OOPS: Louisiana Republican Candidate Caught in Blackface Photo
So, in Louisiana, a state House seat is open after conservative Mike Johnson was elected to Congress in this last cycle. A couple of different Republicans have jumped into the race, one of whom is Robbie Gatti, brother of Ryan Gatti, currently a state Senator.
Gatti, the RINO in the race, made a series of terrible mistakes, however, leading to a particularly sticky situation.
The Hayride has the full scoop.
The sources providing the photo in question inform The Hayride that Gatti was with several members of First Baptist Church in Bossier City when the photo in blackface was taken. That’s the church at which he was an associate pastor until last year, but left amid a great deal of acrimony over Johnson’s election – he and his brother opposed Johnson while most of the parishioners disagreed, and things became so ugly that Gatti was asked to leave.
Gatti has decided that wearing blackface is not a terrible thing and gave a statement to the Shreveport Times.
“I’m sad that my opponents have taken a good night at church and turned it into negative, political mud, but I’m confident the voters of Bossier will not fall for their desperate attacks,” he said.
Gatti, a military officer and the brother of State Sen. Ryan Gatti, explained in a statement to The Times that the photo was taken 15 years ago during a fall festival at his church and that all the volunteers were told to dress as famous people.
“Tiger Woods was at the height of his popularity, as a world champion, and that was who I was dressed as,” he said. “Shortly after this event, I was ordained in this church. As a medical professional, ordained minister and military officer, I live my life seeing only character and I stand by that.”
Gatti is missing the entire problem with his statement. He really and truly believes that a photo of him in blackface is not going to stir up the people of his district, which includes Shreveport, a city that twice elected a liberal black mayor and has a very strong black identity.
Even if that weren’t the case, the fact of that matter is that we currently live in 2017, which isn’t really the best time to be caught in a racially insensitive moment.
This “the people will see through this” excuse isn’t, politically speaking, a particularly wise track, considering the nature of the offense. An actual “I apologize to any and all who were offended, as it was not my intention to do so” would have been a much better choice.