Political News

RNC host city Charlotte condemns Trump's past 'racist and xenophobic' attacks

Posted July 23, 2019 2:46 p.m. EDT

— The city of Charlotte, North Carolina, may be hosting the 2020 Republican National Convention, but that hasn't stopped the city from rebuking its soon-to-be guest: President Donald Trump.

On Monday, the city council voted 9-2 to "strongly condemn all of President Donald Trump's racist and xenophobic social media tweets and comments." The council's nine Democrats voted in support of the resolution, while its two Republicans opposed the measure.

The resolution "acknowledges that many of the city's residents are immigrants and/or people of color" and states that the council "believes that Charlotte should always be welcoming and inviting of people of diverse and different ethnicities and background."

The measure mentions Trump's comments directed at four progressive congresswomen of color, who have been outspoken critics of his policies, to "go back" to their "crime infested" countries.

It also points to the "send her back" chants in reference to Rep. Illhan Omar, a Somali refugee who became a US citizen as a teenager, that broke out among Trump supporters at a rally in Greenville, North Carolina, last week.

The President later said he disavowed those chants, but did not stop them during the rally, and has since called the people chanting "great Americans."

"I would have written this draft resolution ... regardless of our status of hosting this convention or not, whether we are in Charlotte or not, we should be speaking out against racism and xenophobia always, everyday," council member Justin Harlow, a Democrat, said Monday night before the council voted.

Democratic council member Dimple Ajmera, an immigrant from India, shared that the "send her back" chant "brought tears to my eyes" and that she herself has been told that before.

Republican council member Edmund Driggs said he would not conduct himself the way Trump has, but argued that the council should focus on local issues.

"I don't think we have really good behavior on either side, and I'm not prepared to lay the blame for the situation that we're in, that none of us likes, entirely at the feet of one man," Driggs said.

The Mecklenburg County Republican Party said on Twitter Tuesday that it "continues to be excited to host the 2020 Republican National Convention."

"While the city council continues to scramble to make quick resolutions condemning our President, we wish that they would put the same passion into solving major problems affecting our local community," the county GOP said.

Last year, the Republican National Committee unanimously voted for Charlotte to host its party convention — the city's second major-party convention in a decade.

Charlotte's city council gave its approval earlier for the bid with a narrow 6-5 vote, despite pushback from some members and hours of public comments.

Earlier in the Monday meeting, the Charlotte city attorney advised the city council on its options regarding the RNC 2020 contract during the public session. This comes after intense pressure from some citizens, several speaking at the meeting Monday, to rescind the RNC host city invitation.

The attorney, Patrick Baker, said that the contract framework did not allow for the city to leave the contract, unless one party breaches the terms. Baker advised against intentionally breaching the contract's terms, adding that the city would likely be sued and he doesn't "believe you can walk away from this contract even if you were willing to pay financial penalties."