Opinion/Letter: Political axe-grinding doesn’t cut it | Opinion

This letter is in response to “Garrett must denounce hate groups” (The Daily Progress, June 27).

To be sure, there is no argument with the author’s recount of the KKK’s abhorrent beliefs and hateful activities. At issue is the disquieting and underhanded tactic used to smear Rep. Tom Garrett’s reputation by innuendo. 

My observation turns on the author’s call for Mr. Garrett’s reassurance that he stands by his constituents in opposing terrorism and the dissonance created by the headline that Mr. Garrett must denounce hate groups. The headline leaves a reader, on quick glance, with the impression that Mr. Garrett is neutral on the subject. He is not.

Mr. Garrett has denounced the KKK many times, including during a recent radio town hall.

He also recognizes the First Amendment rights of free speech and assembly.

I am reasonably certain that all of our local political leaders have also denounced the KKK’s visit to our city. Yet, the author fails to call on these predominately Democratic officials to make such a reassurance.

Why is reassurance even necessary? And why is it that only Rep. Garrett, a Republican, is called upon to pronounce this?

In closing, I will take the opportunity to add to the author’s historical data. The Ku Klux Klan was founded in 1866 as a vehicle for white Southerners’ resistance to the Republican Party’s post-Civil War Reconstruction policies to establish political and economic equality for blacks. Its chief goal of white supremacy was fulfilled and perpetuated through Democratic Party victories in state legislatures.

It’s time for all of us to work together in making our community better. Political axe-grinding to create false impressions only creates sharper divisions.

Greg Thies, Albemarle County