Appearing on a nearly hour-long Facebook Live interview early Tuesday morning, Denver mayoral candidate Jamie Giellis spoke on a variety of topics important to the city's minority communities.
During the interview, Giellis incorrectly identified NAACP as standing for "National African..." NAACP actually stands for the "National Association for the Advancement of Colored People." She made the comments during an attempt to put to bed worries that she didn't know what the acronym stood for.
Fard, a native of northeast Denver, worked as a journalist, historian and community organizer. He publishes 5 POINTS NEWS, is a board member of the Center for African American Health.
Fard supports Giellis and is staunchly anti-Michael Hancock, the incumbent Denver mayor. Hancock is running for his third team, and Fard regularly posts anti-Hancock messages to his followers.
Giellis spoke with Shay J, who was hosting the Facebook Live, for 20 minutes before getting into remarks about the NAACP.
During the show, Geillis addressed community complaints against her, such as one in which she refers to Five Points and Eastside as "RiNo," a name some say was given to those neighborhoods during gentrification.
By about the 20-minute mark, Shay J and the interviewer behind the camera were talking about some gaffes and other incidents that have affected Giellis' campaign, including posting a photo of Hancock that looked like a mugshot.
"I would never do that, I haven't done things like that," she said. "It's inappropriate and that needs to be called into attention when people do it."
Shay J then pointed out that sometimes people assume things about Giellis — like that she doesn't know what "NAACP" stands for. The host stressed that they'd been asked if Giellis knows what NAACP stood for several times throughout the day.
So, Shay J encouraged Giellis to "put it to rest," and to prove that she knows what NAACP stood for.
Giellis asked who was asking and, smiling, waited for Shay J and the interviewer behind the camera to point-blank ask if she knew the common acronym's meaning.
When they finally did ask, Giellis got the first letter right: "N" stands for "National." But immediately struck out by saying the first "A" stood for "African."
NAACP is the United States's oldest civil rights organization, founded in New York in 1909 (its headquarters are in Baltimore, Maryland).
The exchange is available in the live video posted to Fard's Facebook page. It begins around the 22:50 mark.
Giellis's camp posted a statement on Twitter in response to the gaffe Wednesday afternoon.
In it, Giellis says she remembered what NAACP stood for immediately after the hour-long interview (which ended 40 minutes after the comments). She also added that she looks forward to working with the organization.
"In fact," she wrote, "I intend to take out a membership."
Fard posted his support for Giellis, pushing past the gaffe, with a specific message for any whites who are on the fence about voting for her:
"To all my white allies and friends, if you want to help ordinary Blacks vote for Jamie. Thanks in advance. It's Time!" Fard wrote after the interview.
Prior to endorsing Giellis, Fard had endorsed Lisa Calderón for Denver mayor, who has also since put her support behind Giellis.
His comments were met with a mixed response from those who follow him on Facebook, with one saying that the "lesser of two evils" — Giellis or Hancock — "is still evil."
Others pointed out her support comes from the most affluent areas of Denver and wonder why she would bother to care about poorer areas.
Giellis and Hancock face off in a runoff election June 4 after none of the six candidates running for Denver mayor won 50% plus one vote in the May 7 election.
Hancock received nearly 40% of the vote in the May 7 election, with Jamie Giellis finishing second with almost 25%.
Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story misrepresented the NAACP.
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