John Fetterman, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, recently scrubbed a mention of “Black Lives Matter” from the “issues” page of his campaign website.
The Black Lives Matter section, which had been featured on the webpage since Fetterman first launched his senatorial bid in February 2021, read: “John served as mayor of a city that’s more than 80% Black, and has championed the idea that Black lives matter since long before it became a hashtag.”
The webpage has since been reconfigured and no longer includes any mention of Black Lives Matter. It features sections on inflation, criminal justice reform, legalizing cannabis, renewable energy, immigration and other topics.
Fetterman spokesperson Joe Calvello told Fox News the site has not removed all of its Black Lives Matter references, citing a “personalized video” on gun violence where Fetterman talks about the movement. Fetterman says in the video that he never saw the media or the public caring about “black lives mattering” in the past.
“The one section you seem to be referencing was removed when we updated and greatly expanded our issues page weeks ago,” Calvello told the outlet. “Voters deserve to know where we stand, and we’re proud that we spell out our platform clearly on our website.”
Fetterman’s most recent tweet about Black Lives Matter is from June.
“Today we celebrate emancipation + reflect on the long shadow of systemic racism in America,” he tweeted in celebration of Juneteenth. “PA always stands by the unshakeable truth that Black families matter + Black lives matter.”
The update comes as Democrats have expressed concern that an incident from Fetterman’s past could alienate black voters as he attempts to defeat Republican Mehmet Oz in November.
In 2013, Fetterman reportedly followed a black jogger who he wrongly suspected of committing a crime after hearing what he thought was gunfire. Fetterman followed the man in his pick-up truck, pulled a gun on him, and detained him until police arrived. The jogger, Chris Miyares, was ultimately found innocent and released. Miyares is now incarcerated for an unrelated crime and told the Philadelphia Inquirer that he forgives Fetterman, who was the mayor of Braddock, Pa., at the time of the incident.
Earlier this month a political committee backing Oz launched a TV ad about the incident on channels with strong African American viewership, including Black Entertainment Television, the Oprah Winfrey Network, MSNBC and ESPN, NBC News reported.
Reverend Mark Kelly, a grassroots Democratic activist, told NBC News that he expected the ad “as sure as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west” and has also said anyone who believes the incident will not impact black voters’ decision is “living in fantasy land.”
Fetterman has said he made a mistake but has not offered a strong apology.