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Westampton committee candidate blasted from both sides over blackface photos

Karl Eversmeyer wore blackface in at least three 2009 photos

By Nikita Biryukov, October 14 2019 5:39 pm

Republicans are calling for a GOP committee candidate to suspend his campaign following the discovery of a series of blackface photos he posted on Facebook in 2009.

“What I saw in those photos is nothing short of sickening,” former Westampton Mayor Carolyn Chang said. “There is absolutely no place for racism or hate in Westampton. Mr. Eversmeyer owes the people of this vibrant, multicultural community an explanation for his disgusting behavior.”

Karl Eversmeyer, a candidate for the Westampton Township Committee, posted three photos of himself in blackface to Facebook in 2009. In the photos, which have since been deleted from the social media site, Eversmeyer is seen holding a bottle of Hennessy with his face and hands painted black.

“We are appalled by the recent blackface pictures posted by Karl Eversmeyer, a candidate for Westampton Township Committee on his Facebook page,” Assemblyman Ryan Peters and former Burlington County Sheriff Jean Stanfield said in a joint statement.

“Both of us have worked tirelessly throughout our careers to promote and build diversity in Burlington County and within our party. We strongly condemn these racist photos and demand that Karl Eversmeyer suspend his campaign. This is not who we are and it is not the leadership Westampton deserves.”

Eversmeyer did not return a 3:05 p.m. phone call seeking comment.

Stanfield and Peters face Democrats Gina LaPlaca and Mark Natale.

This is not the first time race has entered into the eighth district’s Assembly contest.

Last month, Republicans claimed General Majority PAC, a dark money group run by allies of South Jersey Democratic powerbroker George Norcross, darkened the face of Ocean City Councilman Antwan McClellan on a campaign mailer.

McClellan, who is black, is running for Assembly in the first legislative district.

“We both find it extremely disappointing that our opponents only find the courage to stand up against racism when it’s convenient,” Peters and Stanfield said. “They still have refused to denounce racist mailers by the very people bankrolling their campaign. Unlike LaPlaca and Natale, we’ll call out racism from whoever or wherever it comes from.”

The attacks over the mailer have drawn little in the way of response from Democrats.

In 2017, Democratic Burlington County Freeholder Balvir Singh, who had not yet been elected, similarly claimed his opponent’s campaign darkened his face on campaign literature.

“Since Donald Trump’s election, hateful people have felt emboldened and unashamed of their racism. We cannot tolerate that behavior in Burlington County,” said Westampton Committeeman Tony De Silva said. “As the famous quote goes, the only thing necessary for evil men to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”

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