Unwittingly, several African-American political office-holders were dragged into an inappropriate video posted by a Boston community organizer against Republican Congressional Candidate Rayla Campbell, who has been gathering support in Charlestown following the video.
Councilor Lydia Edwards, DA Rachael Rollins and Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley were mentioned in the video and, by association, dragged into the unfortunate message.
This week, a spokesperson for the Pressley Campaign told the Patriot Bridge they weren’t releasing a statement or making any comment about the video posted by Monica Cannon-Grant. They said she wasn’t part of their campaign, but was a supporter.
Meanwhile, DA Rachael Rollins was quick to release a statement condemning the video and apologizing to Campbell.
“Running for office is difficult,” wrote the DA. “It requires that you put yourself into the public realm and open yourself up to being vulnerable; hearing criticisms about yourself, your policies, and your proposals. No candidate is above that type of scrutiny. But public attacks that go after innocent family members and children are a bridge too far. I have not watched the video that Monica made, but I am told that it makes reference to Rayla’s husband, his race, and intimate aspects of their relationship. How is this relevant to a candidate’s electability, policy and platform? It isn’t. Who someone chooses to love and the people they call family are deeply personal and completely off-limits during campaigns. I called Rayla…to ask about her mental and physical health. I told her that I hadn’t seen the video, but heard that I was mentioned. I wanted her to know that I had nothing to do with the making of the video and that nobody deserves to be verbally attacked about their family. We talked for a bit about her three beautiful children and the trials of being a political candidate. I wished her luck moving forward and said that I looked forward to meeting her in person at some point.”
Councilor Lydia Edwards said she learned she was mentioned from friends in Charlestown, and found it offensive and appalling.
“All I can say is, it is appalling and offensive, and disturbing,” she said. “Honestly, after having my house vandalized over a budget vote, I felt for Rayla and reached out to her. I called Rayla Campbell and apologized for the language and let her know she has every right to run. We all sign up for some form of tough love when you are in politics, but the language was vulgar and went too far. Any point the speaker had was lost and only caused unnecessary pain to Rayla and her family.”