Democrats May Boot Official Who Implied Planned Parenthood Targets the Black Community

Michael Foust | Contributor | Tuesday, June 23, 2020
Democrats May Boot Official Who Implied Planned Parenthood Targets the Black Community

Democrats May Boot Official Who Implied Planned Parenthood Targets the Black Community

The Democratic auditor of the third-largest county in Ohio could be booted from his own party after posting a tweet alleging that Planned Parenthood targets black communities.

Hamilton County Auditor Dusty Rhodes – whose opinions over the years often have diverged from the Democratic platform – referenced a Planned Parenthood in Cincinnati when he wrote on Twitter last Friday, “Just wondering when they are going to paint ‘Black Lives Matter’ on Auburn Avenue, you know, in front of that building where they terminate black lives and white ones, too, almost every day of the week.”

The tweet apparently crossed a line for local Democrats, who are threatening to remove him from the party, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported. Cincinnati sits in Hamilton County.

Hamilton County Democratic Chairwoman Gwen McFarlin released a statement calling the tweet “sexist and racist.” She also pledged to issue a resolution for the party to support a different Democrat for auditor when he is up for re-election in 2022. The statement also called for his censure. Rhodes was first elected in 1990.

“I condemn this comment which I would not expect from an elected official let alone a Democratically endorsed elected official,” McFarlin said. “His offensive comments are aimed at black, brown and other marginalized groups as well as women. The Democratic Party supports the Black Lives Matter movement and women’s reproductive rights.”

Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper also criticized Rhodes.

“We ask Republicans and their elected leaders to call out their own (up to Trump himself) for violating basic values of our country or party. We rightly criticize them when they fail to. Which is why I so respect Chairwoman McFarlin’s leadership here, at this critical moment,” Pepper wrote.

Rhodes, though, isn’t apologizing.

“The criticism is an obvious reaction to my views on abortion, which should not be a surprise to anyone. The party knew this when they asked me to run for County Auditor in 1990. They knew it when I was endorsed in 2018. They knew it when I won with almost 2/3rds of the vote,” he tweeted.

“Abortion impacts African Americans at a higher rate than any other population group. I thank all who are retweeting my comment,” he added. “I stand by it and reject the uninformed criticism.It is neither a ‘racist’ nor ‘sexist’ tweet.”

Rhodes’ Twitter bio quotes Democratic President John F. Kennedy, “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.”

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Andrew Burton/Staff

Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chroniclethe Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.