Fred Hartman

Going into politics isn’t for thin-skinned people, but there’s no excuse for the racist insults that Fort Bend County Judge KP George has had to deal with.

George, an American who is a native of India, spoke out this week against the hateful attacks that have been leveled against him on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

A sampling of what was said include things about him being a foreigner who wants to take away our freedom and how he’s not an American. Another said we should remember the Alamo, while another called him a communist.

As you would expect, the racist attacks are about as ignorant and sickening as you can get. It represents the worst of society to say that about anyone, much less the duly elected county judge.

It’s keyboard courage, where people feel comfortable spewing hateful rhetoric on their computers or cell phones, but would never have the guts to say the same thing to someone’s face.

George said he thinks much of the criticism comes from the fact that he’s had to make hard decisions since the COVID-19 crisis began.

“I want everyone to know that these decisions are not taken lightly. They’re made consultation with the relevant medical and scientific experts, and with input from community leaders and residents,” he wrote in post to both Facebook and Twitter.

He went on to say he’s guided by his Christian faith and asks himself the questions if what he’s doing is best for Fort Bend residents.

George said people have a right as Americans to criticize his decisions, but “when people choose to hurl anti-immigrant garbage at my family, colleagues and me — that crosses a line.”

If people don’t like the job George is doing, they can make their voice known in 2022 if he runs for re-election.

A political unknown, George was surprisingly swept into office in 2018 as part of the Democrat blue wave in Fort Bend County.

Thanks to Beto O’Rourke’s coattails, George defeated 16-year incumbent Republican Bob Hebert by more than 15,000 votes.

In Fort Bend, formerly a Republican stronghold, O’Rourke defeated Cruz by about 31,000 votes or 56%.

The irony is that Hebert was a solid leader, and guided the county through Hurricane Harvey with a deft touch. But too many voters had a short memory or marked the straight-ticket box on the ballot (or both).

There’s a chance we could see a George-Hebert rematch in 2022, as Hebert has said he’ll consider throwing his hat back in the ring. We’ll have a better idea of just how blue Fort Bend has turned in this fall’s presidential race.

In the meantime, right-minded people should focus on character and the quality of a candidate’s decisions, not the color of their skin, ethnicity and the country they were born in. We’re better than that.

                                       ••••

VILLAINS? COME ON: There should be serious concerns about our educational system after what a Fox News poll of 1,104 registered voters reported this week about our younger Americans.

Of people under 30 years old, only 39% regard the Founding Fathers as heroes, while 31% regard them as villains.

People over 45 were more rational. Some 71% considered the founders to be heroes, while 10 % said they were villains.

Further, 30% of the people under 30 think monuments to George Washington and Thomas Jefferson should be taken down, while 47% think they should stay up and 22% say they don’t know.

Reach Fred Hartman at fbh@hartmannews.com.

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