‘Go back to Africa’ rant sparks protest rally in St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – Roughly 100 people protested Tuesday after St. Petersburg mayoral candidate Paul Congemi told some people in the black community to “go back to Africa.”

Congemi’s July 18th remarks also touched on how he believed the presidency of former President Barack Obama was enough reparations for the black community.

A local group called CURED led a protest in Williams Park downtown in outrage over the comments.

Supporters of the group have been promoting the message of unity through reparations.

During the rally, one of Congemi’s opponents, Jesse Nevel, compared suffering of the Holocaust to struggles currently within the black community of St. Pete.

In part he said, “Why are reparations oaky for European Jews, but not black people in the city of St. Petersburg, Florida where an entire interstate was built for the displacement of the black community?”

News Channel 8 asked Nevel to clarify his comparison.

“I was talking about my own people, the Jewish people who experienced oppression at the hands of Nazi Germany and we received reparations from the German government, and no one ever questioned that; so why would we then question reparations to the black community who are facing comparable, if not worse, conditions in this country and have historically since its inception,” Nevel said.

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