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Guess We Should Discuss That Crazy Bigot With Imaginary Black Friends Running For Mayor In TN
Gabrielle Hanson is pretty out there even by MAGA standards.
Gabrielle Hanson is running for mayor of Franklin, Tennessee, as “A Voice For Franklin’s Principles and Prosperity,” but her voice is corrupt and unhinged.
Hanson, a town alderman, is a MAGA conspiracy theorist, which is sort of old hat at this point, but she took it up a notch when a group of white supremacists escorted her and her husband to a recent campaign event. The group calls itself the Tennessee Active Club and they are in fact actively racist.
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Jeff Tischauser, senior researcher for the Southern Poverty Law Center, said, “This is a group that openly is anti-Semitic. They are racist, full of racist, bigoted white supremacists. Online, they are worshiping Hitler.”
This is indeed deplorable behavior. So far, news reports have contrasted all this overt white supremacy with the “idyllic main street town of Franklin”— “a city that prides itself on its small-town charm.” This is why we need more Black folks in media, because in our experience, “idyllic main street” and “small-town charm” usually describe some place where one of my relatives vanished.
Franklin’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen found all this repulsive, stating that “Individuals identifying as neo-Nazis and self-admitted supporters of Gabrielle Hanson threatened both our citizens and members of the media during and after this important civic event.”
Hanson herself refused to denounce her white supremacist entourage, and the whole scene led to this awesome quote from Alderman Brandy Blanton: “It’s embarrassing to end up on HBO, to end up on MSNBC — and not for the good stuff.”
The mayor’s race was already bizarre, thanks entirely to Hanson, who made unfounded claims about the Covenant School shooting and suggested she had a “secret source.” And it gets worse!
Hanson admitted last month that she was charged with promoting prostitution in Dallas during the mid-1990s. She claims this was all a misunderstanding from a seemingly innocent job she’d taken answering phones while attending Southern Methodist University.
"I answered the phone and took a name and took a number and a date,” Hanson explained, “and at the end of my work session I would call the owners and give them that information.”
Weird that she’s using “session” to describe her workday. Of course, I consider someone who knowingly promotes sex work more qualified for mayor than someone who insists she’s too stupid to know she was promoting sex work.
More recently, Hanson’s campaign lifted random women’s images from social media and claimed they were her supporters. She posted on Facebook in August, “Our heartfelt appreciation goes out to the Executive Women’s Club for their invaluable support and encouragement!” (A heart and “praise the Lord” emoji were also involved.)
The photo includes several women of color and was taken seven years ago in Chicago, which right-wingers claim is perpetually reliving the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre.
NewsChannel5 interviewed one of the women from the photo, April, who not only doesn’t support Hanson, she has no idea who the woman is: “And I have a pretty good memory,” April said. “I keep a tight circle of friends and colleagues, and I think I would have remembered someone like that.”
There is also no “Executive Women’s Club.” The women photographed were part of an ad campaign for the women’s clothing brand The Limited, which explains why they look like the cast of a CW series.
Doubling down on her lie, Hanson later updated her post to claim, “These are all my friends that have relocated to Nashville, Brentwood and Franklin, and they all support me.” We repeat: These women have no idea who Hanson is nor would they care to know.
Hanson and her campaign aide Erin Mazzoni responded to reporter Phil Williams for NewsChannel5’s investigation in what was correctly deemed “a bizarre and rambling conversation.” They didn’t directly answer any questions about the phony endorsement but did claim a federal court had upheld a candidate’s right to post whatever fiction they want. They also accused NewsChannel5 of “stalking.”
“This is not appropriate towards a woman, Phil,” Mazzoni said. “We are doing this in the light, and we are doing this with God on our side.”
A month earlier, Hanson had been found in violation of the city’s ethics code for having sent an email to the Nashville Airport Board demanding the airport authority withdraw financial support from Franklin’s Juneteenth event, because s
he’s a stupid racist shithead she believed the event’s organizer, the Franklin Justice and Equity Coalition, is somehow “radical.” It’s unclear if this incident is why Hanson suddenly found lots of new Black friends on Facebook.
Gabrielle Hanson is more evidence of the spreading MAGA rot, and under absolutely no circumstances should this woman become mayor of anyplace.
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