“These are the times that try men’s souls,” wrote American political activist Thomas Paine. The same could be said of election years, which bring out strong emotions and where the desire to win can often try one’s sense of decency.
Examples of racism are already emerging this election season in Florida. CNN obtained a 78 second prerecorded message, targeting gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum. The message, narrated by a man “speaking in caricature of a black dialect with cartoonish jungle noises in the background,” was paid for by a Neo-Nazi group.
This type of invective is not only unacceptable, it’s dangerous. We don’t have to look too far back into history to see the consequences of such racial and ethnic prejudice, in fact, they are still happening today.
Now more than ever, we must set standards of decency. This election year, we have the chance to do the right thing and reject racism from any group, candidate, or political party. This is not about partisan politics. This is about civility and human decency — on all sides. A diverse state such as Florida should set that example.