The flier, which provides the name and telephone number of Rev. George Brooks of Murfreesboro, Tenn., has been in circulation since at least last Thursday. On Monday, Brooks took responsibility for the broadside, saying, "I sent that out."
Brooks said he sent the flier because the 9th Congressional District is "about 90-something percent black. That's the reason." According to the latest U.S. Census, in 2000, the district was 59.7 percent black.
According to an editorial in yesterday's Memphis Commercial Appeal, Cohen's primary oppponent, Nikki Tinker, had been slow to condemn the flier. A newer AP article says she was "incensed" by it.
Previously, Rep. Cohen has been attacked by clergy in the district for supporting a federal anti-hate crimes bill, a measure favored by the NAACP. Cohen also says that no one ever questioned Rep. Harold Ford (his predecessor in the seat) for supporting this bill, too. One clergyman responded:
"He's not black and he can't represent me, that's just the bottom line," said Rev. Robert Poindexter of Mt. Moriah Baptist Church.
It goes without saying that racist and antisemitic attacks have absolutely no place anywhere in the world, and especially not in American politics.