Black Panthers armed with assault rifles campaign for Stacey Abrams; one problem

Black Panthers armed with assault rifles campaign for Stacey Abrams; one problem
Image via Black Panther Party Facebook page

By Jason Hopkins

Members of the Black Panther Party marched through the city of Atlanta, strapped with assault rifles and brandishing Stacey Abrams campaign signs.

In a video posted on the group’s Facebook page on Saturday, members of the group can be seen marching through the West End neighborhood of Atlanta in support of Abrams’s gubernatorial campaign. As they march, they carry assault rifles and continually shout slogans such as “black power” and “power to the people.” The video shows the members marching for nearly 30 minutes until they enter a local radio station.

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Abrams, a former Democratic state representative, is running in a tight election against Republican Brian Kemp, Georgia’s current Secretary of State. The Real Clear Politics average of recent polls shows Kemp up by 1.1 percentage points, well within the margin of error.

When reached for comment by The Daily Caller News Foundation, the Abrams campaign forwarded a statement from spokeswoman Abigail Collazo. Her statement did not specifically address the Panthers’ march, but instead attacked Kemp.

“Brian Kemp is the only candidate in this race who has posed for pictures with supporters wearing racist, hate-filled t-shirts and refused to denounce them, while Abrams continues to condemn any racist, anti-Semitic, or otherwise discriminatory words and actions,” Collazo said.

“Unlike Kemp, Abrams is a leader committed to running an inclusive campaign focused on bringing all Georgians together to find bold solutions on critical issues like health care, education, and the economy,” she continued. (RELATED: Democratic Candidate Criticizes Agriculture Industry, Suggests Workers Transition To Renewable Energy Instead)

At one point during the march, someone driving a vehicle stops momentarily to speak to the Panthers. One of the members can be heard saying, “You need to march in your neighborhood. When we was [sic] in West Virginia, 99% crackers, stone cold crackers.”

Kemp’s campaign called on Abrams to immediately denounce the Black Panthers.

“It’s no surprise that militant Black Panthers are armed and patrolling the streets of Georgia for Stacey Abrams. The Black Panthers are a radical hate group with a racist and anti-Semitic agenda. They are dangerous and encourage violence against our men and women in uniform,” Kemp spokesman Ryan Mahoney said in a statement to TheDCNF.

“Stacey Abrams should immediately denounce the Black Panthers and their hateful record of racism,” he continued. “She should stand against and condemn their attempts to intimidate hardworking Georgia voters just days before the election.”

The close race has brought star power from both sides of the aisle. Vice President Mike Pence campaigned for Kemp on Thursday — the same day Oprah Winfrey knocked on doors on behalf of Abrams.

One of amusing irony of the quasi-military group’s decision to march with rifles in support of Abrams is that she has stated that as governor she intends to confiscate Georgians’ guns. Here is a video of her struggling to explain her anti-gun position to CNN’s Jake Tapper:

The Panthers did not respond to a request for comment by TheDCNF.

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