Letter to Editor: Shame on You Representative Andy Harris

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Shame on you, Representative Andy Harris.

The President recently tweeted that four of Harris’ colleagues in Congress, three of whom were born in the United States and the fourth a naturalized citizen, should “go back…to the crime infested countries from which they came.”

Rather than condemn this racist rhetoric, Harris told reporters that there was perhaps a misunderstanding, that the President may not have meant countries but rather congressional districts or cities.

This disingenuous reply reveals the extent to which our congressman is willing to twist himself into knots to go along with anything that the President does or says, no matter how divisive and harmful.

As a coalition of progressive groups on the Eastern Shore, we believe that Harris has lost sight of what makes America truly great—its diversity and the opportunity it extends to those yearning to be free.

He also seems to have forgotten his own background. Like many of us, Harris is a child of immigrants. According to the public record, Harris’s own Hungarian father and Polish mother emigrated to the United States in 1950 as stateless refugees. The United States took the Harris family in, allowing them to thrive here, eventually raising a son to be a U.S. Congressman.

Given his own experience with the American dream, why would Harris be willing to look away when the President questions the rights of other immigrants and children of immigrants to participate in the political life of the United States? Sadly, the answer seems to lie in Harris’s acceptance of the racial division that Trump sows in his tweets and at his rallies.

One key difference between Harris and the four Congresswomen targeted by Trump is they are women of color. That makes Harris’ response doubly shameful. He represents the district where Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman began their struggles for racial equality. He should know better. We call upon him to uphold the real American dream – equality for all—and condemn hateful and dangerous comments from the members of his own party, including the President.

Dr. Harris, it is your moral responsibility and civic duty to hold the President accountable when he seeks to sow racial division. You represent all of the people in your district, whatever their origin and however they arrived in this country. You need to recognize that whatever policy disagreements there may be, this is no way to act.

Denice Lombard
Indivisible Dorchester
Indivisible Worcester
Kent and Queen Anne’s Indivisible
Talbot Rising

Letters to Editor

  1. Suzanne Todd says

    Wonderful letter, Denice. My thoughts, exactly. Andy Harris shows time and again that he only cares about his job when he never speaks out about what Trump says and does.
    Many people in our Bay Hundred Citizens for a Just Society group, a.k.a Hedgehogs support you in this.
    Thanks for writing.

    • Denice Lombard says

      Thanks Suzanne. Kitty Maynard and Ridgely Ochs actually wrote the letter, and I emailed it to The Spy which is why my name is on it I guess and getting all the credit! It was just supposed to be the organization names. And I think the Hedgehogs were perhaps supposed to be signers too, but I didn’t coordinate this one.

  2. Bob Parker says

    I had the same response when I read Rep Harris’ shameful comment regarding Trump’s racist remarks. However, given his unqualified support for Trump and apparent lack of compassion for those less well off than he, I was not surprised. I believe that referring to Rep Harris’ as “Dr. Harris” is an insult to all of the fine members of the medical community who actually care more about others than they do for supporting a racist, mysoginist in the White House.

  3. Rebecca Jeffery says

    Bravo! And, thank you.

  4. Indeed! And let’s not forget that Donald Trump’s mother was also an immigrant from a poverty stricken Scottish Island in 1930. No, there was no “misunderstanding “, just blatant racist behavior.

  5. MaryLou Watson says

    Well said! As a physician, Dr Harris is fully aware that he needs to treat his patients equally and without bias. His training was early, long and solid. He is supposed to uphold the Constitution as an elected representative and he is falling short when he upholds his party beliefs as a higher value. He knows better and indeed he should be ashamed!

  6. JT Smith says

    Spot on. Thank you Denice Lombard.

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