Republican California gubernatorial candidate Larry Elder took aim at the mainstream media on Monday after an incident in which a woman in a gorilla mask threw eggs at him last week received scant coverage.
“Had I had a ‘D’ at the end of my name, this would have been a hate crime,” said Elder, who is black.
“They would have had a manhunt for her,” he added, referring to the white woman who attacked him.
Elder hitting the media for not running more coverage of the egg-throwing incident in Venice pic.twitter.com/CbZxmFafcQ
— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) September 13, 2021
“They’d be talking about this in Bangladesh but because I have an ‘R’ at the end of my name, a lot of the mainstream media didn’t give a rip,” he said.
Videos of the incident appear to show an egg being thrown toward Elder as he walked through the Venice neighborhood of Los Angeles last week with members of his campaign team during a trip to the community to address the homeless crisis. One of Elder’s staffers puts his arm on the Republican’s back and warns, “We’re getting egged from behind.”
Moments later, someone launched a second egg toward the candidate and his team. The video does not show whether Elder was hit by the eggs during the attack.
Several people became aggressive with Elder’s staff.
The woman in the gorilla mask appeared to slap a staffer in the face, while a man shouted at Elder that he is a “piece of sh**” as the candidate was escorted away from the situation.
According to police, as Elder and an aide walked to their vehicle, “the aide was approached by a male, white, bald, wearing a grey t-shirt yelling profanities at him, who struck him in the back of the head. During that altercation, an unknown individual approached the aide from the side and struck him in the face.”
The Los Angeles Police Department is seeking both assailants as part of the investigation. Police are reportedly investigating the case as a misdemeanor battery because the woman gave no indication she was motivated by hate in the video of the incident, sources told the Los Angeles Times.
Many conservatives have noted that the woman’s gorilla mask could have been a racist statement, given that white supremacists have long used ape imagery to dehumanize black people. Elder told Fox News that “racial epithets” were yelled during the attack, explaining that one person said, “Larry Elder doesn’t give a blank about Black people; Larry Elder only cares about white people.”
However, the sources told the outlet that police will not make a final decision until they identify the woman and gather more information about what happen.
The egg attack happened on the same day that someone fired a pellet gun at Elder’s team, striking a staffer in the buttocks outside a senior center in Hollywood. Detectives from the Robbery Homicide Division are investigating the pellet gun attack and have no strong leads, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Dozens of Republican candidates are challenging California governor Gavin Newsom in the September 14 recall election, though Elder has emerged as a favorite among GOP voters.
To remain in office, Newsom will need to garner a majority vote. Newsom has repeatedly asked his supporters to focus on voting “no” to the recall and to leave blank a second question that asks who of 46 candidates should replace the governor.
If voters remove the governor, a recall competitor needs a plurality of the vote to win.
Elder, a conservative talk show host, would be the first black governor of California if elected.