The exchange started on Twitter on Aug. 25 when The American Federation of Teachers Colorado endorsed the re-election campaign of Democratic Rep. Meg Froelich, as well as the campaigns of Rep. Jennifer Bacon, Sen. Julie Gonzales, and House 6th District candidate Elisabeth Epps. Froelich tweeted: “Wow! I get to be with these champs? Made my day! Thanks @coloradoaft.”
Fernandez wrote in the comments of Froelich’s tweet: “Did you say chimps? ☺️Sorry must be my dyslexia. But again AFT is an arm of the NEA. They are the deep state. Meg likes power and money and doesn't support the people”
When given the opportunity to correct her disgusting remark, she instead told Fox 31 that she meant to write "chump."
"But I said, you know what, let’s go with this and see what happens, since I’m Hispanic,” Fernandez said, laughing. “So, I got the media coverage.”
While even the Colorado GOP Chairwoman Kristi Burton Brown criticized the tweet as “uncalled for and highly inappropriate," Fernandez doubled down on her stance, Fox 31 reported.
“I didn’t do anything wrong. It was meant for Meg, and I didn’t even care about the people that were on there,” Fernandez said. “I mean, I was just trying to address the fact that she got sponsored by the NEA, who is number one next to nobody and funds the Democrats.”
“I’m not going to apologize, because I didn’t do anything wrong, and I’m not racist. It’s not true.”
NEA, by the way, stands for the National Education Association, a professional organization. The American Federation of Teachers is a teachers’ union. The organizations have, however, formed a partnership to best represent the interests of their members.
Interests it appears Fernandez cares nothing about.
Katia Campbell, the chair of communication studies at the Metro State University of Denver, told Fox 31 there was a "very deep, complicated, and complex history" evoked by Fernandez’s words. “By equating Black people with apes or monkeys, it’s this whole idea that Black people are not as civilized as other races and especially not as civilized as the white race is," Campbell said.
When a Fox 31 reporter started to ask the Republican if she understands the "historical context regarding African Americans," she interrupted.
“I’m fricking Hispanic,” Fernandez said. “There is no historical with it. We are using different words nowadays, and people are twisting things.”
Not exactly an answer that inspires confidence in the Colorado GOP. Fernandez then went on to use Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy, as well as her apparent source of inspiration, former President Donald Trump, to defend herself.
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She tweeted on Thursday:
“those of us who believe in Dr. King’s dream of a colorblind America where all Americans are judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character understand that the ‘bigotry and racist vitriol’ in this country is not coming from Trump or supporters but…
Rather from the American Left and the Democratic Party. Right @RepMegFroe?”
This claim that Dr. King promoted being colorblind is a point that racists commonly get wrong and one that Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones addressed last November. She tweeted:
"Dr. King never called for a colorblind society. He called for a society that stopped treating Black people as second-class citizens and for specific race-based policies to address the 350 years of race-based discrimination. Dr. King talked about race, Black & white, ALL THE TIME."
Berrnice King, activist and youngest child of MLK, tweeted similarly on Aug. 29:
Being ‘colorblind’ does not = justice. And so many seem to prefer a claim of “not seeing color” over the work of eradicating racism and dismantling white supremacy. That is false peace. And that is not the dream or teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
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