Home » Breaking News, Online Only, Top Highlights » EXCLUSIVE: Tweet posted by site of San Diego mayoral hopeful, Carl DeMaio’s life partner widely called ‘racist’

EXCLUSIVE: Tweet posted by site of San Diego mayoral hopeful, Carl DeMaio’s life partner widely called ‘racist’

LGBT Weekly social media reporter, Will Rodriguez-Kennedy, who is a veteran of the Iraq War and who is Puerto Rican, was likened to a feces-throwing monkey in a Twitter post from an account owned by the life partner of the leading San Diego mayoral candidate, City Councilman Carl DeMaio.

The tweet in question contained a link to a Hulu.com video of a Saturday Night Live skit entitled “Monkeys Throwing Poop at Celebrities.”  Historically, monkeys have been used to demean people of color. The full text of the tweet, which has since been removed from SDGLN.com’s Twitter feed, read: “THIS JUST IN: Video of @willrk787 reacting to our posting of@gustafsoncraig‘s great piece on DeMaio today http://ow.ly/a26PL .”

The link at the end of the post leads not to the referenced article by San Diego Union Tribune writer, Craig Gustafson about DeMaio’s  tough childhood, instead taking followers of @SDGLN to the scatological monkey-skit video. Notably, “@willrk787” is Rodriguez-Kennedy’s Twitter handle.

“(I was) very surprised,” said Rodriguez-Kennedy, who works for LGBT Weekly and once worked for Carl DeMaio (DeMaio is one of two gay candidates in the race). “It’s unusual for a publication to use their official Twitter feed to attack someone who is not running for office – particularly in (such) an offensive way.”

SDGLN.com is LGBT Weekly’s closest local competitor; and it is no secret that a spirited rivalry exists between the two organizations.  The former is owned and operated by a man with whom politician DeMaio is, as he describes it, in a “committed relationship.” Both SDGLN and the DeMaio campaign were asked to comment on the incident. However, SDGLN’s owner, Johnathan Hale, pointedly hung up the phone three times when we called for comment, once saying “I don’t talk to you.” SDGLN’s editor was also contacted by voicemail and email, but has yet to reply. Likewise, there has been no response from Carl DeMaio for Mayor campaign manager, Ryan Clumpner.

Asked how he felt when he read the Twitter post, Rodriguez-Kennedy said: “I was pretty mad about it. I actually was called ‘monkey’ in elementary school because I looked darker and had big ears – still do. So, it wasn’t something I was going to just laugh about.”

However, Rodriguez-Kennedy is giving SDGLN.com the benefit of doubt about whether or not the tweet was intended as a racial slur.

“I don’t think it was intended to be racist,” he said, adding that there may be a double standard in how the organization treats insults in its reportage.

“I think it just came out that way,” he said. “And regardless, that is why it was wrong. This same organization screamed bloody murder when (a reporter) used the word “fag” at CityBeat.

Intentions notwithstanding, Rodriguez-Kennedy wonders how such a post could happen in the first place.

“Why would they think it would be OK to use a video to compare a person of color to a monkey?” Rodriguez-Kennedy asked rhetorically.

“At the very least, it gives the perception of racism,” he said. “It may be a coincidence that the editorial team and publisher happen to be all white. Monkey is a term that typically is employed against African Americans, but me being of Puerto Rican dissent, my culture is deeply entwined with African Americans by blood and history.”

Also reacting to the post, someone with the Twitter handle @echo5juliet tweeted, “calling people of color a monkey is racist, especially one of my fellow Marines!!”

Meanwhile, @MattCorrales tweeted, “Yeah, that’s pretty damn racist. And childish. What happened to dialogue? It’s clear why everyone’s leaving the SD GOP.”

For his part, Rodriguez-Kennedy says he would simply like an apology.

“If they had apologized I would have been ok with it,” he said. “… The fact is that its inappropriate. Just own up to it; do the right thing and apologize. This isn’t hard – we all make mistakes.”

This post has been edited from the original, which erroneously reported than rival mayoral candidate, Nathan Fletcher had tweeted his support for fellow Marine, Will Rodriguez-Kennedy. The referenced Fletcher tweet was unrelated to the issue reported in this story (-Ed.)



Short URL: http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=22643

Posted by on Apr 6, 2012. Filed under Breaking News, Online Only, Top Highlights. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

8 Comments for “EXCLUSIVE: Tweet posted by site of San Diego mayoral hopeful, Carl DeMaio’s life partner widely called ‘racist’”

  1. Of course it was racist, hateful, petty and immature.

    Why is anyone surprised it came from the DeMaio and Hale team ? The ones always crying about “unfair” attacks on Baby Carl ?

  2. Meanwhile, there is not a single story on the major news story of last week’s debate, when DeMaio got creamed by Filner & Fletcher. What happened to reporting over there?

    • Officially, SDGLN has said it won’t report on the mayoral race do to a conflict of interest. I believe there have been some exceptions, depending upon whether or not publishing other news outlets’ reporting on the race as reporting. It’s kind of blurry. Also, you can find some candidates press releases at that Web site. Thanks for participating in the dialogue, Matt; and for visiting us online. (-Ed.)

      • The policy of SDGLN is not “blurry” at all.

        SDGLN reprints any third-party articles favorable of Carl, and they say by doing so they are maintaining their “neutrality.” They never reprint anything neutral or negative about Carl.

        They print all of his official press releases “unrelated” to the Mayor’s race. Just like Carl uses 10 times the postage expenses of any other Councilperson–to get his name and message out to the public for free.

        The stated SDGLN policy is they will print 2 Press Releases from each person running for Mayor per month relating to the Mayor’s Race. So Carl’s group creates press releases related to Carl ad Coincilperson, or carl as a “leader” of fiscal reoprm, or Carl as an abused child–and those are not subject to the cap of 2 per month.

  3. Whoever wrote this is a fleces-flinging monkey! Regardless of whatever race the flinger may be. What a piece of self-serving crap. Is this the best you can come up with to attack your business competitor?

  4. why but you can’t say you aren’t reporting on the race and print every fluff piece in the U-T about Carl, while at the same time ignoring the U-T’s story on the debate

  5. I’m disappointed that this was story was referenced on the cover of your magazine. I find the story to be as relevant and interesting as junior high school girls’ arguments over the malfeasance of another student’s accidentally ambiguous quip to a class.

    Maybe the tweet it was meant to be racist; maybe the tweet was not completely thought out before posting– big surprise considering the medium. Maybe you folks should have attempted to respond in the medium.

    In any case, this article, and the front-page reference to it in your magazine, discourages me from picking your magazine again and/or advertising my business through it. I will also be less likely to see your advertisers’ messages and read your contributor’s pieces.

  6. Is “I don’t talk to you” before slamming the phone down gayspeak for “get off my lawnl”

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