Hey, there! Log in / Register

Election roundup: Tamer apologizes for 'tone' of mailer; Essaibi George vows Mass/Cass action

As the fallout over her most recent flier (scroll down, past the racist Easter-egg item), District 6 council candidate Mary Tamer today apologized - not long before she was scheduled for a meet-and-greet in Jamaica Plain, where the reaction has been, oh, a tad more negative than in West Roxbury.

More specifically, she apologized for the photos, which showed her in full fair-haired color, but her opponent, Kendra Hicks, in classic evil black and white. The text, which paints Hicks as a wild-eyed radical out to turn Boston into a lawless socialist hellhole with no police? That she stands by.

The Tamer Campaign, which abhors all forms of racism, sent out a mailer citing clear policy differences between Mary and her opponent, Kendra Hicks.

The photo used was never intended to cause harm or show racial animus, but it is clear, based on the feedback we have received and heard, that it did not set the right tone.

Candidates for public office make errors in the midst of long campaign days, and everyone on this multiethnic, multilingual campaign team has learned a valuable lesson.

What we intended to focus on and will continue to focus on are the significant policy differences between Mary and her opponent. Elections are about choices, and District 6 voters have a clear choice to make on November 2.

The flier has cost Tamer an active supporter, Alex Hahn, who says he had knocked on doors and more for her:

The flyer uses the well-known trope of making a candidate of color look and seem menacing. Placing Kendra in black-and-white makes her skin seem darker. Boston has a long, sad history of racism in its politics. This kind of campaigning plays right into that.

Hicks reacts to the mailer.

Annissa Essaibi George released a new Mass-and-Cass plan at Mass and Cass, well, Southampton Street, where she was endorsed by SEIU 888 and SENA 9158 and Dorchester City Councilor Frank Baker, whose district includes parts of the Mass and Cass area. Essaibi George declared, that by standing at the epicenter of the regional opioid/homelessness crisis she was showing how she'll be boots on the ground, unlike her opponent, a distant elitist:

I have the relationships, the knowledge, the experience to tackle Mass & Cass on Day One. You cannot say the same about Michelle Wu. This is not an issue you can tackle from afar. It requires a presence and firsthand understanding.

Wu today announced endorsements by former City Councilor Tito Jackson and former state Rep. Charlotte Golar Richie: Jackson said:

From boldly tackling our housing crisis to ensuring our public transportation system is accessible and serves all, Michelle is prepared to meet the urgency of this moment. I have worked closely with her on the City Council and know that she is the candidate with the record and bold vision to make our city more equitable for all, especially communities of color. I look forward to continuing to partner with her to work towards racial, social, economic, and climate justice for our communities.

Topics: 
AttachmentSize
PDF icon Essaibi George Mass and Cass plan139.91 KB

Ad:
Like the job UHub is doing? Consider a contribution. Thanks!

Comments

It’s petty and makes you look foolish.

up
Voting closed 59

Seems like a fair assessment of current news. I’m curious where you’re seeing bias here.

up
Voting closed 54

“Essaibi George declared, that by standing at the epicenter of the regional opioid/homelessness crisis she was showing how she'll be boots on the ground, unlike her opponent, a distant elitist:”

This is sarcastic and needs an eye roll emoji. You need to read more carefully.

up
Voting closed 18

This is AEG’s whole argument right now.

In other news, she’s down by 30 points with two weeks to go.

up
Voting closed 22

“I’m a mothah, a teachah, and with boots on the ground I’ll be a soldjah.”

up
Voting closed 17

Like, what part of that would she actually dispute? I agree that the overall argument is ridiculous, but I don't think that's because of anything Adam's added here.

up
Voting closed 14

nah

up
Voting closed 38

I'd call you a troll except that I recognize your handle.

up
Voting closed 25

Go peddle your papers.

up
Voting closed 18

Than the Globe or the Herald or most other news sources.

Yes, he's most likely going to vote for Wu, but he still presents the information to us to make up our own minds. He has enough of a background in reporting to know the difference between news and editorial.

up
Voting closed 31

that he let your comment post to this story, rather than suppress all opposing thoughts...

up
Voting closed 35

Tamer's image was standard-issue "candidate in color, opponent in b/w", but it was dumb to not see the racial context and avoid stepping in it.

The text, on the other hand, is accurate and draws legitimate contrasts. I don't understand what secret progressive decoder tool we are supposed to be using to understand that "abolish the police and empty the prisons" does not mean what it says.

up
Voting closed 75

Try racist as hell.

up
Voting closed 36

How is it different than if any white candidate did a mailer with their white opponent in black & white? Are the rules different when your opponent has darker skin?

up
Voting closed 21

If you want to know why, I or any number of other people could explain it you, but let's start by saying it's not dissimilar from photos that emphasize your Jewish opponent's nose in mailings, which, yes, is also a thing.

up
Voting closed 56

Sure, that's horrible if it's intentional. I struggle to believe any candidate running in this city in 2021 would say "yes, let's do X Y or Z to emphasize my opponent being black/Jewish/etc."

up
Voting closed 15

...of it being unintentional?

