“But you also had people there who were very fine people… on both sides”
-Trump commenting on the violent aftermath of the Charlottesville Unite the Right Rally
Just as Trump’s election has signaled white supremacists that they have an ally in the White House, Michael Peroutka’s election to the Anne Arundel County Council has signaled white supremacists that they have an ally with the power to make law in our county.
We at Anne Arundel County Indivisible are greatly concerned that the moral decay in the White House has set the stage for an unprecedented wave of hate crimes and atrocities in this country. We believe it is critical that people take a moral stand and speak out for justice and compassion for all of humanity before it is too late. That is why we are calling for the resignation of Anne Arundel Council Councilman Michael Peroutka.
Michael Peroutka was a long-term member of the League of the South, a white supremacy group dedicated to Southern secession and a Southern government led by and for white Christians. In fact, he was a Board Member of the League of the South.
In the Summer of 2014, Peroutka quit the League of the South when it became an issue in his campaign for County Council. According to a Baltimore Sun article, Peroutka said, “I didn’t do it to bring up any political points. I don’t have any problem with the organization.”
Feeling pressure from local citizens to denounce the League, Peroutka read a statement at the June 19 Anne Arundel County Council meeting. He pretended to be shocked by recent racist statements made by Michael Hill, the founder and president of the League, even though Hill had made regular racists declarations throughout Peroutka’s tenure with the League. Peroutka further claimed, “I believed the group to be integrated and non-discriminatory with regard to race, and my recollection of topics that were discussed in my presence concerned objections to overreaching and intrusive policies and programs of the federal government; they did not focus on race.”
There is no credibility to the notion that Peroutka somehow never noticed during his many years of membership that the League was dedicated to white supremacy. The League of the South has never made a secret of their racist mission “to organise the Southern people so that they might effectively pursue independence and self-government….We, as Anglo-Celtic Southerners, have a duty to protect that which our ancestors bequeathed to us.”
Peroutka continues to spew hateful rhetoric, and therefore his recent attempts to denounce racism ring hollow. He and his followers regularly bash immigrants, Muslims, and the LGBTQ community on his website The American View. Moreover, he continues to attend the Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church whose pastor, David Whitney, has served as the Chaplain of the Maryland Chapter of the League of the South.
We need to set the record straight and show that our county stands against hate and white supremacy; the time has come for citizens to demand that Peroutka resign. If we do not join together to demand his resignation, we risk normalizing an ideology promulgated by Peroutka and the League of the South that laid the groundwork for the recent murders of Heather Heyer in Charlottesville and Second Lt. Richard Collins III at Bowie State University. Furthermore, if left unchecked, this ideology can only lead to the subjugation, if not extermination, of millions of people based on their race, religion, sexuality, gender identity, country of origin, or immigration status.
We at Anne Arundel County Indivisible urge everyone to contact Peroutka and their district County Council representative to let them know that Peroutka’s presence on the County Council stains the moral character of this county. We also urge you to come to County Council meetings. The Council meets the first and third Monday of every month (though they will meet Tuesday September 5 due to Labor Day). The County Code provides time for members of the public to address the county “on any matter not on the agenda.”
This is the time to raise our voices. We will not accept a white supremacist on the County Council.
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