Unfortunately, last Tuesday, Primary Election Day, a black female poll worker was subjected to an appalling and degrading racist comment from the white male Republican Inspector.
We thank Kosciusko County Republican Chairman Mike Ragan for strongly condemning the inspector’s comment and for pledging to prohibit him from ever serving as an Inspector again.
However, this type of rhetoric is indicative of the hate that has been spewing from the White House since Donald Trump took office. Starting in 2017 after the Charlottesville massacre, President Trump had a chance to condemn white supremacy in the strongest of terms, but instead chose to label neo-Nazis as “very fine people.” In 2019, President Trump called civil rights leader Representative Elijah Cummings’s majority African-American Baltimore Congressional District a “rat and rodent-infested mess.” He then tweeted that 4 Congresswomen of color should “go back” to where they came from despite the fact all are American citizens and three of the four are native-born. More recently, in light of recent protests against the murder of George Floyd at the hands of a white cop, President Trump tweeted, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” This is a direct quote from the racist police chief of Miami during the civil rights era. In an unprecedented move, Twitter limited the public’s ability to see the tweet, as it violated the company’s policy on inciting violence.
Because we have a president who routinely uses race to divide us, it’s no surprise that this Republican inspector felt emboldened to use that type of language.
This terrible incident further underscores why movements such as #BlackLivesMatter are necessary in today’s society. While we are now 3 decades into the 21st century, last week’s incident is a sad reminder that racism is still all too common in Kosciusko County.
Chairman of the Kosciusko County Democratic Party