Republican politician tries to woo Harlem voters with "Kool-Aid, KFC and watermelon"

Jon Girodes allegedly also emailed a shirtless photo of himself to a journalist, saying "My gift to you"

Republican politician tries to woo Harlem voters with "Kool-Aid, KFC and watermelon"


A Republican candidate running for the US senate in New York has come under fire for allegedly planning an event in Harlem at which he promised to provide voters with Kool Aid, KFC, and watermelons – foods often used as racial stereotypes of the African American community.

GOP candidate Jon Girodes, running for a seat in New York’s 30th Senate District, revealed the list when communicating with an NBC journalist. While responding to questions about a property dispute, Girodes replied with the following statement: “PS, I’m hosting an event in Harlem which will be in front of the state building in a few weeks. We will [provide] Kool Aid, KFC and watermelons to the public on 125th street in Harlem. Please join us to help the community.”

Girodes, allegedly, also attached a photograph of himself to the email in which he poses without wearing a shirt. “Run with it and have fun. My gift to you,” he wrote to the NBC reporter, adding: “:-).”

NBC published the email on its website and hit the Harlem streets, where a third of all residents are African American, to get a sense of how the electorate was responding to Girodes planning an event with food items usually used to mock their community.

“It’s racist. Whoever he is, I think he should go back in whatever hole he crawled in and have a great life,” one voter replied.

Girodes reportedly responded to the comments by telling NBC: “What I think is anyone who gives free food to people is doing them a favour. Get a bunch of people who say it’s offensive and let me go into their neighbourhood and give it out for free and see if they take it.”

The candidate’s website and Twitter account have been taken offline and made private since yesterday.

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