Butler County Democratic Party Statement on Charlottesville

GOP needs to stop courting racist vote

(HAMILTON)- Over the weekend, the nation watched in shock and horror as white supremacists and neo-Nazis gathered in Charlottesville, Virginia in torch lit hate-fest rallies where a neo-Nazi protestor intentionally plowed his vehicle into a crowd of counterprotestors, killing Heather Heyer, and injuring others.  The driver of the vehicle had ties to the Cincinnati region and awaits formal charges including murder.

Leading up to these events, State Treasurer, and perennial U.S. Senate candidate, Josh Mandel publicly sided with “alt-right” bloggers who have advocated that “date rape” doesn’t really exist and said “diversity is code for white genocide.”  Mandel, not only defended these bloggers, but he accused The Anti-Defamation League of “a partisan witchhunt group targeting people for political beliefs” for criticizing these comments.  [Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer (July 21, 2017), “Josh Mandel sides with 'alt-light' blogger over Anti-Defamation League.”]

In response to this weekend’s events, Ohioans have seen tepid responses from Republicans from President Donald Trump down to all of the GOP candidates for Governor in Ohio and Josh Mandel.  [Source: Cincinnati Enquirer (August 14, 2017), “Ohio GOP sounded a lot like Donald Trump in responses to Charlottesville.”]  The Butler County GOP took the opportunity to… spread an attack on former President Obama.  Butler County Sheriff Jones took to Twitter to call for a ban of masks before advocating President Trump to pardon a former sheriff convicted of ignoring court orders about engaging in illegal racial profiling.   [Source: Washington Post (08/14/17), “Trump says he is considering a pardon for former Ariz. sheriff Joe Arpaio.”]

“A ban on masks would have done nothing to prevent the murder in Charlottesville.  The problem isn’t masks; it’s that white supremacists feel comfortable going without them as politicians like Josh Mandel defend their agenda of racism and sexism.  We need our leaders to call this for what it was: an act of domestic terrorism against Americans by white supremacists who have no place in our political parties.  They need to say any politician seeking to attract their support is unfit to serve public office.  That anyone who ignores the rule of law to further racist policies shouldn’t be given a slap on the wrist.  We need them to stand up against Nazis and hatemongers.  That shouldn’t be this hard for them to do.  Our WWII veterans and Holocaust survivors deserved better in this moment of character and choosing,” said Jocelyn Bucaro, Chair of the Butler County Democratic Party Executive Committee.