Open Letter/Letter to the Editor
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 13, 2019
Jerry Gonzalez, GALEO, firstname.lastname@example.org, 678.691.1086
Concerns over Gwinnett Daily Post Normalization of Hate Group Leader
(Norcross, GA) August 13, 2019
To the Gwinnett Daily Post Editor:
On July 31, 2019, Gwinnett County Commissioner Marlene Fosque hosted a town hall meeting centered around the controversial 287(g) program. The commissioner promised neutrality on the issue but failed to deliver when Gwinnett County Sheriff Butch Conway sent D.A. King to speak on his behalf. Beyond the hypocrisy of sending a representative from an anti-immigrant group to speak about a law that targets immigrants, there is concern that King’s participation at the community meeting validates and normalizes anti-immigrant sentiment in Gwinnett County.
That concern was exacerbated after the Gwinnett Daily Post published an article touting King’s defense ‘following political attacks’ and painting him as a ‘man of honor’ who prioritizes the safety of the community. This is especially alarming given that less than two weeks ago a white nationalist drove ten hours to a Walmart in El Paso to shoot and kill Mexicans in a horrific act of domestic terrorism. This political attack killed 22 people and injured 24 others.
D.A. King has a notorious history of promoting racist and anti-Hispanic views. Aside from founding the Dustin Inman Society, which the Southern Poverty Law Center lists as an anti-immigrant hate group, King has ties with racists like U.S. Inc,’s John Tanton and has on multiple occasions propagated racist and hateful rhetoric.
While shameful, D.A. King’s support for anti-immigrant measures is expected and well documented. However, the public relations defense article of this hate group leader is unprecedented coming from the Gwinnett Daily Post, a journal that purports to service one of the most diverse counties in the country. The article and the xenophobic narrative it promulgates is irresponsible, dangerous and puts into question the Gwinnett Daily Post’s legitimacy as a reputable publication.
At a time when immigrant communities are truly under attack, Gwinnett County should stand out as an exemplar of how diversity and inclusivity make the county exceptional. One out of every five residents in Gwinnett County was born outside of the country. Gwinnett County also leads the state in education, investment and job creation. Next time the Gwinnett Daily Post decides to add to the immigration conversation, it should consider assuming a position that celebrates its own community rather than one that incites division and hostility.
Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials (GALEO)
Gilda (Gigi) Pedraza
Latino Community Fund (LCF Georgia)
Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda
American Jewish Committee – Atlanta
ADL Southeast Regional Director
Gwinnett County resident