For days, even after a woman was murdered, Donald Trump refused to condemn the hateful, racist actions of white supremacists in Charlottesville. It took him an astounding 48 hours to condemn the neo-Nazis who have been attacking innocent people. It took even longer for Jennifer Carnahan, the head of Minnesota’s GOP, to denounce the terrible violence.
Now, more than four days after the racist protests began, Minnesota’s top Republican gubernatorial candidates and elected officials – Kurt Daudt, Keith Downey, Jeff Johnson, and Matt Dean – still remain silent on the violence and bigotry in Virginia.
Johnson, Dean, Downey, and Daudt have supported Trump since the very beginning, despite his use of racist, hateful rhetoric that has contributed to the violent actions occurring in Virginia today.
In a 2016 StarTribune article, Johnson said, “I will, however, be voting for Donald Trump on Election Day, not with a spring in my step or a song on my heart, but — given the choice — with the confidence that I’m doing the best thing I can for the future of my country.”
Matt Dean said that he’d, “…support our party’s endorsed candidate…”, meaning Trump, regardless of what he stood for.
Keith Downey, thought that though electing Trump would be a gamble, he’d end up being good for the party.
Then there’s Minnesota House Speaker Kurt Daudt, who for a time waffled but ultimately chose to support the racist and bigoted President Elect when, after Election Day, he said, “I supported Trump, I voted for him, I’m happy he won.”
They’ve even adopted his language, posturing in front of the media as outsiders who simply want to “drain the swamp.”
By refusing to acknowledge the racist events of the weekend, by refusing to say that Trump is leading our nation down a path that echoes a dangerous part of history, these Minnesota officials and candidates for governor are allowing hate and violence to proceed.
We deserve to know where they stand.