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Editorial Roundup: Georgia | Georgia News

Brunswick News. February 25, 2022.

Editorial: House bill would be a win-win for refugees and the state

When someone is willing to put their life on the line to help your cause, it is only right to offer them a hand up when they are in a time of need. Georgia did that when America withdrew its troops from Afghanistan as refugees who supported American troops and opposed Taliban rule were resettled in the state.

Now the Georgia General Assembly is considering a bill to help these refugees succeed in their new home.

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House Bill 932 would waive the one-year residency requirement that typically applies to students who have moved into Georgia from out of the state when it comes to qualifying for in-state tuition at the state’s public colleges and universities.

The bill’s chief sponsor is Rep. Wes Cantrell, R-Woodstock. He championed the bill Wednesday before the House Higher Education Committee.

“These refugees … worked with our military, primarily in Afghanistan,” Cantrell told the committee, according to Capitol Beat News Service. “These folks want to be American and live the dream.”

Cantrell’s bill didn’t come out of nowhere. He chaired a study committee last year that looked for ways to strengthen the state’s economy by optimizing how foreign-born residents — which make up 10% of the state’s population, according to Capitol Beat — contribute to it.

Cantrell told the commission the state has more jobs than people and that it makes no sense to put up “artificial limits to these people getting educated and becoming productive members of society.”

The bill appears to be one thing both Republicans and Democrats under the Gold Dome can agree is a worthwhile initiative. Atlanta Democrat Betsy Holland said it is a “common sense” solution.

There are several positives that go along with the legislation. Cantrell is right that the state should do what it can to remove guardrails that may prevent or delay people who want to learn, work and help out their new home from contributing. Help wanted and now hiring signs are still easy to find across the state. Georgia is still in need of workers, and anything that helps lower the cost of higher education to help students not be as burdened by student loans after they graduate is a good thing.

But this also goes beyond helping the economy. These refugees risked their lives, and the lives of their families, to help our soldiers fight an oppressive regime. The least we can do as a state is to help them start their new lives in America on the right foot.

We hope the entire General Assembly sees the economic and human value of this bill.

Rome News-Tribune. March 1, 2022.

Editorial: There can be no place for bigotry or hate, especially in our representatives

There can be no place for hate and bigotry to shelter if our communities and nation are to truly pros, and we cannot allow our elected representative to participate in any activity that promotes those ideals.

US Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, our representative in Congress, recently appeared as a guest at the America First Political Action Conference in Orlando, an event organized by Nick Fuentes, a person who has been described as a white supremacist by the Anti-Defamation League.

Fuentes has made headlines for making anti-Semitic comments publicly and denying the Holocaust happened as well as opposing women’s right to vote.

After speaking at the event, Greene posed for a photo with Fuentes — but when questioned about her appearance at AFPAC and relationship with Fuentes, Greene denied she knew him.

“I am not going to play the guilt by association game in which you demand every conservative should justify anything ever said by anyone they’ve ever shared a room with,” Green tweeted. “I’m also not going to turn down the opportunity to speak to 1,200 young America First patriots because of a few off-color remarks by another speaker, even if I find those remarks unsavory.”

Let us be clear when we say that denial of the Holocaust and anti-Semitic language are not just “off-color remarks.” They are not just “unsavory.”

For a member of Congress to speak at an event organized by, and then posing for a photo with, someone the Anti-Defamation League describes as a white supremacist sends a message. It emboldens those who subscribe to those beliefs.

In the past we have criticized Congresswoman Greene for what we believe are outlandish antics aimed more at propelling her celebrity than representing her district. She is using her national platform for personal advancement and fame rather than focusing her efforts on the job she was elected to do.

We do not say this gladly or take this issue lightly. Her antics have brought embarrassment to a district that deserves, and is entirely capable of producing, better representation.

And now she elects to speak at an event whose organizer is a white supremacist but says she is not guilty by association.

