• Tue. May 30th, 2023

County commissioner candidate Reece accuses opponent of racist attack

Democratic Hamilton County Commissioner candidate Reece, during a press conference October 5, holds a flyer released about her campaign that attacks her in a racist manner. Photo by Michael Mitchell

By Dan Yount

The Cincinnati Herald

Democratic Hamilton County Commissioner candidate Alicia Reece is accusing her Republican opponent, Andy Black, of a racist attack. Black sent out a mailer with Reece’s face that said: “Eeenie, meenie, miny, moe…Where will your tax dollars go?”

The rhyme has a racial history against slaves.

“I don’t think I would be having a press conference today to talk about this issue.” said Reece, at a gathering of supporters outside the Hamilton County Board of Elections on October 5.

She and other members of the Democratic Party spoke about the nursery rhyme’s racist roots.

While many remember it finishing with, “Catch a tiger by the toe,” others recall a 19th-century version that replaced “tiger” with a racial slur.”

“I grew up with that poem, which is a racist poem, being quoted to me many times as a little girl growing up,” said Gwen McFarlin, chair of the Hamilton County Democratic Party.

“This is not something by happenstance or, well, we’re taking it all out of context,” said State Sen. Cecil Thomas. “No, this is something that has been known throughout the African American community as offensive.”

The matter says it’s paid for by the Ohio Republican Party on behalf of Republican Candidate Andy Black, who is running against Reece. A photo of Reece that was taken during her handing out food to the needy appears on it.

Black denied any racist intentions.

“The ‘eenie, meenie, miny, moe’ thing that came out was in no way intended to be a racial slight or anything like that,” said Black. “We didn’t even realize it was until one person had sent an email to the Enquirer and all of a sudden it’s a story.

“The idea here that out campaign has any sort of a racial basis to it or we’re looking out for only certain segments of Hamilton County is flat out ridiculous,” said Black.

A number of Reece supporters were on hand, including Pastor Quentin Monroe of the First Baptist Church of Hazelwood. He is also President of the Cincinnati Chapter of the National Action Network.

State Senator Cecil Thomas (D-Cincinnati), said, “The last thing we need is this kind of divisiveness in our count.”

Hamilton County Clerk of Courts Aftab Pureval spoke out against the Republicans sending out such ads in 2020.

Reece and her team are demanding an apology.

Reece served as former Vice Mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio State Representative, Past President of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus, and National Board Member of the national Action.