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US Senate Candidate Jackson Lahmeyer (R-OK) took to Twitter and Facebook Monday, not to announce a new policy initiative, but to… attack Kwanzaa. The self-described “Christian” pastor was apparently incensed when the national College Republicans sent out a tweet wishing people a happy Kwanzaa
“Wishing you a happy and prosperous Kwanza!” the Tweet read.
Lahmeyer re-tweeted the post, writing “What an embarrassment. Let’s celebrate a fake Holiday created by a whacko who hated Christians…”
What an embarrassment 🤦♂️
Let’s celebrate a fake Holiday created by a whacko who hated Christians… https://t.co/UXdCysbqFa
— Jackson Lahmeyer (@JacksonLahmeyer) December 27, 2021
Prior to that, Lahmeyer also retweeted a post from election conspiracy theorist Wendy Rogers that stated “Nobody cares about Kwanza”. The post included the hashtag #RonnaMustGo, presumably in opposition to GOP Chairwoman Ronna McDaniels.
Many online were quick to call out Lahmeyer’s public disdain for this celebration of African culture as “racist“.
Kwanzaa is not, as Lahmeyer purports, a “fake holiday”. Rather, it is a yearly celebration of African culture in the United States. The holiday focuses on “The Seven Principles”, including faith, unity, creativity and purpose. Many who celebrate the holiday identify as part of the African Diaspora in the United States; descendants of ancestors from the continent who were enslaved and sent to America.
Lahmeyer pushes divisive posts as campaign struggles to gain traction.
Lahmeyer, who spelled Kwanzaa as “Kawanza”, continued to spout ignorant and incorrect tirades against a holiday he doesn’t understand on Tuesday. When respected Tulsa journalist Chris Polansky reported on the comments, Lahmeyer called Polansky a “lightweight journalist” in a fundraising email to supporters.
“Yesterday, I #Triggered the left again”, the email read.
Lahmeyer, apparently triggered by a journalist’s reporting, said he was “attacked” for “speaking the truth about Black Lives Matter being a Domestic Terrorist organization.”
For clarity, Black Lives Matter isn’t a terrorist organization and it was grammatically incorrect to capitalize the words “domestic” and “terrorist”.
Many wonder why a candidate for US Senate would engage in a fight over a holiday celebrating African culture. The answer most likely lies in the numbers.
Lahmeyer is running to unseat James Lankford, the incumbent US Senator from Oklahoma. Lahmeyer has made a name for himself by continuing to perpetuate conspiracy theories about the election and the vaccine. Being a bombastic voice online has allowed him to build a base of support.
While Lahmeyer was originally dominating Lankford in social media presence, fervor around his campaign seems to have cooled.
Lahmeyer has raised just over $450,000* this year. The campaign has reported the data for $305,000 of these donations, while roughly $135,000 remains unitemized. At the same time, Lankford has banked nearly $2,300,000. Just over 900 of Lankford’s itemized total contributions have come from Oklahomans, compared to roughly 675 of Lahmeyer’s. According to campaign finance reports, fifteen of Lahmeyer’s contributions, however, were from himself.
Recent polls also show support for Lahmeyer dropping significantly. According to the Republican polling group Amber Integrated, Lahmeyer’s backing fell from 21% in October to just 8% in December. Lankford’s polling, however, fell by just 6 points to 56%, within the margin of error.
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated Mr. Lahmeyer had raised just over $300,000. Mr. Lahmeyer has raised just over $450,000. Of that, roughly $305,000 has been itemized/fully disclosed while roughly $135,000 remains “unitemized”. His campaign raised $201,000 during the third quarter of the year – just over $9,000 of which was from the candidate himself. This is a roughly 8% drop in overall fundraising from the previous quarter.