I've never produced campaign materials, but I'm guessing they get scrutinized carefully to assess their first impression. It seems someone thought this flyer sent the message they were trying to convey, and approved it.

BTW, you probably know this, but the reference to noses is from the Georgia Senate race last year.

up
Voting closed 8

You’re correct. It’s 2021. And so I struggle to believe people that communications/media professionals who have worked and have been educated in the past 20 years could have produced something like this purely by accident.

No one needs to make an explicit statement like “we need something a little more…racist!” There are still plenty of (what they think is) subtle methods to get the same point across. Here’s the playbook:

Campaign manager: “Let’s design a flyer that appeals to ‘traditional West Roxbury voters’.”

Designer: “Like this?”

Campaign: “Perfect. Let’s send it.”

Candidate: “It was never my intent to invoke racial stereotypes. I will speak with my campaign. I apologize if anyone was offended.”

Let’s do another thought experiment: pretend the assignment was to create a flyer stating “vote for Mary Tamer; she is the White candidate” but without actually saying vote for Mary Tamer; she is the white candidate. And give the candidate plausible deniability.

How would the flyer look any different? If you were designing a racist Republican smear flyer but wanted to avoid accusations of racism, what would be a better example than the Tamer flyer above?

up
Voting closed 12

It's not so much a matter of decoding, as being able to realize what's reasonably possible within the office of mayor. Police defunding might be possible, but prison abolition is not really within the scope of the mayoral office. Same for the dismantling of capitalism.

The quotation about not voting in national elections is also not really damning in progressive circles, as there's plenty of valid criticisms on the left about the efficacy of a system rife with gerrymandering, as well as the mechanisms of the electoral college.

I think my biggest problem with that part of the mailer is AEG's team pull-quoted Hicks and cited their sources, but then offered no details or citations for their own claims. It comes across as lazy and reliant on AEG being the "Anti-Hicks" rather than standing on her own merits.

up
Voting closed 15

... than the original mailer, IMO. Would have been much better to immediately own your fuck-up and move on to the issues.

up
Voting closed 31

My most generous take on both the Tamer and the Essaibi George is-it-or-is-it-not racist controversies is this:

Let’s pretend that we can know for a fact that both Tamer and AEG are 100% nonracist in their intent and never wanted to provoke thoughts and discussions of race with their campaign materials. The thing that I fall back on is that both candidates and all the people they pay to conceive and approve the campaign literature and messaging must have known a.) that these are the same tactics that unabashed racists use and b.) that people would notice and say something about it.

They all are (or should be) smart enough to see this happening, yet they decided “Screw it. Run it anyway”, meaning either they don’t care who it insults or they believe that insulting marginalized groups helps them with a certain other demographic.

It’s one thing for a dumb-as-nails/intentionally ignorant anon UHub commentor to say “I don’t know how heavily implying a BLACK and WHITE contrast between an BLACK candidate and WHITE candidate could in anyway be construed as racial?”; but it’s another for people who get paid to create, approve, and distribute campaign messaging to totally miss the obvious. They are smart enough to know and intentionally let it through.

up
Voting closed 78

They all are (or should be) smart enough to see this happening, yet the decided “Screw it. Run it anyway”, meaning either they don’t care who it insults or they believe that insulting marginalized groups helps them with a certain other demographic.

I’m find this to be a convincing argument. I wasn’t thinking in those terms myself, but it rings true to me.

I suppose there may be a third option too; namely, that the culture within the campaign is to not question decisions or share potentially unpopular ideas. I’d find that to be worrying too.

up
Voting closed 25

between keeping the high turnout voters who didn't think Dapper was *that* bad motivated and flipping supporter like that guy cited above against the campaign.

Or as @dril put it once: "turning a big dial taht says "Racism" on it and constantly looking back at the audience for approval like a contestant on the price is right."

up
Voting closed 27

Since the press release announcing this brain-dead, race-baiting mailer (and promising more! Can’t wait to see what they do next!) is still online, you can see exactly who she’s paying for this. He also helped out Andrea Campbell, at least earlier this year.

https://static1.squarespace.com/static/601cb8e90054af4ba942ffe0/t/61670a...

up
Voting closed 11

...on the *right* side of a racial controversy.

up
Voting closed 27

She definitely wouldn't like to be characterized as "right", she is quite "left".

up
Voting closed 15

My bad!

up
Voting closed 9

There’s no apology. (“Responds?”) Closest she comes is raising the “I have multi-ethnic friends” trope — is it your ethnic friends’ fault that you’re running around your white neighborhood distributing fliers reminding people that your opponent is black?

up
Voting closed 35

You do realize that Tamer is a "multi-ethnic" herself, right?

up
Voting closed 27

The mailer is meant to scare. Making changes to the police department or prisons doesn't mean abolishing them. taken right from the MAGA playbook

up
Voting closed 32

They’re direct quotes from the candidates social media platforms.

up
Voting closed 12

One of my neighbors a few months back looked through her Facebook (now taken down) and Twitter and showed me the results. She repeatedly said she wants there to be "zero cops" and to "free them all". She definitely wants more than "changes"...

