Has anyone who subscribes to Blog for Arizona ever checked out Legislative District (LD) 11 State Senator Vince Leach’s Facebook Page?
It is more frightening than a Stephen King novel.
It is a smorgasbord of fringe right-wing lunacy and conspiracy theories.
It is the stuff that nightmares are made of and should astonish and scare all readers.
Examples of this madness just over the last three days include:
- A June 15 posting that shares a link to a Federalist article that claims Joe Biden and all Democrats are out to defund police and disarm citizens.
- Protesting the pulling of Gone with the Wind from HBO Max, calling the move a war on American Culture.
- Apologizes for Trump’s policies.
- Anti F.B.I. editorial cartoons.
- Falsely accusing Alexandra Oscaio Cortez supporting legislation to ban voting for people older than 65.
- An editorial cartoon with Mr. Leach installing the heading “Walk Away” suggesting the African American Community (personified by a young mother caring for two small children) is tethered and dependent on the Democratic Party (portrayed as a dead-beat dad.)
It is the last item, filled with racist and political urban legend dog whistles, that caught the attention of the 2018 LD 11 Democratic State Senate Nominee, Ralph Atchue and the two ladies vying for the 2020 nomination to run against Mr. Leach: Gunnery Sergeant JoAnna Mendoza and Educator Linda Patterson.
All three, responding to requests for comment from Blog for Arizona, soundly condemned Leach’s posting of this editorial cartoon.
Ralph Atchue wrote:
“What is it with Republicans making racially crude remarks on an almost daily basis? How many have we seen get publicly eviscerated and finally come up with some lame statement like: “Oh no, I didn’t mean to hurt anybody – my comments were taken out of context”. Wouldn’t you think they’d learn to just stop doing this?”
“LD11’s State Senator Vince Leach has not learned to stop – he can’t help himself – it’s in his nature. His latest FaceBook cartoon posting is racially insensitive, insulting, and disgusting. Leach has proven, over time, that communication with his constituents is his opportunity to be sarcastic and evasive. Now, however, he has moved into the realm of bigotry and hatred.”
“I’m not all that surprised by Leach’s FB posting. As a staunch supporter of a president who traffics in racial divisiveness and dismissiveness, Leach is a card-carrying member of the Party of Trump (POT). In the past several years, Leach has joined his LD11 seatmates in widespread attacks on voters’ decisions made outside of LD11’s borders. He attempted to cut state funding for AZ cities whose mayors took early steps to stem COVID19 spread. He spearheaded attempts to indemnify business owners from any responsibility while forcing employees to return to potentially unsafe working conditions. Leach will never support Vote-By-Mail intended to keep voters and poll workers safe – he is absolutely committed to voter suppression.”
“Vince Leach has a proven track record in AZ’s State Legislature that spans several terms in office. It’s replete with votes against funding public education, environmental protection, helping Veterans suffering from PTSD or providing a fair tax system for working families. LD11 needs a State Senator who cares about people – someone who will prioritize families over corporations. LD11 deserves to be represented by a Senator who’s not motivated by hatred, bigotry and racism.”
“2020 is a year like none other. 2020 must be the year we rid the state legislature of all the Vince Leach’s!”
“Communication from Leach like this should rise to political censure, an ethics investigation, and removal from his seat in the AZ State Senate. He has demonstrated that he can no longer represent the people of Legislative 11 in our state legislature. It is time for Leach to go.”
Mr. Atchue followed up on these comments sending a letter to the AZ State Senate (please see the content below,) demanding Mr. Leach’s expulsion.
“Dear AZ State Senators
The current statewide, nationwide and even worldwide demonstrations fueled by racial inequality and injustice are to be taken seriously by everyone – especially elected officials. We, the voters will not tolerate State Legislators who feel this is the time to pour gasoline on an already hot burning fire. The State Legislature has a responsibility to prevent its members from provoking distrust and potentially violent public responses. If we are ignored or dismissed by our State Legislators now, we will have no choice but to consider additional action.
LD11’s Vince Leach posted this picture on his personal FB page several days ago. LD11 voters are outraged and demand his expulsion from the AZ State Legislature. Please do all you can to get this incident investigated and proper disciplinary action taken. Be aware, this picture has already been shared to staff on the AZ Republic and Casa Grande Dispatch.
I would appreciate your quick response on this urgent matter.”
JoAnna Mendoza stated:
“Senator Leach’s post is inappropriate and deeply offensive, not only to Black Americans but also to communities of color and women. Comments like this should be unacceptable from anyone, let alone an elected official who should be held to a higher standard and model of behavior. However, it’s much easier to call out someone from the opposing party for making these statements. It’s much harder to do in our own circles, with folks who are supposed to share our values. Although the Trump administration has made it okay for people to openly hold these opinions, racism isn’t isolated to one political party. And it doesn’t always take such blatant form. Oftentimes, it’s much more subtle microaggressions and dog-whistle politics. As a candidate of color, I have personally experienced this. If we are truly going to move forward and address the systemic racism in our society, we must start by addressing it in our own circles. No one wants to be the person who calls it out and it’s hard to look inside and ask ourselves if we hold biases. But that is the hard work that must be done if we are truly committed to eradicating systemic racism.”
Linda Patterson relayed:
“If we accept and acquiesce in the face of discrimination,
we accept the responsibility ourselves
-and allow those responsible to salve their conscience by believing
that they have our acceptance and concurrence.
We should, therefore, protest openly everything…
that smacks of discrimination and racism.”
Mary McLeod Bethune
“As long as racist politicians and political parties are able to continue their racist propaganda with impunity in the name of freedom of speech and their politics of hate receives substantial support, racism will be inevitable. Therefore, it is imperative that decent people speak up, confronting hate with indignation and condemnation.”
“I adamantly condemn the cartoon Vince Leach recently posted on his campaign Facebook Page.”
“Leach displays an utter lack of humanity by posting a cartoon filled with stereotypical images that demean individuals and is racist, distasteful, and insensitive. Further, this post was vile, vulgar, and inexcusable. The post magnified the issue of racism at a time when residents in our state and nation are attempting to make sense of this troubling time and face our history of discrimination and hate. We are in a time of transformational change and Leach is not joining the effort -he is subverting it.”
Hopefully, the majority of the people residing in LD 11 no longer share the views and sentiments as Mr. Leach.
To use one’s social media to continually traffic racially offensive material and false absurdities is not the type of public service people should look for in their elected leaders.
There are two other individuals running for the seat Mr. Leach currently holds.
Either one of them would serve the people of LD 11 far better than Mr. Leach.
It is time for Vince Leach to go.
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