It’s hard for us to imagine Congresswoman Greene getting a call from just any event inviting her to speak and she just casually agrees without knowing anything about it. Our tax dollars pay to staff her office and be assured her schedule is carefully planned and her speaking engagements aren’t just agreed to with no research done prior to her appearance.

If his history wasn’t enough of a deterrence, Fuentes casually compared to Russian President Vladimir Putin to Nazi despot Adolf Hitler, prior to her speaking.

“(They say) Vladimir Putin is Hitler and they say that’s not a good thing,” Fuentes said during the same event Greene attended this past Friday. Then he attempted to laugh it off “I shouldn’t have said that.”

Add that to the chants of Putin’s name coming from the crowd during Fuentes’ speech as Russia invades Ukraine without provocation.

She has used her voice as our Congressional representative to travel the US parroting claims about election fraud, and focusing much of her energy on the treatment of those held in the Washington DC jail on charges stemming from the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.

But what about us? Where’s our voice here in the 14th District? We have none.

So we would like to say that — as a news publication that caters to Floyd and surrounding counties, as a business that has a wonderfully diverse customer base, and as people who are proud to live in a community filled with different folks from different backgrounds and Different beliefs — we condemn any statements or beliefs based in hatred, racism, bigotry and prejudice.

We are not so naïve to think that hatred, conspiracy theories and bigotry do not exist even in our highest offices of power. But Congresswoman Greene’s actions and statements appear to embody and embolden all those traits simultaneously.

Since she began her run for office here, there’s been a question of whether those beliefs are truly heartfelt or merely a political tactic for advancement and notoriety, however that question became irrelevant when she took on the mantle to represent the 14th District in Congress.

Rep. Greene has the ability to use her presence at the Capitol and considerable social media presence to do good and to work for positive change in the 14th District.

We implore her to use that voice for the unity of the American people. Unfortunately we’re not expecting any change any time soon.

Dalton Daily Citizen. March 1, 2022.

Editorial: Greene speaking before white nationalist group deserves universal rebuke

In a little over a year, US Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene has gained a national reputation — for all the wrong reasons.

Greene, whose 14th Congressional District in Georgia includes Whitfield and Murray counties, has consistently peddled conspiracy theories and pushed misinformation during both her tenure in Congress and before taking office. Her rhetoric has been anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim and offensive to the LGBT community, among many others.

On Friday, Greene took her show to Florida where she spoke to a gathering of white nationalists at The America First Political Action Conference. The event was led by Nick Fuentes, “described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a white nationalist who is attempting to push the Republican Party to the extreme far-right,” according to the Associated Press. During the rally, attendees cheered Vladimir Putin and the invasion of Ukraine.

Greene claims she wasn’t aware of Fuentes’ views. “I do not know Nick Fuentes,” Greene told a CBS reporter. “I have never heard him speak. I have never seen a video. I do not know what his views are, so I am not aligned with anything that is controversial.”

Her claims of ignorance are laughable. In seconds, through an internet search, Greene could have easily learned all she needed to know about Fuentes’ views.

Instead, through her press office, Greene issued a statement Sunday that doubled-down on her appearance before the white nationalist group. She has not apologized.

Some Republicans — including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. — chided Greene for speaking at the event, with McConnell stating, “There’s no place in the Republican Party for white supremacists or anti-Semitism.”

We cannot denounce her appearance enough. White supremacy and anti-Semitism have no place in our country, and those insidious views in no way represent the people in the district Greene represents.

So far, Greene has suffered little for her transgressions. In February 2021, she was removed from her congressional committees for her inflammatory comments. Twitter permanently suspended her personal account in January for spreading misinformation about COVID-19.

Republicans who have enabled Greene by their inaction, and those who have abetted her incendiary words, must break their silence and speak out. Above that, party officials must take a harder stance against all who espouse bigoted, prejudiced or xenophobic views. Ultimately, responsibility for holding Greene accountable falls to us — the voters.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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