Americans know the nation is divided. And they believe race relations are getting worse. Black and white voters are far apart on what “racism” is, and politicians seldom address the most uncomfortable differences directly.
But not so Corey Stewart. The unconventional Republican candidate for U.S. Senate from Virginia sat down with the PBS NewsHour for a story about how the GOP is struggling with identity and dealing with openly-declared racists who are running as Republican candidates in the 2018 midterms.
Stewart associated with some of these candidates in the past but has disavowed them; he says he did that immediately after learning of their racist views. Still, the national Republican Party has separated itself from Stewart, deciding not to fund his campaign against Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine, who is heavily favored to win the race.
Our intended 15-minute interview with Stewart went much longer than planned. He expressed some views on race that are rarely said publicly by congressional candidates.
Stewart’s belief that whites have little or no societal advantage over blacks, for example, is shared by a majority of white people in America, according to some polls. But it’s rarely openly declared by white politicians. Another claim of his, that few African-Americans are offended by Confederate monuments runs counter to recent polls of black Americans.
Here are four longer clips of our interview with Stewart.
Whether a white nationalist movement exists
Stewart expressed his view that there is no white nationalist movement, but just a few racist “crackpots.”
People generally do not face limits because of race
Stewart told the PBS NewsHour that socio-economics and class limit some Americans in society, not race. When asked if he believes a person of color faces limitations because of their race, Stewart said no.
A defender of Confederate monuments as historical items, Stewart also expressed his view that African-Americans in general are not offended by them and that liberals have created the controversy over Confederate symbols as a political wedge issue.
Why Republicans do not perform better with minority voters
Stewart pointed to Democrats as the reason that Republicans have not gained more ground with minority voters. He responded to questions about why he thinks there aren’t more black Republicans running for office or sitting on the president’s cabinet.