up
Voting closed 29

And there is a strong argument out there to completely deconstruct the police system (abolish it) and rebuild it with something better. And certainly the prison system does nothing to help folks reform so there's a strong argument there too. But even if you disagree with all that, a city councilor alone is powerless to make any changes to the Boston police and has even less of a chance to change prisons. So it's all a scare tactic when actually policy is what's needed. Run a positive add about your policy and run a strong campaign instead.

up
Voting closed 24

I don't know about you, but I don't vote for candidates after excluding policies they "couldn't do anyways." For a lot of people, believing in policies that extreme is unsurprisingly a deal breaker.

up
Voting closed 13

because an anonymous poster had an anonymous neighbor who read something on a facebook page that has since been taken down?

up
Voting closed 19

You say this like the neighbor did not take screenshots, which was the medium they used to share them with me. Either way, I'm not here to convince anyone, they can do their own research

up
Voting closed 13

they can do their own research

That's handy, because I'm not convinced. It sounds to me like it is at best cherrypicking, and that's a bad faith argument.

up
Voting closed 10

And she's a D6 voter.

up
Voting closed 12

Of course the picture speaks for itself and is definitely racialized, but the words on the other side are just as terrible and misleading.

Tamer mentions three of her endorsements and just one for Hicks. The list of Hicks endorsements is so long so check it out yourself - https://www.hicksfordistrictsix.com/endorsements
But here are a few:
Ayanna Pressley
Sonia Chang Diaz
Nika Elugardo
Julia Mejia
The Greater Boston Labor Council
The IBEW (electrical workers)
Boston Teachers Union
The Sierra Club
Planned Parenthood
A bunch of SEIU locals
and many more

Then there is more misleading with the health and safety policies. Kendra has outlined all her policies clearly - https://www.hicksfordistrictsix.com/policy
And a lowly city councilor does not have the power to free all the prisoners or abolish the police so it's silly to even suggest that is something she can do. A Trumpian scare tactic.

And what does her voting record have to do with anything. Folks have been disenfranchised for a long time and still are today, maybe that is why they don't always vote in every single election.

Tamer is desperate and hopefully this will be all over soon, but shame on her.

up
Voting closed 45

I see a lot of comments regarding the content of campaign literature, but I haven't seen anything (as of 1:30pm) regarding the Methadone Mile/Mass + Cass plan.
I would submit that this of much more importance than the back and forth I've read so far.
I travel through there regularly. This morning was the same sad horror story. We are losing a section of our city to this disease.
It was created by a government plan to centralize services. It has been an unqualified disaster.
This is in need of more urgent attention than the content of some political flier.

up
Voting closed 15

i assure you, there’s no shortage of mass/cass discourse on this website

up
Voting closed 23

AEG proposed the same thing Campbell proposed months ago (a tzar), a task force, some money and a special zone, but nothing concrete and immediate (wait I thought she was the “I haz real plans!” realist candidate?). Wu wants a ferry to reopen Long Island and some retrofitted buildings for housing. People in Roslindale/JP say “uh no thanks, we want a park” to the Shattuck proposal. Janey’s not doing anything big or bold while in office.

What’d I miss?

(But really, what is Janet doing?)

up
Voting closed 4

I see a lot of comments regarding the content of campaign literature, but I haven't seen anything (as of 1:30pm) regarding the Methadone Mile/Mass + Cass plan.
I would submit that this of much more importance than the back and forth I've read so far.
I travel through there regularly. This morning was the same sad horror story. We are losing a section of our city to this disease.
It was created by a government plan to centralize services. It has been an unqualified disaster.
This is in need of more urgent attention than the content of some political flier.

up
Voting closed 14

I live in district 6 and supporting abolishing the police is a plus for me honestly. If I hadn't already been planning to vote for Hicks this mailer certainly would have encouraged me to vote for her. It does show the difference is stark and makes Hicks look far more appealing to me.

One of them quite clearly takes systemic problems seriously and is willing to piss off established interests to address them head on, the other is quite clearly a red baiting, vote shaming, racist who thinks voters owe politicians their vote and ultimately that she owes nothing but vague allusions to non specified reforms and long standing policies that are themsleves part of the problem. (There is considerable scholarship and even many reports from police departments themselves that tie community policing to militarization of the police which makes sense considering its relationship to counter-insurgency strategies from the war on terror)

I wouldn't be surprised if this encourages the old school racists in Westie to support her but I hope it pisses off enough people in JP to defeat her.

up
Voting closed 32

I also live in D6 and this would also prompt me to vote for Hicks (if I wasn't already). I've been super impressed with the interviews I've seen with Kendra Hicks. She's got a clear stance and set of actions for every issue. All I've gotten from Tamer is vague platitudes with no substance and the sense that she doesn't want to change anything.

up
Voting closed 21

Everyone I've seen who says this about either AEG or MT has never once looked at their websites

Have you?

up
Voting closed 5

I have little enthusiasm for either of these candidates but I have even less now for Tamer, actually none. She is done.

up
Voting closed 17