I feel shocked and saddened by Eugene City Councilors Emily Semple and Betty Taylor, both of whom are registered Democrats and voted against the Eugene City Council resolution against white supremacy July 22.
The Democratic Party is a multicultural coalition committed to equity, diversity and inclusion. In the year 2019, it is incomprehensible that any elected Democrat could vote against a statement opposing white supremacy — even if they serve in a non-partisan office.
The justification that the resolution violated protections for free speech and free thought is bogus. This resolution was a values statement, not an ordinance mandating criminal penalties. Voting in support of a second resolution two days later does not absolve their original vote against opposing white supremacy.
Councilors Chris Pryor, Claire Syrett, Jennifer Yeh and Alan Zelenka deserve our thanks and appreciation for courageously voting to support the original resolution, which passed by a vote of 4-3. A second, watered-down version was passed unanimously two days later.
Voting in favor of the second resolution does not absolve the weakness of failing to vote yes the first time.
It is not OK to believe in white supremacy and white nationalism. Shame on councilors Semple and Taylor for not recognizing that.
Chris Wig, chair
Democratic Party of Lane County