Reps. Andy Levin and Brenda Lawrence Call on John James to Denounce Trump’s Refusal to Condemn White Supremacists at Presidential Debate

Today, Detroit metro area U.S. Representatives Andy Levin and Brenda Lawrence are calling on John James to disavow Donald Trump’s refusal to condemn white supremacists in the first Presidential debate this week. As Trump offers his support for the Proud Boys, a known extremist hate group, James has continued to stand by the President “2,000%.”

“What Donald Trump did on Tuesday night was extremely dangerous for the Jewish community and all other minority religious, ethnic and immigrant groups targeted by white supremacists,” said Congressman Andy Levin. “We need all leaders, regardless of political party, to speak out against white supremacy – now. John James should have denounced Trump’s hate group-activating language in Tuesday night’s presidential debate – immediately and unequivocally. James and Trump simply do not represent the values of Michigan voters. Fortunately, those same voters have the chance this year to return Gary Peters to the U.S. Senate where we can count on him to continue to call out and fight back against every instance of hate and bias that rears its head.”

“When provided with the opportunity this week, the President of the United States refused to condemn white supremacy, and instead all he could manage to say was ‘stand back and stand by,’” said Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence. “John James’ silence as Trump offers his implicit support for hate groups like the Proud Boys is shameful. Michiganders deserve a Senator who will clearly and unequivocally disavow hate in all forms, not someone who will stand with the President even when he panders to far right extremists who pose a threat to communities across Michigan.”

James recently appeared at a campaign event at which the Proud Boys volunteered. And just like Trump, when asked about James’ appearance, his campaign refused to denounce the far right, self-described “western chauvinist” group. He’s also previously indicated he thinks it’s “pointless to call out Trump’s racism.” As Detroit News columnist Bankole Thompson writes, John James “who proudly cherish[es] support from Trump must wrestle with the president’s refusal to condemn white supremacy outright.”

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