The racism of Sante Fe Power hangs like an albatross on candidate’s neck

Jim Williamson, didn’t your parents tell you about minding the company you keep?

Williamson is running for city council in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  However, the company he kept just might help derail his ambitions.  Until very recently — like, this week — he was a member of Sante Fe Power, a political advocacy group looking to run candidates in the 2018 elections.  It seem, though, that some of its membership can’t seem to keep their racism under wraps.  It started a last week, when Santa Fe Power member Gloria Mendoza sent a picture of African American congresswoman Maxine Waters, next to a picture of an orangutan in a wig, to one of her (Mendoza’s) critics in a Facebook message.  When asked about this, Jim WIlliamson said “Gloria Mendoza’s free speech is guaranteed in our constitution. She has her style, just as we all do. I am not one to criticize.”  He went on to say “There’s no way that Gloria’s racist. You can put me on the record for that.”

This past Monday, another member of Sante Fe Power posted something racist.  This person just so happened to be Jim Williamson’s ex-wife. Nicole Castellano posted a poem degrading Mexican immigrants, using racial slurs, on a reporter’s Facebook page.  The poem went something as follows, “Sp*c, sp*c, brown and slick, just like a tick. Crossed the border without a cent, now gringos buy his food and rent.”  It concludes, “A trashy race, a tacky culture, save what you can from this bean-eating vulture.”  The poem was accompanied by a drawing of what appeared to be an unkempt, drunk Mexican man.

Castellano deleted the post but, not before some of the reporter’s friends could get screenshot.

Perhaps sensing the political liability that his membership in Sante Fe Power had become, Williamson quit the group. He announced this via a statement, which read, in part, “I am shocked and disgusted by the offensive photo and poem recently posted online. I personally hold myself accountable for my own actions, so I have removed myself from the Santa Fe Power group.”

 

An opinionated technologist, JP launched Death By Social Media when he saw just how easily and how often people's misunderstanding/abuse of social media created personal catastrophes. As a result, he wanted to provide a resource that would provide cautionary tales for those seeking to avoid similar fates.