Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, who is running for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate, has come under fire for his past remarks criticizing the founding of the United States.
"Things were bad. Things were terrible. The founding of this nation? Awful. The impacts are felt today; they're going to continue to be felt unless we address it in a meaningful way," Barnes said during a question-and-answer session in August, a clip of which recently resurfaced.
He later said in a public forum last November that "the United States of America is the most wealthy, is the most powerful nation on earth. And that is because of forced labor on stolen land. We have to teach the reality of why we are where we are, or else people will just assume it just happened this way because of hard work, because of pulling up by your bootstraps."
A spokesperson for the National Republican Senatorial Committee chided Barnes.
"It’s become fashionable among the far left to bash our country," Lizzie Litzow told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "And it’s sad that Democrat candidates do so in order to win Democrat primaries. Our founders created the greatest nation on earth and the leaders who followed them have strived to create a more perfect union."
A spokesperson for Barnes told the newspaper: "As the son of a third-shift auto worker who became the state’s first Black lieutenant governor, Mandela firmly believes his story would only be possible in this country. He also believes the only way to overcome the challenges we face today is to acknowledge how we overcame the challenges of our past."
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