Yesterday, we wrote about Russell Walker – a Republican candidate for N.C. House District 48 who got 8,500 votes in last week’s election despite declaring “God is a racist” and that Jews are Satanic.
There has been an understandable amount of “Eh, who cares?” in reaction to Walker’s showing.
Sure, he took 37 percent of his district – and carried about a half a dozen precincts. But ultimately he lost – and to a Black minister. The N.C. GOP condemned and disowned him, despite his winning a Republican primary.
So why does it matter?
The answer is in an FBI report released Tuesday.
The report, the bureau’s annual look at hate crime statistics, found hate crimes – those motivated by race, ancestry, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability – up 17 percent nationally.
In North Carolina? They’re up 12 percent.
There were 166 known hate crimes in North Carolina in 2017, according the bureau. That’s up from 148 in 2016.
In that environment it’s worth asking how we got to a point where open white supremacists are running – and winning primaries, at least – all over the country.