Matt Lieberman, a Democrat running for Senate in Georgia, is facing calls from within his party to drop out of the race for authoring a book in 2018 comprising “racist and discriminatory tropes.”
Nikema Williams, chairwoman of Georgia’s Democratic Party, condemned Lieberman, the son of former vice presidential candidate and Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., Friday after the Huffington Post published a piece highlighting Lieberman’s self-published novel “Lucius.” The book features a character who says some Ku Klux Klan members are “basically good people.”
“Let me be clear: racist and discriminatory tropes have no place in our politics and no place in the Democratic Party,” said Williams, who is also a state senator and congressional candidate. “These kinds of offensive writings are antithetical to our party’s values and will not be tolerated,” she added, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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Lieberman’s 213-page novel features an elderly white man who regularly uses racist phrases and has delusions that he owns a slave named Lucius.
Lieberman is one of 21 candidates vying in a special election for Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler’s seat. Recent polls show him in a tight contest with Rev. Raphael Warnock, who is backed by Stacey Abrams and the political arm of the Senate Democrats.
Lieberman rejected the criticism of his book, saying he penned it in response to the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville in 2017. He referred to it as a “clear-eyed and honest look at racism in America.”
“The fact that I published this book has been known since I began this campaign last year, so an attack surfacing only now is testament to the strength of my candidacy today,” he said.
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James Woodall, the president of the Georgia NAACP, said the book is deeply troubling.
“I know there were good intentions in writing this book, but it doesn’t undo the real damage these kinds of narratives create,” Woodall told the Journal Constitution. “Get out of the race. We don’t need that kind of division or distraction in a time where our democracy is literally on the line.”
Lieberman brushed off calls to drop out of the race.
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“I’m not going to be distracted from seeking the support of Georgians,” Lieberman said, “nor deterred from fighting against racism and for a more just society.”