Arizona city council calls on legislator who said African-Americans ‘don’t blend in’ to resign
An Arizona city council is calling on state Rep. David Stringer (R) to resign over controversial comments he made about African-Americans.
With a 6-1 vote, The Prescott City Council passed a resolution on Tuesday that demands Stringer step down immediately so that a replacement can be named before the legislative session begins in 2019, according to The Associated Press.
“His abhorrent words do not reflect our city or our community and while we condemn them, that word, any word, is not strong enough to express our disdain,” the council statement said. “As proud members of this community we are horrified that the opinions expressed by Mr. Stringer exist.”
The move from the council comes only days after the Phoenix New Times published controversial remarks Stringer made about diversity during a lecture at Arizona State University.
Stringer, who won reelection in Prescott last month, said that African-Americans were different from European migrants “because they don’t melt in.”
“They don’t blend in,” Stringer added. “They always look different.”
Stringer later referred to non-native English speakers as a “burden” on Americans, saying that “it costs a lot of more to educate a child who doesn’t speak English as a native language.”
“So that’s a burden on the taxpayers,” he said. “It’s a pretty significant burden.”
Prescott Mayor Greg Mengarelli said at Tuesday’s council meeting that Stringer had “forgotten the moral compass of our great county,” AP reported.
“By his own words Mr. Stringer has defined himself as someone who is out of step with our community,” Mengarelli said. “He has mortally wounded himself and disqualified himself to the point that he will be ineffective representing our issues at the state Legislature.”
Councilman Phil Goode was the only councilman who voted against adopting a statement calling for Stringer’s resignation. Goode told AP that he didn’t condone the comments, but that his seat in the Arizona legislature was up to the voters.
This isn’t the first time Stringer’s comments on diversity have provoked backlash. In June, the state lawmaker said that immigration represented an “existential threat” while lamenting that “there aren’t enough white kids” in Arizona schools.
The Arizona Republican Party called on him to resign over the remarks. But Stringer refused.
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