Not in our name

KAREN ELIAS

Lock Haven

State Rep. Stephanie Borowicz, R-Clinton-Centre, appeared in a photo at a gun rights rally in Harrisburg on Monday, May 6, in the company of several men wearing shirts identifying them as members of the American Guard.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has classified the American Guard as a hate group, and the Anti-Defamation League calls it an extremist group with known ties to white nationalism and white supremacy.

For a minute, let’s take Rep. Borowicz at her word. She says she was in all innocence simply taking a selfie with some of her constituents. Such disingenuous arguments, however, only go so far. Rep. Borowicz may not originally have known the identity of these ‘constituents,’ but she does now. Appearing in a photo with them, no matter what her intentions, gives their group credibility and conveys the perception of complicity.

In August, 2017, Lock Haven was targeted by a far-right extremist group whose members posted flyers outside Dickey School. We stood up to them and displayed “Welcome, diversity” signs in our downtown windows.

Since that time, our country has experienced an escalation in hate crimes carried out by men who proudly identify themselves as white supremacists.

It is time once again to stand up to hate, wherever it appears, and say enough! We need to remind Rep. Borowicz that members of the American Guard are not her constituents.

We are her constituents, and we are sickened by the fact that, as our representative, she has implicated Clinton County by associating us with an ideology that is all too often today being used as justification for the most heinous acts. As representative of this larger constituency, Rep. Borowicz must distance herself from any and all extremist groups and, in the strongest terms, condemn acts of hatred and violence. We, her constituents, urge her to join the community she truly represents in saying an emphatic NO to hate!

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