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Cox: Barnes Remarks Unacceptable

On Monday, Michigan Republican Party Chairman Laura Cox sent the following statement to Republicans across Michigan defending against inflammatory remarks released by Lavora Barnes, Chair Michigan Democrat Party. In the comments, Barnes stated, "If you support Donald Trump, you are a racist. Here is where it gets tricky and uncomfortable. Donald Trump is a racist, and if being a racist is not a deal breaker for you, you are the reason Black people are being murdered for being Black."

Cox response:

The killing of George Floyd was an incredible tragedy, and the officers responsible for this crime must be held accountable for his murder. Far too often, African Americans receive unfair treatment from law enforcement, and we must do more as a nation to ensure that due process rights are guaranteed for all citizens regardless of race. However, Michigan Democratic Party Chair Lavora Barnes calling over 2 million Michiganders "racist" is unacceptable and only makes this tragedy worse.

One of the many reasons our nation is great is because, while our two major parties have disagreements, we can look past these differences and come together as Americans. Despite these differences, we fundamentally believe that our fellow Americans are good people motivated by good intentions. Let’s be perfectly clear, there is nothing good about racism. It is a form of pure evil and calling someone a racist is akin to calling that person evil. Lavora Barnes’ remarks claim that millions of Michiganders are evil. It implies that they cannot be reasoned with, and that our differences cannot be resolved peacefully through discourse and not violence.

I refuse to accept this inflammatory statement from my counterpart. As leaders in our state at this trying time, I believe it is imperative that we forge a path forward to better circumstances for every American. Fanning the flames that are burning our cities down does not accomplish that. I believe we can come together as a nation and make life better for all of our citizens, and I believe in the goodness of the American people, including our President.

President Trump responded swiftly to the tragedy in Minneapolis by ordering the FBI to investigate George Floyd's death, and he expressed his support for those peacefully protesting. Make no mistake, President Trump has worked tirelessly on behalf of the African American community, and any narrative to the contrary is blatantly and knowingly false.

For decades Democrats have promised criminal justice reform, but President Trump delivered where they failed, and 90 percent of those who have had their sentences reduced as a result of his reforms are African Americans. Today, thousands of non-violent African American offenders have been reunited with their families due to the President’s leadership.

And while Democrats have spent trillions trying to bring African Americans out of poverty, under President Trump, the African American unemployment rate hit an all-time low, and the black poverty rate was at its lowest level in our nation’s history. 

These are the facts Lavora Barnes and the Democrats don't want you to know. It's easier for them to deflect blame and lie about the character of 63 million Americans, than it is for them to give up their historic hold on the African American vote and work toward finding common ground and building a bridge to a better future for every American.

I have faith in America, I have faith in our Constitution and I have faith that together, we will achieve great things so long as we are willing to come together as a nation and believe the best about our fellow citizens, and not the worst.