UPDATE: Video that has emerged of yesterday's alleged assault in New Bedford on Republican candidate Rayla Campbell at a pro-Trump rally suggests that Campbell may have played a role in instigating the incident. This opinion piece was written prior to WBSM obtaining that video.

More than 200 people gathered on a dank and chilly Columbus Day morning in New Bedford to rally for the re-election of President Donald J. Trump and to show support for our police. When it was over, a woman allegedly lay beaten in a parking lot, presumably for participating in the rally. And for who she is.

Rayla Campbell – who was born in Boston, raised in Scituate, and currently lives in Randolph – has launched a write-in campaign for the 7th Massachusetts Congressional District against incumbent Democrat Ayanna Presley next month. Campbell is a Republican and an African-American woman. A dangerous combination for some who feel threatened by a Black woman who is not a Democrat.

Details of what happened yesterday remain sketchy as of this writing but are likely to come into focus as the day unfolds.

Here is what Campbell posted on her Facebook page last night:

"I'm ok everyone. I appreciate all of your concern. I was involved in an incident leaving the New Bedford rally today that turned physical. Two individuals, both female, physically confronted and then assaulted me. I got kicked in the head and have a fractured tibia. I'm sore, that is all. Other than that I have no idea about the two females, what's transpired or anything else and I haven't talked to any media up to this point. I'm heading home now finally, but thank you all for your well wishes and kind words."

I'm ok everyone. I appreciate all of your concern. I was involved in an incident leaving the New Bedford rally today...

Posted by Rayla Campbell for Congress on Monday, October 12, 2020

What happened to Campbell in New Bedford yesterday, if true, is appalling and should be condemned by everyone. Violence against our political opponents and their supporters is never okay.

I will be listening closely to see who condemns this cowardice act of violence, and who does not. Failure to condemn this type of intimidation is to condone it. Remember, silence is violence.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at barry@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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