DENVER (KDVR) — Things have gotten ugly on Twitter in a race where a candidate for the statehouse admits she was trying to get her opponent’s attention.
The longshot Republican candidate in the race for Colorado’s House District 3 said she is not apologizing after calling her opponent and three candidates of color “chimps.”
It is not unusual for different organizations and unions to endorse candidates during an election season. The American Federation of Teachers here in Colorado released its endorsement for candidates in late August.
Two weeks ago, the AFT tweeted an endorsement of Democrat Rep. Meg Froelich, who is running for re-election, along with endorsements for Sen. Julie Gonzales, House District 6 candidate Elisabeth Epps and Rep. Jennifer Bacon.
Froelich responded to the tweet writing, “Wow! I get to be with these champs? Made my day! Thanks @coloradoaft.”
Her opponent, Republican Marla Fernandez, wrote back late Monday night saying, “Did you say chimps?” with a smiling emoji. “Sorry must be my dyslexia.”
Seeing that the tweet mentioned two Black women, Epps and Bacon, alarms were sounded all over Twitter throughout the day Tuesday and Wednesday.
Marla Fernandez responds to questions about racist tweet
FOX31 asked Fernandez what she meant by that tweet.
“I was trying to get Meg and the NEA (National Education Association) [keep in mind, the tweet was from the AFT] and I meant to put chump(s). Umm, but I said you know what, let’s go with this and see what happens since I’m Hispanic,” Fernandez said as she laughed. “So, I got the media coverage.”
Colorado GOP Chairwoman Kristi Burton Brown responded saying the tweet was “uncalled for and highly inappropriate. She should apologize immediately.” FOX31 asked Fernandez if she plans to do that.
“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,” she said. “I’m not going to apologize because I didn’t do anything wrong and I’m not racist. It’s not true.”
“Do you understand the historical context regarding African Americans?” FOX31 asked before Fernandez interrupted the question.
“I’m fricking Hispanic,” Fernandez exclaimed. “There is no historical with it. We are using different words nowadays and people are twisting things.”
Comparing Black people to monkeys has a long, dark history in this nation.
“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. There is a very deep, complicated and complex history,” said Katia Campbell, Metro State University of Denver’s chair of communications studies.
Fernandez said she did all of this try to get her opponent to debate her. It did not work as Froelich declined to comment.