For Immediate Release: March 6, 2020
Contact: John Cotter, Campaign Manager
Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr., founder and President of Rainbow PUSH Politician will join supporters at St. John AME Cathedral of Grace in Aurora, IL today at 3:00pm to denounce the racist and insensitive campaign tactics of appointed State Representative Barbara Hernandez, (D-83rd). Ms. Hernandez’s campaign has sent out multiple pieces of literature darkening the face of her Democratic Primary opponent, Juan Thomas, and other mailers photo-shopping a MAGA Hat (Make America Great Again) on his head.
“I am truly saddened and disappointed that Ms. Hernandez would allow her campaign to be run by people who would use racist and insensitive tactics to try to create an image of me that distorts my image and lies about my background. What is even more troubling is that Ms. Hernandez has not taken any responsibility for these actions and even went so far as to accuse me of darkening my own face in a recent Facebook post,” said Thomas. In support of Thomas, Rev. Jackson said, “We must win on a fair playing field. We must win with grace and lose and maintain your dignity. We must all be against racial, religious, gender bias or demeaning images.”
“The 83rd District, which includes Aurora and North Aurora, is a very diverse community of Latinos, African Americans, Asians, and whites. Aurora deserves leadership at every level that will work to bring our community together and not play into historical fears of the “scary black man” or fall prey to color-ism,” Thomas continued.
“I wish my opponent and I could debate our ideas for how we will work to improve the quality of life for all of the residents of the 83rd District. Our children are watching and they deserve better than this,” Thomas stated.
“I am grateful that an international leader like the Rev. Jackson would take the time to come to Aurora and bring attention to this sad and unfortunate campaign strategy being waged by the my opponent and the Illinois Democratic Party.
The Democratic Party claims appreciation of the African-American community and we recently saw the importance of the African-American vote in the South Carolina Presidential Primary. This “commitment” to turning out the black vote falls on deaf ears when the Democratic Party of Illinois employs racist Trump-like tactic against an African-American candidate,” said Thomas.
Juan Thomas has been endorsed by three independent newspapers: The Chicago Tribune, the Daily Herald, and the Chicago Sun-Times. In it’s endorsement the Chicago Sun-Times said, “Hands down, Juan Thomas is the better qualified candidate to represent the people in the 83rd District.”
Today’s press conference will be held at St. John AME Church Cathedral of Grace at 3:00pm. St. John is located at 2950 Bilter Road in Aurora, IL. The community and all news agencies are welcome to attend.