mailmanOn behalf of Tompkins County government, I want to express in the strongest possible terms our outrage at President Donald Trump's racist statements yesterday toward the Haitian people and all of Africa.

Tompkins County's Diversity Statement calls for "Zero tolerance for expressions of discrimination, bias, harassment, or negative stereotyping toward any person or group". We do not tolerate such behavior or speech among our employees and we will not tolerate it in our President.

This is not normal. It is not acceptable. It is un-American. It is our responsibility to speak out in opposition.

Tragically, this is hardly the President's first attack on people of color. However, this represents an escalation of his willingness to be vulgar and aggressive, and public about his racism. It is dangerous. Such language gives permission and support to racist elements in the country who, we are afraid, will escalate the ongoing violence against communities of color, now with even more support from the nation's highest office.

We celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. this weekend – a life of courage, integrity, and dedication that has been a model for us all. With the inspiration of Dr. King, let us come together in solidarity to reject racism in all its forms and expressions, including by President Donald Trump. Let us come together to affirm the humanity, dignity, and human rights of ALL people, and our profound commitment to justice and respect for all.

Martha Robertson, Chair
Tompkins County Legislature