Journalists and other Democrats are doing what they always do when Republicans have a good election: 1) Denouncing the voters as mindless rubes who, if not virulent racists themselves, are easily brainwashed into supporting white supremacy, and 2) completely ignoring the historic success of GOP candidates of color.
Mainstream reporting on the Virginia gubernatorial election, for example, has focused on Republican governor-elect Glenn Youngkin's "repulsively cynical" campaign "built heavily around stoking white grievance" and pumping "raw right-wing sewage directly into the minds of the GOP base." Standard fare, really.
At the same time, mainstream outlets have gone out of their way to diminish the historic diversity of the winning Republican ticket. Winsome Sears, a black immigrant from Jamaica who served in the Marines, won her race for lieutenant governor of Virginia, becoming the first woman of color elected to a statewide office. Attorney general candidate Jason Miyares, the son of Cuban refugees, became the first Hispanic American elected to a statewide office. Historic!
As far as the mainstream media are concerned, because Sears and Miyares disagree with Democrats like Gov. Ralph "Coonman" Northam (Va.)—who remained in office after admitting to wearing either blackface or a Ku Klux Klan robe in medical school—they don't really count as people of color and are in fact enabling white supremacy through tokenism.
On Wednesday morning, USA Today published an article on "candidates of color racking up election wins in historic results." The original version noted that these gains "ranged from mayoral elections to state offices" but did not mention Sears or Miyares, who were actually elected to state offices. Instead, it highlighted the historic success of Democratic mayoral candidates in heavily Democratic cities such as New York City, Boston, and Pittsburgh.
The article was updated without explanation on Wednesday evening, perhaps begrudgingly after critics complained, to include Sears and Miyares among the historic candidates of color. Miyares, however, is somewhat oddly described as "the first Cuban" to serve as Virginia attorney general.
BuzzFeed News, meanwhile, has not even bothered to update its post on the 2021 election's "historic firsts," which appears to be a copied, pasted, and slightly rewritten version of the initial USA Today article. Sears and Miyares are nowhere to be found among the examples of how this year's election "showed the promise of increasing diversity."
One might presume the Washington Post, given its proximity to Virginia, would be particularly excited about Sears and Miyares. Except they weren't, not really. The paper's coverage of the Boston mayoral race was far more enthusiastic by comparison. "Michelle Wu makes history as first person of color and woman to be elected Boston mayor," the Post declared. Wu had overwhelmingly defeated
Here's the Post headline for Sears's victory in Virginia: "Republican Winsome Sears projected to win lieutenant governor's race." That's it. The historic outcome is described as one "that would make her the first woman in the state's second-highest office and that could tilt the closely split state Senate in her party's favor on divisive issues such as abortion restrictions." She'll also be the first woman of color to serve as lieutenant governor, the Post concedes, making sure to point out her Democratic challenger, Hala Ayala, would have been just as historic. Perhaps a woman of color winning a statewide race in a southern state just isn't as exciting as a liberal Democrat becoming mayor of a liberal municipality. These are professional journalists we're talking about. We should trust their judgment.
Sears's campaign team issued a defiant response to journalists bemoaning the Republican victory in Virginia. "This country simply loves white supremacy," wrote Atlantic contributor Jemele Hill. To which Sears's team responded, "We beg to differ," along with a photo of the historic woman of color holding a badass rifle.
The media's refusal to acknowledge the achievements of black and brown Republicans on Election Day comes roughly six months after Sen. Tim Scott (R., S.C.), the first black politician since Reconstruction to represent a southern state in the Senate, was boorishly vilified for criticizing President Joe Biden. The historic senator, who delivered the GOP response to Biden's congressional address in April, was denounced as a "clown" whose "ancestors are ashamed of him." A number of white libs were forced to apologize after using racially charged language to attack Scott.
Several days before Scott was scheduled to deliver his speech, the Washington Post published an extensive investigation into his family lineage. The so-called fact check interviewed a number of historians—who just happened to be Democratic donors—in an apparent effort to cast doubt on whether Scott's grandfather, who grew up in South Carolina during the Great Depression, was actually poor and underprivileged.
The paper's motto: "Democracy dies in darkness."