A longtime Clinton ally and donor has a theory about black Republicans: They’re like the Jewish guards in concentration camps who tried to save their own skins by helping the Nazis kill other Jews.
In a hidden-camera video released Wednesday by Project Veritas Action, author and academic Benjamin R. Barber compared black Republicans to the “Sonderkommandos” during a Sept. 19 fundraiser for North Carolina Senate candidate Deborah Ross.
He described the Sonderkommandos as “Jewish guards who in effect helped murder Jews in the camps so they could live a little longer.”
“So there were even Jews who were helping the Nazis murder Jews. So blacks who are helping the other side are seriously f***ed in the head,” Mr. Barber said in the footage.
Mr. Barber, a Rutgers University professor emeritus and City University of New York senior research scholar, isn’t some fringe figure: He served as an informal consultant on civic affairs to President Bill Clinton, wrote a book about the Clinton administration and donated to Hillary Clinton’s presidential bids in 2008 and 2016.
Mr. Barber did not respond immediately Wednesday to a request for comment. Project Veritas, known for its undercover sting operations against liberals, has been accused of selectively editing its undercover footage, which the group has denied.
Black Republicans are “only helping the enemy who wants to destroy them,” Mr. Barber said in the video. “Maybe thinking that, ‘If I help them, maybe it’ll be different, maybe I’d get off OK; somehow, I’d save my race by working for the murderers.’”
At the same fundraiser, Ms. Ross stressed her commitment to civil rights, saying that she opposed voter-identification laws as ‘Jim Crow’ because they discriminate against blacks, young people and women.
“Republicans know that young people, that young people, African-Americans and women are less likely to have the ID, so they won’t vote,” the candidate said in the undercover video. “Yes, yes, yes. It’s Jim Crow. Just put the roadblock in.”
Black Republicans in North Carolina who viewed the Project Veritas footage prior to Wednesday’s release were flabbergasted, calling on Ms. Ross to return any donation to her campaign from Mr. Barber.
“Wow. So that’s what they think of us,” Robert Foster said in the video. “I’m speechless for the most part. It’s wrong. It’s an eye-opener. But that’s what happens when we as blacks vote [in] the majority just for one party.”
No listing of a Ross donation from Mr. Barber has appeared on Federal Election Commission records, even though he attended her fundraiser in New York.
Patrick L. Wooden Sr., bishop of the Upper Room Church of God in Christ in Raleigh, North Carolina, said the comments on the video showed someone “basically calling blacks stupid and ignorant and saying that we’re voting against our own self-interest if we support any Republican.”
“I am appalled, I am incensed, and Deborah Ross should be called to task for something like that,” Mr. Wooden said.
Pastor William Cooper turned Mr. Barber’s comments on their head, saying, “As a matter of fact, I think I’m benefiting my race by voting against the Democratic Party. [It] takes the African-American vote for granted. They don’t offer us anything.”
While Democrats have long enjoyed a virtual lock on the black vote, black Republican candidates have challenged that dominance this year.
They include retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who lost his high-profile bid for the Republican presidential nod and now serves as an adviser to nominee Donald Trump; Colorado Republican Senate nominee Darryl Glenn; and Colorado Republican House candidate Casper Stockham.
Mr. Barber is described as a “steady informal adviser to the White House” in the Amazon introduction to his 2001 book, “The Truth of Power: Intellectual Affairs in the Clinton Administration” (W.W. Norton & Co.).
Federal Election Commission records show that Mr. Barber has made frequent donations to Democratic causes, including the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and Democracy for America.
He is the first Distinguished Senior Fellow at Fordham School of Law’s Urban Consortium, president and founder of the Interdependence Movement and founder of the Global Parliament of Mayors Project, according to the biography on his website.
• Valerie Richardson can be reached at email@example.com.
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