Robinson: “I’m not no African American!”By Cash Michaels, Peacemaker Senior Contributor / July 20, 2023
Despite Republican efforts to portray Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson as a statesman and reasonable policy leader, the Black Republican’s campaign for governor has released a fiery fundraising video showing him boasting to a cheering, predominately White crowd that “I’m not no African American.”
The timing of this explosive campaign video – just days after the conservative-led U.S. Supreme Court’s controversial ruling striking down race-based college affirmative action policies at UNC – Chapel Hill and other elite universities across the nation, in addition to former Pres. Donald Trump’s endorsement of Robinson’s gubernatorial candidacy, sets the stage for more racial cultural warrior rhetoric from the Black Republican as the campaign continues.
The controversial 39-second campaign video opens with a black title page and the white outline of an open eye with a left-to-right downward slash going across the middle.
Under that symbol is written in all caps white, “TRIGGER WARNING.” Then under that in smaller all-white lettering is the sentence “Content may enrage woke Democrats & members of the liberal media.”
The campaign video begins with the lieutenant governor onstage in front of a Mark Robinson backdrop, in an open suit jacket and open shirt, in front of a cheering, predominately White conservative audience. He is pacing back and forth with a microphone in his hand, bellowing to the cheering crowd with a strong, determined voice, “I’m not no African American.”
Robinson’s monologue is transcribed below his video image, so there is no mistaking what he is saying.
The video then shows many in the cheering crowd clapping and standing to their feet.
“Yeah, I said I ain’t no African American,” Robinson, a recent graduate of UNC Greensboro, repeats defiantly to heightened cheers, his finger directed up to make the point. “When we were fighting for our freedom in the Civil War, we weren’t flying no African banners. We were flying the Star Spangled Banner.”
“I have never pledged allegiance to any nation in Africa, nor do I ever intend to, ” an agitated Robinson continued, as the cheering audience stands to its feet again clapping, and a video is shown behind him onstage. “I am American. My story is American. I am an American.”
“My blood is American. My mind is American. My heart is American. Because I am an American,” Robinson insists. The video then fades to a red end title campaign frame with “Mark Robinson – Governor” on it.
Underneath the video, which was running on Facebook last week, is printed, “winred.friendsofmarkrobinson.com.”
An accompanying print ad shows Robinson leaning on a post wearing a blue suit, white shirt and red tie, with the words “I’m not African American. I am only American.”
Several social media posters, who proudly refer to themselves as “African American” responded to Robinson’s controversial campaign message, with one calling it “madness,” and another posting, “Self-hatred is [a] terrible disease.”
This is by no means Lt. Gov. Robinson’s first, or only known attack on his own community since he took office in 2020.
Already infamous for rhetorically attacking women, LGBTQ and abortion rights advocates, a 2021 video of Robinson speaking at the N.C. Republican Party Convention shows the Greensboro native saying today’s Blacks aren’t owed anything for their ancestors’ suffering during slavery and the civil rights movement, but rather it is they who owe America reparations for the rights that have been earned for them.
“Nobody owes you anything. It’s you. You owe because you’ve been the benefactor of freedom,” Robinson continued, adding the standard Republican rhetoric that African Americans are not hard workers.
Several weeks ago, CNN reported that Robinson “repeatedly lambasted” the ’60s Civil Rights Movement during interviews with a conspiracy theorist podcaster, saying, “so many freedoms were lost,” and baselessly claiming the movement was used, “to subvert free choice and where you go to school and things like that.”
Robinson also called the historic Greensboro lunch counter sit-in by Black college students to challenge racial segregation, “a ridiculous premise.”
So what did several North Carolina Democratic African American elected officials say about the racial rhetoric of Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, and his views about the Civil Rights Movement reported by CNN?
“Mark Robinson is an embarrassment to North Carolina and he should be ashamed of himself,” Democratic Senate Leader Dan Blue said.
“Mark Robinson’s claims and conspiracies are the ‘ridiculous premise’,” said Greensboro Senator Gladys Robinson. “He has a lot to learn from the courage displayed by the four North Carolina A&T students at Woolworth’s lunch counter on that February day in 1960.”
Former State Senator Floyd McKissick Jr. said, “Mark Robinson’s sentiments are so deeply disrespectful, out of touch with reality, and fail to understand the tremendous impact and gains born out of the Civil Rights Movement that opened the doors of opportunity for all regardless of race.”
“On behalf of the Legislative Black Caucus in North Carolina, we wholly condemn Mark Robinson’s comments,” said North Carolina Legislative Black Caucus Chair Rep. Kelly Alexander Jr. “His ignorance is beyond reproach – we cannot have him represent North Carolina in the Governor’s office.”
North Carolina Democratic Party Chair Anderson Clayton issued a statement last week urging the N.C. Republican Party to disavow Robinson’s “racist and antisemitic diatribes.”
“If [the NCGOP] refuse to call out these hateful and incendiary comments,” Clayton said, “they must own them as their own beliefs.”