September 16, 2016
Dear Governor Pence:
You criticized Hillary Clinton recently for her comment dismissing some Trump supporters as a “basket of deplorables.” You said in a stump speech at the Value Voters Summit in Washington D.C. “I campaign all across this country for Donald Trump. Hillary Clinton’s low opinion of the people who support this campaign should be denounced in the strongest possible terms. The people who support Donald Trump’s campaign are hard-working Americans....let me just say from the bottom of my heart: Hillary, they are not a basket of anything, they are Americans and they deserve your respect.”
On the face of it, your comment seems to make sense. But it ignores the fact that not all Americans who support your running mate are “hard working Americans.” Quite a few of them, in fact, are in hate groups that actively meet, actively spread hatred against African Americans and Hispanics, actively believe whites are a superior race and actively plot the overthrow of the U.S. government.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has identified nearly 900 of these hate groups who are active in the United States of America. The SPLC defines hate groups as having “beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics.” Their activities that include “criminal acts, marches, rallies, speeches, meetings leafleting or publishing.”
They are bigots who have thrown their political support 100 percent behind your running mate. In interviews with the press, you and Mr. Trump have delicately avoided saying anything at all that might discourage hate groups and the bigots who think like they do from voting for your ticket. To ignore the obvious racism and hatred these groups spread about other “hard working Americans” whose skin is brown or black is tantamount to endorsing their racist behavior and their racist orthodoxy. This, frankly, is a deplorable cop-out.
Since we live in a nation that is protected by a Constitution and by laws that proclaim people of all creeds, nationalities, sexual identities and colors are free to form a more perfect union and since you have taken an oath to uphold the Constitution and the nation’s laws, it is safe to assume you believe hate groups who wish to take these freedoms away from others are not true Americans. Maybe you agree with me that the behavior of such hate groups, that are actively trying to deny the civil rights of minorities and gay Americans, can collectively be called “deplorable”.
I humbly ask you to please consider distancing yourself from the people who support your campaign who are voices of hatred. Whether you call them "deplorable" or not is up to you. But I hope you won’t mind if many other Americans find Secretary Clinton’s description of these kind of citizens to be appropriate. People who spread violence and racism are, in fact, deplorable. Democrats and Republicans should be working together to eradicate groups that discriminate against other Americans on the basis of their religion, their color and their sexual identity. Not to work for this kind of tolerance strikes many of us as irresponsible, cowardly, inherently a un-American and, yes, deplorable.