An Open Letter to Rep. Andy Harris

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Shame on you, Representative Andy Harris.

The President recently tweeted that four of Harris’ colleagues in Congress, three of whom were born in the United States and the fourth a naturalized citizen, should “go back…to the crime-infested countries from which they came.”

Rather than condemn this racist rhetoric, Harris told reporters that there was perhaps a misunderstanding, that the President may not have meant countries but rather congressional districts or cities. 

This disingenuous reply reveals the extent to which our congressman is willing to twist himself into knots to go along with anything that the President does or says, no matter how divisive and harmful.

As a coalition of progressive groups on the Eastern Shore, we believe that Harris has lost sight of what makes America truly great—its diversity and the opportunity it extends to those yearning to be free.

He also seems to have forgotten his own background. Like many of us, Harris is a child of immigrants. According to the public record, Harris’s own Hungarian father and Polish mother emigrated to the United States in 1950 as stateless refugees. The United States took the Harris family in, allowing them to thrive here, eventually raising a son to be a U.S. Congressman. 

Given his own experience with the American dream, why would Harris be willing to look away when the President questions the rights of other immigrants and children of immigrants to participate in the political life of the United States? Sadly, the answer seems to lie in Harris’s acceptance of the racial division that Trump sows in his tweets and at his rallies.

One key difference between Harris and the four Congresswomen targeted by Trump is they are women of color. That makes Harris’ response doubly shameful. He represents the district where Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman began their struggles for racial equality. He should know better. We call upon him to uphold the real American dream – equality for all—and condemn hateful and dangerous comments from the members of his own party, including the President. 

Dr. Harris, it is your moral responsibility and civic duty to hold the President accountable when he seeks to sow racial division. You represent all of the people in your district, whatever their origin and however they arrived in this country. You need to recognize that whatever policy disagreements there may be, this is no way to act.

Indivisible Dorchester

Indivisible Worcester

Kent and Queen Anne’s Indivisible

Talbot Rising

Talbot Rising

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Letters to Editor

  1. Bravo Spy Desk. Dr. Harris seems to be not paying attention to the real world.

  2. Kenneth Hornstein says

    Dr Harris is exercising his right as an elected official to offer his views as a Republican. I applaud his rhetoric and support his views wholeheartedly. These 4 women are the reason this country is divided. If anyone disagrees with their point of view then they are “racist”. Who wants to turn this country into a socialist state? Not me and a majority of Americans who fought for this country to be a free enterprise state. Whoever wrote this piece should put their name on it and not hide behind generalizations. Remember this country is the best in the world as it is today! So support the duly elected President!!

    • Michael McDowell says

      You give credibility to Harris, who astoundingly suggested that Trump meant to suggest that the four Congresswomen go back to their “districts”, not “countries”! Harris is both a fool and a knave to come up with this risible pathetic trope. Even the hard right radio host who listened to his comment showed astonishment at this Big Lie. Harris is a supporter of the neo-fascist (as Senator John McCain, rightly labeled him) Viktor Orban strongman prime minister of Hungary. As for “socialist state”, what a lot of nonsense. Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security are all social democratic in nature. You sir, are as big an enabler of Trump as Harris. Harris enables a bigot, a racist (look at how his awful father and he refused to rent to minorities when they rented apartment buildings in New York; look at the birther lies Trump used against President Obama; look at his refusal to retract the lie that the Central Park accused were guilty, when they were proven absolutely innocent), look at the sexual assault/predator part of Trump’s character, a man who is a multiple bankrupt, a tax scofflaw, a draft avoider, etc. Shame on you, and Harris. Harris when he was in the Annapolis legislature didn’t have any legislative achievements and the same applies now in Congress. He has been feeding at the public trough for years, loathes criticisms, flees from constituents who don’t agree with him. And of course he was a deficit hawk! Well we have a trillion buck deficit now — total hypocrite. Hell, he even voted against money for the 9/11 responders. What an awful politician. He held no meaningful posts when the GOP had a House majority. Now he counts for nothing. You are proud of Harris? Unbelievable.

  3. Jane E. Hukill says

    Thank you so much for this article. I have been deeply frustrated by Rep. Harris. His office constantly answers my email concerns with standard letters that often have nothing to do with the concerns I addressed. Realize I was spoiled with Wayne Gilchrest for so many years who answered all inquiries quickly and to the point, and often called personally to find out what had bothered me. It appears to me that Rep. Harris is really not interested in the Eastern Shore issues nor in any other issues that are not in line with the current administration. We all suffer, no matter which party we may be from, by his total indifference.

  4. Beryl Smith says

    Lest it skip anyone’s mind, unless one is Native American all of us must be immigrants or descendants of immigrants. That includes Donald J. Trump. Since the Mayflower landed there have been people with a variety of opinions–all immigrants! Our country was founded by men of many opinions, wars were fought to defend those opinions, and still we go on. The 4 women, although perhaps too strident for some, are as entitled to their opinions as any of the rest of us. I defy anyone wanting to take these rights away from all of us.

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