Posted on August 30, 2022

Blake Masters, a G.O.P. Senate Candidate, Links Fed Diversity to Economic Woes

Maggie Astor, New York Times, August 29, 2022

Blake Masters, the Republican nominee challenging Senator Mark Kelly of Arizona, suggested in a sarcastic Twitter post late Sunday that the nation’s economic struggles were connected to increased gender and racial diversity in Federal Reserve leadership.

“Finally a compelling explanation for why our economy is doing so well,” Mr. Masters wrote in response to an Associated Press report that found there were, according to the news agency, “more female, Black and gay officials contributing to the central bank’s interest-rate decisions than at any time in its 109-year history.”

The post drew swift backlash, which Mr. Masters alluded to in a follow-up video Monday evening. “Well, this tweet made people mad,” he said, before adding that he didn’t care “if every single employee at the Fed is a Black lesbian as long as they’re hired for their competence” and that he had “never spoken to anyone who can say with a straight face that Kamala was somehow the most qualified candidate for that job.”


Some fellow conservatives echoed the sentiment of Mr. Masters’s initial tweet and criticized the focus on diversity at the Fed at a time of high inflation. {snip}

Mr. Masters, a venture capitalist endorsed by former President Donald J. Trump, has been particularly outspoken. Among other things, he has promoted what experts in extremism describe as a sanitized version of the racist “great replacement” conspiracy theory — claiming that Democrats are trying to bring more immigrants into the country in order to dilute the political power of native-born citizens — and characterized the United States’ gun violence problem as “people in Chicago, St. Louis shooting each other — very often, you know, Black people, frankly.”

Mr. Masters’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment Monday. His campaign manager said last month, in response to criticism of the candidate’s immigration views, that voters were “tired of being sorted into color boxes and prefer substance to identity pandering” — echoing how many on the right seek to paint efforts that combat racism, sexism and other forms of bias as “identity politics” and “wokeness.”