Elections

Ross gives away donation from man who made racist remark at fundraiser

Deborah Ross
Deborah Ross tlong@newsobserver.com

Democrat Deborah Ross’ campaign for Senate will give a New York professor’s contribution to charity after a video showed him making racist comments during a Ross fundraiser.

The video shows Benjamin Barber at a New York fundraiser criticizing African-American Republicans. He compares them to Jewish people who assisted Nazis and concludes that “blacks who are helping the other side are seriously (expletive) in the head. They’re only helping the enemy who will destroy them.”

Barber appears to be speaking to an undercover videographer from Project Veritas, a conservative group that produces undercover videos targeting groups like Planned Parenthood and ACORN. There’s no indication Ross heard Barber’s comment.

Barber is a senior fellow at the Fordham School of Law’s Urban Consortium. He told WRAL on Wednesday that the comment “was an overstatement and not one that I would make in public.”

Barber’s only contribution to the Ross campaign was the $200 he paid to attend the September fundraiser. Ross spokesman Cole Leiter said Barber’s money will be donated to “the North Carolina disaster relief fund to help those affected by Hurricane Matthew.

Shortly after the video was released Wednesday morning, Republican U.S. Sen. Richard Burr’s campaign called on Ross to denounce what it called “hateful, racially charged rhetoric” and return the contribution.

Ada Fisher of the N.C. Republican Party, who is black, said Ross should go further and “give back every dollar that was raised at an event in which racist and vile rhetoric was used.”

The Project Veritas video comes two days after a leaked recording emerged of Burr joking about a “bull’s-eye” on a photo of Hillary Clinton. Burr has apologized for the comment.

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