Rep. Dean Phillips’ Republican challenger called the first-term congressman “arrogant and delusional” for his recent comments on the unrest sweeping the nation.
“Dear America: It’s unfair and irresponsible to expect law enforcement to maintain safety and order in our cities until we rectify 400 years of racism and oppression,” Phillips wrote on Twitter Saturday.
The congressman’s campaign office was broken into the following day, an act Phillips condemned as a “disregard for law and stoking of fear and disorder.”
Republican Kendall Qualls, who’s challenging Phillips in the Third Congressional District, pointed out that this is not the first time Phillips has fueled “the flames of racial division.”
In late June, Phillips emailed his supporters a “resource guide” on “racial justice allyship,” which included several articles and books for parents on how to teach their children about white privilege and racism.
“Dean, in the same way it was arrogant and delusional of you to lecture Third District residents on how to teach their kids not to be racists, it is arrogant and delusional of you to accuse Americans of racism and oppression while Democrats have controlled Minneapolis and other major cities across America for over 50 years. These cities are a cautionary tale for the rest of the country,” Qualls said in a statement.
“Hence, if there is anything we need to investigate, Dean, it is the failed policies of progressive politicians and urban elites who want to shift accountability – like you’re doing here – from the failed programs your comrades have championed and benefited from for generations,” he added.
Qualls said it’s “not unfair or irresponsible” to expect police to provide safety and order, as Phillips suggested, because “it’s their job.”
“This may be news to you, but it’s never unfair or irresponsible to expect anyone to do their job,” said Qualls. “However, in order to do their job, law enforcement needs the resources and support from elected officials. Thus, it is unfair and irresponsible of your party to support measures to abolish and defund the police, refusing to prioritize the safety of our citizens in the process.”
He then criticized Phillips for his close association with the leftist group “Indivisible.” The organization has accused the police of representing “harm and terror,” and credits itself with paving the way for Phillips’ election to Congress.
“As a child in Harlem, I witnessed the inner-city political machine that divided us by skin color, pushed false narratives about racism in America, and kept us dependent on government in order to obtain votes and power. Over time, I saw those values and the culture of dependence engulf my family,” Qualls continued.
“Instead of fueling the flames of racial division and accusing Third District residents of white privilege, let’s start with fully funding and supporting our police departments, ending the failed policies of progressive politicians and urban elites, and uniting Americans over shared experiences and challenges.”