Florida politician Chico Cromartie | Photo: Facebook/Chico Cromartie
A politician running for City Council in Florida is not hiding his homophobia on social media, writing things like LGBTI people ‘love’ prison and that the LGBTI community receiving taxpayer money or resources is against the law.
Chico Cromartie is running for District 7, challenging incumbent Lisa Wheeler-Bowman. District 7 is located in St. Petersburg, one of the state’s most LGBTI-friendly cities.
Most of Cromartie’s vitriolic and homophobic posts began appearing on Facebook over the last couple of months.
The posts became more frequent around the end of June, when St. Petersburg hosted its annual Pride on 22 June,
Highly offensive and homophobic takes
On Facebook, Cromartie makes several claims about the LGBTI community.
In one of his more recent posts on Wednesday (24 July), he said he was ‘surprised’ LGBTI people condemned him with a wish to see him incarcerated because ‘many members of the LGBT community are in our jails and prison institutions and they “love it”, I’ve heard them say’.
He also wrote ‘many residents’ believe the Pride flag should be erected outside prisons ‘since the LGBT population is so great in those institutions’.
One of Cromartie’s most prominent campaign themes is the economy.
He has made numerous posts about the LGBTI community receiving taxpayer money and resources to ‘fund’ their ‘ideology’. In a post on Thursday (25 July), he said he would ‘encourage city officials to discontinue’ using taxpayer money and resources to ‘promote, endorse or encourage homosexuality or any other anti American ideology’ because it’s ‘against the law’.
In another post about taxes, he came out against same-sex marriage in favor of ‘traditional marriage, American families and their values’.
Pitting the LGBTI and black communities against one another
Cromartie, a black American, has also made several posts criticizing black politicians and figures who support the LGBTI community.
‘I am the only black leader standing in the way of the gay pride economic expansion in south St. Pete,’ he wrote on 7 July.
He further said other black leaders have ‘summitted [sic] to homosexuality and the gay pride agenda’.
Seemingly with pride, he also declared: ‘I am the only black leader who publicly denounces homosexuality and will BURN a pride flag.’
On 22 June when St. Petersburg celebrated Pride, he made numerous posts about the event. In one, he wrote ‘too [sic] hell with gay pride & their flag’ and another he once more criticized black leaders ‘at the gay parade pledging allegiance to Pride for a few $’.
NAACP of Florida speaks out
Maria Scruggs, the President of the St. Petersburg, Florida NAACP chapter, spoke about Cromartie’s comments to local news station WTSP.
‘He is 100% accurate that the African-American community in St. Petersburg has suffered a serious identity crisis,’ she said.
Scruggs went on to detail how the black community in the city has been left out of vital conversations and what they can also do better for themselves as a community.
When it came to Cromartie’s comments on the LGBTI community, however, she said she does ‘not understand Chico’s connection’ between them and the black community.
‘We can often take a lot of our lessons on community building from the LGBTQ Community because they have, in many ways, been very strategic about their agenda,’ she concluded.
The Florida District 7 primary is 27 August. Two candidates will move on to the 5 November general election for the seat.
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