Voices From The Readers – October 29, 2021

Loving Care Recognized

Editor:

My family would like to take this time to acknowledge the following for the amazing care they took of our Dad, George Hannaway.

First, I would like to thank Catered Living for the loving care Dad received at the end of his journey. Catered Living became Dad’s third family and he became a favorite member for all those living there.

Secondly, I cannot say enough about Coastal Hospice. Coastal Hospice came in at the end and took over those final tough duties to allow the Catered Living staff to just care and focus on loving Dad. We are so grateful for those of you who donated to Coastal Hospice in Dad’s name.

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Berlin had become home to Dad and I would like to thank his second family for their love and care of our Dad. The town also became Dad’s favorite place to walk around and meet and greet the “locals”. Thank you all for the love you showed and the care given. The “Interested Persons” miss him so very much.

Patricia Hannaway, Lori and Michael Watson and family

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Extremist Representative

Editor:

Congressman Andy Harris has been representing us in Congress for well over 10 years. Throughout his time in office, Andy Harris has had a major problem with ties to White Nationalism and Anti-Semitism. In this letter, I will discuss in detail Congressman Harris’s problematic ties to these extremist and hateful ideologies.

On Jan. 16, 2017, Congressman Andy Harris joined Congressman Phil Roe for a meeting with White Nationalist activist Chuck Johnson. Chuck Johnson is nationally known for his hateful and dangerous ideology including being a Holocaust denier, believing that Muslims are “genetically different in their propensity for violence or rape”, and linked to stories about how African-Americans “possessed a ‘violence’ gene.” These views have been proven to be debunked pseudoscience? from as far back as 1920. Yet our congressman took time out of his day to meet with such a radical extremist.

This is not the first time that Andy Harris has openly worked with someone with anti-Semitic and white nationalistic views. Since taking office Congressman Harris has been a major collaborator with Hungarian Dictator Viktor Orbán. Andy Harris has assisted Viktor Orbán in his efforts to erode democracy and seize power in Hungary. Prime Minister Orbán, during his power grab, was is famous for using anti-Semitic imagery around his nation, claiming that “powerful Jewish financiers are scheming to control the world.” He has also led smear campaigns that openly ran Jewish leaders, businesses, and institutions out of the country. Orban’s anti-semitic horror show doesn’t end there. Throughout his time in office, Orban has started efforts to revise history in order to “sanitize” the record of Hungarian participation in the ghettoization and deportation of the country’s Jews to concentration camps during WWII. During this period, Hungary was an ally of the Nazis. Despite these several authoritarian and openly anti-semitic actions, Congressman Harris still proudly promoted and supported anti-Semites in their effort to rewrite history, harass the Jewish community in the country, and seize power in the nation.

Andy Harris’s efforts to support foreign anti-Semites don’t stop in Hungary. In 2018, the congressman attempted to secretly meet with the leader of the Czech Nazi Party (Svoboda a přímá demokracie) Tomio Okamura in Prague. Not only was this meeting going to be paid for by U.S. taxpayers, but this party is also by far the most extreme that Czech Politics has to offer. You might be asking yourself why is this party so bad? The party has a long history of advocating for the violation of human rights and extremism like anti-Semitism. The Secretary of the Party Jaroslav Staník openly called for the gassing of “Jews, gays, and Roma”, which would be nothing short of a modern-day Holocaust. The party’s leader, Tomio Okamura, has called on the Czech people to walk pigs and dogs in Muslim neighborhoods and mosques (Muslim religious doctrines call for practicing Muslims to avoid interaction with these animals). To have people walk pigs and dogs in their community would be nothing short of harassment and open terrorism towards people just trying to live their lives like you and I. Tomio has also advocated for the end of religious freedoms and wants to ban Islam and other religions he views as undesirable. The fact that our congressman would set up a meeting with such an extremist that openly goes against American values of freedom and peace is disgusting and a clear sign he holds these beliefs himself.

In the simplest terms, the situation with our sitting congressman is untenable. The first time Andy Harris met with or attempted to meet with an Anti-Semite and or White Nationalist leader or organization, there it was at least somewhat believable that maybe Andy Harris and his staff were incompetent and didn’t know how to vet people before setting up meetings. Not even Harris could be THIS incompetent. There is no reason not to believe that he holds these anti-American and anti-Eastern Shore views himself. There is a saying for people like Andy Harris: if there’s a Nazi at the table and 10 other people sitting there talking to him, you got a table with 11 Nazis. We can’t afford to continue electing a congressman who holds sympathetic views towards White Nationalism and Anti-Semitism.

Jared Schablein

Pittsville

(The writer is the chair of the Lower Shore Progressive Caucus.)