Fort Bend County Judge KP George said people who “hurl racist, anti-immigrant garbage” at him because of the decisions he made in dealing with COVID-19 have crossed a line.
On Saturday, George pointed out several racist and profane posts on his social media sites calling him a “foreigner” and a “communist,” and accusing him of “trying to destroy and take away our freedoms.”
George, who moved to the U.S. from India and became a naturalized citizen, responded with a letter defending the actions taken by him to keep the county safe from the coronavirus pandemic while using his Christian faith to help make tough decisions. He also asked others to stand up in the face of racism.
“As a fellow American, I ask the next time you see an anti-immigrant or racist comment, call them out. Stand up for your neighbors, your coworkers, & your children’s classmates,” George wrote.
Several other leaders in the county and in the Houston area have given their support to George.
Fort Bend County Precinct 3 Constable Wayne Thompson said on Twitter that he is against the racist attacks on George.
“Those types of comments & that type of behavior is unacceptable,” Thompson wrote. “Racism & racists behavior is not okay. Name calling/belittling/defamatory comments serve no purpose.”
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner also gave his support to George. “I proudly stand with the Ft. Bend County Judge@ KP George. I am proud of the diversity of our region and the diversity of our leadership,” he tweeted on Sunday.
George’s letter in full says:
“Since taking office as Fort Bend County’s top elected official in January 2019, my team and I have worked 24/7 to make our government more efficient and effective for our rapidly growing & diverse community.
As you know, I was not born in America, but I got here as fast as I could. My naturalization certificate is something I hold very close to my heart.
My wife and I raised our children in Fort Bend, and serving this community as a volunteer & public servant continues to be one of my greatest joys in life. My family and I are privileged to be living the American Dream as imagined by our Founders and by immigrants who have long flocked to these shores in search of freedom and opportunity.
“As your County Judge, I’ve had to make a lot of decisions over the last few months to tackle the COVID crisis head-on. I want everyone to know that these decisions aren’t taken lightly: they’re made in consultation with the relevant medical and scientific experts, and with input from community leaders and residents, and in all cases, my Christian faith guides my decision-making: will this help Fort Bend County residents?
“When someone criticizes my decisions that is their right as Americans. However, when people choose to hurl racist, anti-immigrant garbage at my family, colleagues, and me— that crosses a line.
“What has always made this country great is that anyone can come here and make something of themselves.
When I read some of these terrible comments online, I realize they are coming from a place of deeply misplaced fear: fear that immigrants are ‘taking their jobs,’ and they are ‘replacing real Americans’ or setting out to hurt our own communities somehow.
“I want you to know I am an American by choice with a deep and abiding passion for the values and opportunities that make this the greatest country on Earth.
America is stronger for having hardworking immigrants contribute meaningfully to this great experiment in democracy and freedom.
America is and has always been a land of immigrants striving to realize an incredible vision of liberty and prosperity.
“As a fellow American, I ask you this: the next time you hear or see someone making an anti-immigrant or racist comment, call them out. Stand up for your neighbors, your coworkers, and your children’s classmates. Stand up for Fort Bend, our nation’s most diverse County. In doing so, you’ll be standing up for a better future America, the land of the free and home of the brave.
“Thank you and God bless the USA.”
George told a Herald reporter in early April that he had come under attack for his decisions regarding the virus, and said he was astounded that people thought he made his decisions for political purposes only instead of out of concern for public safety.
“You cannot convince some people that you’re doing it for public safety. They believe every decision is based on politics, and that’s simply not true,” he said then.