 2016, Barnes shared an article from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in which he criticized David Clarke, a conservative black Democrat who served as sheriff of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, from 2002-2017. Barnes tweeted out screenshots of the article with the caption “Receipts!”
The article Barnes shared was titled “Lawmaker on Sheriff David Clarke: ‘I don’t even accept him as black.'” The piece featured a quote from Barnes, who was a state representative at the time, saying that Milwaukee Count had “one black countywide elected official … and I don’t even accept him as black.”
— Mandela Barnes (@TheOtherMandela) July 19, 2016
The Daily Caller spoke to Wisconsin state Sen. Julian Bradley, the first black Republican to serve in the state Senate, about the two tweets, which Bradley called “disgusting.”
“They’re just — they’re disgusting. It’s something that black conservatives, we experience this regularly, and it’s troubling in Wisconsin, especially because you think about why the Republican Party was started and where. It was started right here in Wisconsin. It was founded for the purpose of abolishing slavery. It was founded for the purpose of remembering all men are created equally. Black men, white men, everybody. All people are equal and should be treated equal and seen and viewed as equal in the law,” Bradley told the Caller.
“Here is a black legislator who somehow thinks he has the right to strip black conservatives of their race. And that’s — it’s disgusting. It’s — it’s absolutely disgusting,” Bradley continued.
Barnes has continued to face criticism for his past social media activity after the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel dug up controversial tweets Barnes posted over the past decade. In one tweet, Barnes called Trump a ‘Russian spy,’ while in another, he wrote that he does not believe George Washington was a top president. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Sen. Ron Johnson To Release Ad Series Slamming ‘Extreme’ Dem Opponent Mandela Barnes)
“As someone who wants to be the next U.S. Senator, Mandela Barnes’ comments prove he is unfit to represent the people of Wisconsin. He seeks to further divide our nation with his polarizing rhetoric while continuing to push dangerous policies that would make Wisconsin less prosperous, less safe and less free,” Mike Marinella, the press secretary for Johnson’s campaign, told the Caller.
Barnes’ campaign did not immediately respond to the Caller’s inquiry about the candidate’s tweets.