Ignorance and prejudice
To the editor,
It was disappointing to learn of the Fort Myers Republican Women’s Club’s plans to honor Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott at their Jan. 27 luncheon (Jan. 15, 2009 Island Reporter). On Oct. 8, 2008, at a rally for Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin, Scott – in uniform – took the stage and very pointedly referred to Barack Obama as Barack Hussein Obama in a transparent (and successful, based on crowd reaction) attempt to incite anger with the implication that Obama is a Muslim, which he is not.
This kind of bigotry should be condemned, and in fact, shortly afterwards, Palin campaign spokesperson Tracey Schmitt issued the following statement on Sheriff Scott’s remarks: “We do not condone this inappropriate rhetoric which distracts from the real questions of judgment, character and experience that voters will base their decisions on this November.”
The Republican women of Lee County may be happy enough with Scott’s “good leadership” to give him an award, but if they don’t want to see the party marginalized for decades as a national force, they must disavow and not celebrate the appeal to ignorance and prejudice that Scott’s remarks represent.
Roger L. Levey