The SDGOP’s Lack of Leadership in Denouncing Hate 

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The South Dakota Democratic Party released the following statement from Executive Director Sam Parkinson responding to the failure of South Dakota Republicans to confront bigotry and racism:

“When the South Dakota Republican Party decided to embrace hate groups and anti-Muslim extremists earlier this year, we called on elected Republicans and statewide candidates to show leadership and forcefully renounce bigotry and hateful rhetoric. Unfortunatelove trumps hate_hfaly, the events of the past few days make it clear that a couple of elected Republicans did not get the message. First, Rep. Kristi Noem failed to call out and forcefully renounce white supremacy and Neo-Nazis after the tragic events in Charlottesville, Virginia this weekend, instead saying that she was disappointed with ‘all involved.’ Next, Secretary of State and congressional candidate Shantel Krebs was forced to remove a photo containing the Confederate flag from her office’s website after attention was drawn to the photo by an independent blogger.

“It shouldn’t have taken a blogger pointing out the flag or the tragedy in Charlottesville to make Sec. Krebs take this photo down from her office’s website. A photo including a symbol of racism and bigotry should have never been posted on a state website in the first place. Further, contrary to the remarks of Rep. Noem, the hate and violence in Charlottesville was not an ‘all sides’ problem, but came directly from white supremacists and Neo-Nazis.

“Democrats believe that the bigotry and hatred of white supremacists, Neo-Nazis, and anti-Muslim extremists have no place in our politics and our society, and all Americans deserve equal protection, freedom, and opportunity under the law. This shouldn’t be a partisan issue, however, and these most recent events are part of a disturbing pattern from South Dakota Republicans. If you cannot denounce this hatred by name or take down a picture with a racist symbol from your office’s website on your own, you don’t deserve to represent the people of South Dakota in elected office.”