Rayla Campbell Responds To Ayanna Pressley’s Call For ‘Unrest In The Streets,’ Calls Out Video Attacker at Joe Kennedy III Rally

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Rayla Campbell isn’t too happy with a comment U.S. Representative Ayanna Pressley (D-Dorchester) made during an appearance on MSNBC’s AM Joy over the weekend. 

On Saturday, the “Squad” member who represents Massachusetts’ Seventh Congressional District, slammed President Donald Trump and his supporters in the government, and concluded her comment with a call to action.

“This is as much about public outcry and organizing and mobilizing and applying pressure so that this GOP-led Senate and that these governors that continue to carry water for this administration, putting the American people in harm’s way, turning a deaf ear to the needs of our families and our communities — hold them accountable,” Pressley said. “Make the phone calls, send the emails, show up. You know, there needs to be unrest in the streets for as long as there’s unrest in our lives.”

Campbell, a Republican from Randolph who is running a write-in/sticker campaign to get her party’s nomination to challenge Pressley this upcoming November, said that type of rhetoric is dangerous and irresponsible — especially when coming from an elected official.

Campbell said it’s words like those from Pressley that lead to things like Black Lives Matter activist Monica Cannon-Grant’s racially charged tirade against her last month

“I actually wasn’t surprised, but it was concrete evidence that she’s clearly directing this woman,” Campbell told New Boston Post on Monday, referring to Pressley. “Those words and that 40-minute rampage Monica Cannon-Grant did, and all those people that came after me directly ties to her:  because she just said it.”

Among other things, Cannon-Grant attacked Campbell, who is also black, for having a white husband. Cannon-Grant called Campbell a “heifer,” a “token negro,” and “oreo-flavored,” and says he “has self-hate.” She also made repeated references to Campbell’s marital relationship with her husband in vulgar terms.

Cannon-Grant is a veteran supporter of Pressley.

Campbell said that Pressley’s rhetoric during the weekend talk show highlghts a major difference between the two of them:  that Pressley wants to sew division — the kind that leads to protests and riots — while conservatives value order and stability.

“As conservatives, it’s not just law and order, and rule and law, it’s about safety for everybody,” Campbell said in a telephone interview. “There’s no need for these children to be out there causing chaos, doing these riots — they’re riots, let’s be honest. That’s not normal behavior. It’s dangerous behavior. It goes back to what they’re being taught — or not taught — in schools. We want safe and prosperous communities, not anarchism, socialism, or upheaval. It’s disgusting. 

“Our country is based on this beautiful document called the Constitution,” she added. “It is alive, and it is well. It’s the most amazing document ever made, which is why our country is so great — and they want to destroy it.”

Campbell said Pressley isn’t the only Democratic politician from Massachusetts that she sees creating division in society. She said that U.S. Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III, who is running for U.S. Senate against incumbent Senator Ed Markey, is another.

Kennedy made a speech at Boston City Hall Plaza on Monday morning highlighting his family’s record on civil rights and arguing that Markey’s is sub-par.

Campbell said she received a tip that her video critic, Cannon-Grant, would be among a group of local black activists set to appear at an event with Kennedy. So Campbell went.

“They had the racist there,” Campbell said, referring to Cannon-Grant. “Kennedy was standing there talking about how he’s the only politician who has ever done stuff for the African-American community, so I was like, ‘BS!’ And yelled ‘racist!’ every time her name came up.”

The Boston Herald reported Monday that Campbell was escorted from the Kennedy event, and that Kennedy left the event quickly without taking questions from reporters.

Cannon-Grant, who organized a large Black Lives Matter protest in Dorchester in June and was later the subject of an admiring profile in The Boston Globe, was an unsuccessful candidate in the 2016 Democratic primary for state representative in the Seventh Suffolk District, which includes portions of Roxbury and the South End. She has been a visible ally of Kennedy, Pressley, and Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins.

Her video attacking Campbell includes long passages defending Pressley and Rollins.

Of those three, Rollins quickly criticized Cannon-Grant’s video after news of it broke and called Campbell to express her sympathy. Kennedy and Pressley have not to date issued public statements about it.

The campaigns for Pressley and Kennedy could not be immediately reached for comment on Monday, August 17.