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.
Kent and Queen Anne’s Indivisible