An AZ legislator made these overtly racist comments about our students. It's time to remove xenophobic radicals from elected office this November! We deserve leaders who understand we're a nation of immigrants who bring a diversity of experiences & ideas. https://t.co/P5I9QpUHDI pic.twitter.com/NSrJS2WZA3— David Schapira (@dschapira) June 13, 2018
A Republican lawmaker from Arizona sparked controversy after he was filmed bemoaning how the incoming immigrants would soon change the face of the United States – that is, it won’t be white anymore.
State Rep. David Stringer called immigration was an “existential threat” that will destabilize country and complained how “there aren't enough white kids to go around” in public schools.
“60 percent of public school children in the state of Arizona today are minorities. That complicates racial integration because there aren't enough white kids to go around,” Stringer explained. “If we don’t do something about immigration very, very soon, the demographics of our country will be irrevocably changed and we will be a very different country.”
The racist politician made the controversial comments during the Yavapai County Republican Men's Forum.
“Immigration is politically destabilizing. President Trump has talked about this,” Stringer added. “I’m very concerned about this. Immigration today represents an existential threat to the United States.”
The blatantly xenophobic remarks with obvious white supremacist undertones immediately went viral on social media, drawing backlash from immigration advocates, Democrats and Republicans alike.
“Just as disturbing, there did not appear to be single murmur of disagreement from the audience,” said House Minority Leader Rebecca Rios (D-Phoenix). “We work side by side with Rep. Stringer and our Republican colleagues and want to think the best of them. But when will they stand up to divisive rhetoric like this that echoes fervent racists and white nationalists like David Duke?”
Rios went on the call the incident “source of national embarrassment for our state.”
“Stringer’s racist and paranoid comments that we must protect the white race or America will be taken over are dangerous, fear mongering and hateful,” Progress Now Arizona Co-Director Josselyn Berry told AZ Central. “That he thinks it’s acceptable to attack children in our schools is despicable and he should be ashamed. It should go without saying that all children deserve an education, regardless of their skin color.”
Even his own party also rebuked the politician for his anti-immigrant rhetoric.
“David Stringer's comments do not in any way reflect the beliefs or values of Chairman [Jonathan] Lines or the Arizona Republican Party,” Arizona Republican Party spokesperson Ayshia Connors told BuzzFeed News in a statement. “He should apologize to his constituents, and to the people of Arizona. We are proud of our diverse, vibrant state and believe that Mr. Stringer's comments have no place in our party, or in the state of Arizona.”
The video, first uploaded to Stringer’s Facebook page, has since been deleted.
Stinger’s comments come at a time when the Trump administration is already under fire for forcefully separating immigrant kids from their parents and holding them in military bases. Just recently, it was revealed President Donald Trump proposed setting up tent cities for such children.
In an interview with the Arizona Capitol Times, Stringer insisted his comments were not racist but “a statement of fact.” However, he did apologize to anyone he might have offended.
“I maybe touched a third rail of politics but what I said is accurate,” he told the publication. “Anybody that talks about this in this way is shut down and called a racist. I’m speaking the truth. Diversity may be a great thing, there might be a lot of advantages, I’m not arguing against diversity at all, but no country can be demographically transformed without any political or social consequences.”
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Reuters, Loren Elliott