Next summer, Republicans will descend on Charlotte, N.C., for their national convention, and President Donald Trump almost certainly will be renominated there.
It will be a marketing boon for the city, the center of the media universe for at least a week and an opportunity for the tourism industry in Charlotte to boom.
But Republican leaders who arrived in Charlotte this week to scope out locations for various convention events have “arrived in a city that has labeled [President Trump’s] statements ‘racist’ and that almost wishes it had never invited them in the first place,” wrote S.V. Date of HuffPost in the story “Charlotte is Starting To Regret Hosting Trump’s Renomination Convention.
Braxton Winston, a member of the Charlotte City Council, voted with the minority when the contract for the convention was approved by a 6-5 vote back in 2018 and with the majority in a 9-2 vote recently on a resolution that “strongly condemns” Trump for “racist and xenophobic social media tweets and comments” for his suggestion the Squad of Democratic freshmen female lawmakers return to their countries.
Winston said he was concerned about the crowd a Republican nominating convention would bring.
“This is one of the ugliest moments of political discourse,” he is quoted saying in the HuffPost story. “This is specifically about the racism of this administration and the elements that that brings. I wish we were not bring that here.”
Date then quotes a Republican in town for the scope session saying he had not even heard of this resolution and another saying,
“As a woman and a Hispanic, I do not think the president is racist. He says it like it is.”
This makes things even worse, Date wrote.
Councilwoman Dimple Ajmera, who also opposed bringing the convention to Charlotte, “and other city council members worry this attitude – that Trump’s statements constitute perfectly acceptable public discourse – is what will come to Charlotte next year, staining the city’s reputation for years to come,” Date wrote.
Date wrote that the resolution “details a litany of Trump’s previous racist remarks since taking office, including his false claim that 15,000 recent Haitian migrants ‘all had AIDS;” his comment that visitors from Nigeria who saw the United States would never want to return to their ‘huts’ and, most infamously, when he said that included among neo-Nazis who marched in Charlottesville, Va., were some ‘very fine people.’”
The allegations about Haitians having AIDS and Nigerians not wanting to go back to their huts came from a story in the New York Times that was based wholly on anonymous sources. The White House forcefully denied them, and several members of the cabinet who were in the meeting where Trump supposedly made these remarks, including Gen. John Kelly, Gen. H.R. McMaster, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen and other senior staffers, also denied the president made these remarks.
As for the remarks on Charlottesville, Trump said he explicitly excluded hate groups from his “very fine people” remark. To make it even more clear, in response to a later question in the same news conference, he said, “I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and white nationalists because they should be condemned totally.”
The city is stuck with the Republicans because its attorneys say trying to get out of the contract would be an expensive and probably losing effort anyway, Date wrote.
And anyway, the attacks the New York Times claim happened but the president and all his staffers deny, as well as his remarks on Charlottesville, happened way before the contract was approved – “raising the question of why Charlotte ever wanted a convention featuring Trump in the first place.”
Photo by Michael Vadon