My neighbor Alan Neville uses his regular column in our local paper to call out area legislators for supporting the anti-immigrant rallies that have plagued Aberdeen for over a year. The education professor says Sen. Al Novstrup, Rep. Drew Dennert, and Sen. Neal Tapio are endorsing “un-Christian, un-American” hate speech that may incite violence against members of our community:
Sadly, Aberdeen is home to a documented hate group and recently, two other dubious groups hosted a known bigot, Trevor Loudon. In a presentation in September at the Dakota Event Center — sponsored by Americans First, Task Force and Concerned Citizens of Aberdeen, and even attended by our local Republican legislators, Al Novstrup, Drew Dennert and Neal Tapio — Loudon asked, “Is it the Christian thing to do to bring people into your country who you know are going to kill your neighbors?”
This then begs a few more questions: Who wants to kill my neighbors? And how do they know this? More importantly, is this free speech or is it just intended to incite baseless violence toward immigrants?
It is disappointing to know that any South Dakota representative would even attend such an event, let alone endorse the principles espoused there. This type of speech, the espousal of isolationism coupled with fear mongering and calls to violent action go well past protected free speech. It is un-Christian and un-American and has no place in our community.