Letter to the editor: Response to OC Democrat Chair should resign

Published 4:00 pm Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Orange County Democratic Chair Louis Ackerman

Dear Rusty,

You are absolutely right.  The day I start making racist comments, especially in public, is the day I should resign my position as a public servant. If I am prejudice against the people I am supposed to represent, I cannot represent them in good faith.  Sort of like being the mayor of a town and hating all Muslims.
However, I never made any racist comments.  I never said that all Vidorians are racist and I certainly never said “all white folk from Vidor racist”.
I absolutely referenced Vidor’s racist past and alluded to the idea that racists moved from Vidor to Pine Forest.  Given the extreme racism and prejudice being displayed by Mayor Nagel, it was not a stretch to compare Vidor’s history with Pine Forest’s Mayor.  After all, aren’t we supposed to use the past as an educational tool? There is no problem with referencing a difficult past as long as you are willing to mention the progress that has been made, which I did.  I have always defended Vidor as a progressing community.
I hold no hate in my heart for anyone.  The origin of my involvement with the Mayor of Pine Forest was extending an olive branch.  Offering her a chance for civil discourse. I make that same offer to anyone who disagrees with me.  You will never learn anything new if you don’t challenge yourself.
That being said, this was not simply someone being wary of Muslims.  This was a distinct pattern of prejudice and bigotry. It was the typical Islamophobia that you see from people who have never even met a Muslim.  Consider that the Muslim world has an overwhelmingly negative view of extremist groups, like ISIS. The HIGHEST percentage of support they enjoy is less than 15%.  It is completely unacceptable to judge an entire group of people by the actions of a few extremists. It is not ok for Christians to be judged by the actions of the hateful Westboro Baptist Church and it is not ok for Muslims to be judged by the actions of ISIS.

Any Yellow Dog Democrat would understand that and no Yellow Dog Democrat is going to accuse me of “liberal arrogance”.

We don’t have to agree on everything, but we do have to work together.  All of us. If you’re not willing to do that, you shouldn’t seek public office.  The Democratic Party has always said it was a big tent where everyone was welcome.  Part of the reason I ran for Democratic chair was to revitalize that idea. If any Democrat, Yellow Dog or otherwise, have any concerns about our current state of affairs please, email me at T.LouisAckerman@yahoo.com and we can discuss them.

I close with one of my favorite quotes:
Ordinary people, when they are working together can do extraordinary things.

T.Louis Ackerman,
Chairman of the Orange County Democratic Party