- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 3, 2016

North Carolina Senate candidate Deborah Ross has agreed to give away a contribution from a prominent Democratic donor after his racially charged comments about black Republicans jolted the pivotal Senate contest.

A spokesman for the Democrat Ross said Wednesday she would donate to charity the $200 contribution made by Benjamin R. Barber after undercover footage from Project Veritas Action showed him slamming black Republicans as “seriously f—-ed in the head.”

“The campaign will donate the $200 we received from Mr. Barber to the North Carolina disaster relief fund to help those affected by Hurricane Matthew,” said Ross campaign spokesman Cole Leiter in a statement.

Meanwhile, her opponent, Republican Sen. Richard Burr, called on Ms. Ross to disavow the remarks made at a Sept. 19 campaign fundraiser that she attended in New York City.

“Deborah Ross must denounce the hateful, racially charged comments used at her campaign fundraiser and return the money she raised at the event,” said Mr. Burr in a post on his Facebook page.

Mr. Barber, a longtime Clinton ally and Distinguished Senior Fellow at Fordham School of Law’s Urban Consortium, has since backed off his comparison of black Republicans to Jews who aided Nazis, calling it an “overstatement and not one I would make in public.”

At the same time, Mr. Barber didn’t entirely disavow his comments in an interview Wednesday with WRAL-TV in Raleigh, North Carolina.

“I stand by the basic view that people of color — Latinos and African-Americans and others — who are voting for [Donald] Trump are voting in total disregard of their own long-range interests and in total obliviousness to everything that Trump has said about Latinos, about immigrants, about African-Americans, his own racist record,” Mr. Barber said.

Republican National Committeewoman Ada M. Fisher of North Carolina joined other black Republicans in condemning his remarks, saying Ms. Ross should go beyond donating the $200 to charity and “give back every dollar that was raised at an event in which racist and vile rhetoric was used,” according to the Charlotte Observer.

The North Carolina Senate race is too close to call, with Mr. Burr ahead by just 1 percentage point in the Real Clear Politics average.

Mr. Burr apologized Monday after he was heard on audiotape joking that he was “a little bit shocked” that a photo of Democratic presidential candidate on a magazine cover about rifles “didn’t have a bulls-eye on it.”

In a conversation with an undercover Project Veritas investigator, Mr. Barber compared black Republicans to Jews aiding Nazis, saying, “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, a Rutgers University professor emeritus and City University of New York senior research scholar, 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.

“They’re 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.’”

Several black Republicans who viewed the video said they were stunned by his comments.

“Wow. So that’s what they think of us,” said Robert Foster 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.”

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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