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Why I'm calling on my opponent John Cusick & others to Denounce Trump’s Dangerous Racism.

By Luke Verdes

July 16, 2019

The President's most recent (and past) remarks are disgraceful and dangerous. As a candidate for Northampton County Council, I’m calling on County elected officials, specifically my opponent John Cusick to denounce the President's reprehensible remarks, pledge to call out racism at all levels of government and do more to partner with local community organizations to end hate in our community.

Some will argue the President is not racist. But the fact remains that his language gives white supremacists all the proof they need to believe he is, and they believe he’s on their side. No one can deny the fact that there is a direct, documented connection between the increase in hate crimes and hate groups in the country and the President's rhetoric.

Throughout his campaign for the presidency, he continued to use racially charged language that inflamed and empowered hate groups across the country. He refused to denounce David Duke (former head of the KKK) who gave his full endorsement to Trump. Shortly after the election, an alt-right, white nationalist conference was held in Washington D.C, and a video serviced of the group celebrating Trump’s victory with Nazi salutes shouting “Hail Trump, Hail our people”

Sadly, after he took office President Trump continued to fan the flames of hate. Most notably, referring to Nazis as “very fine people” after the Charlottesville attack. His comments about Charlottesville brought him a great amount of praise from white supremacists even after he condemned them because only a day later he backtracked and once again gave the white supremacists more motive to support him. The most recent and appalling racial attack telling four American women of color serving in the U.S. House of Representatives to go back to their own country has also drawn more praise from notable white supremacists.

The pattern of support from Nazi groups and alike that Trump receives when he makes such comments is very troubling. However, the more concerning issue here is the increasing silence of members of the President's own party. This is why I’m calling for my opponent John Cusick and other elected officials to denounce his ongoing racist rhetoric, pledge to call out racism at all levels of government and do more to partner with local community organizations to end hate in our community.

We all know the tragedies that occurred in Charleston, Charlottesville, and Pittsburgh could easily happen here in Northampton County. I believe it is imperative for local public figures to push back against the hate speech that could lead to violence in their communities. If a tragedy like Charleston were to happen here in Northampton County my guess is that my opponent and every other elected official in the County would immediately speak out against the violence and those who support the ideology of the perpetrator. So why not speak out now? Why not denounce the President’s ongoing hateful message? Why wait for a tragedy to happen just to be another cliché politician denouncing hate after the fact? Why not call out the racism we all see right now coming from the head of our federal government? Why not be proactive and denounce hate and seek solutions to prevent a tragedy from happening in the first place?

As a community, we have no hope of stopping the next tragedy from occurring if we are not willing to call out the kind of hateful rhetoric that will fuel it. We will never be able to seek useful solutions if we are unwilling to identify the problem.