Tierna Unruh-Enos is publisher at The Paper.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Rebecca Dow has been riding the media waves to get support for her far-right talking points to fight off a rough media appearance recently when she attended the Gathering of Nations in ABQ celebrating Indigenous communities across the globe.

Dow took the stage, where she was welcomed by the host Derek Matthews before he roasted her lastest campaign TV commercial attacking critical race theory, saying:

“You have a commercial running right now. You talk about race theory. I want you to understand you hurt these people. You hurt us all,” said Matthews. “What I want to do is I want you to take a lookout at all these people here. See these faces, our drums, you heard those songs — these things are very meaningful.”

The academic foundation of Critical Race Theory has turned it into a lightning rod in politics and education in New Mexico and across the country and a major talking point in the primaries. “We’re asking you don’t say that. Take that out of your commercial,” Matthews told Dow. His request was met with loud cheers.

Monumental Mistake

On Monday, Dow appeared on the conservative Newsmax network‘s “Wake Up America” to talk CRT and the border.

“In 2020, we tore down ‘The Soldier’s Monument’ in Santa Fe Plaza which symbolized when New Mexico stood up against the confederacy,” she said. “They tore it down because the radical agenda does not understand accurate history.”

Dow is of course speaking about the obelisk in Santa Fe Plaza built in 1866, which is sometimes called the Soldiers Monument. It was constructed to honor Civil War Union soldiers, but many saw it as a symbol of oppression and colonialism. The monument spurred several demonstrations in Santa Fe in 2020 amid a nationwide call for racial justice.

Indigenous activists and other protesters in Santa Fe objected to a plaque on one side that said the obelisk was dedicated, in part, to “heroes” who died in battle with “savage Indians.” City officials had it removed and now a sign dedicated to community and healing stands in its place.