* I tagged the Illinois State Police in a reply when I saw this tweet yesterday and sent the link to the secretary of state’s office as an FYI…
* From Secretary of State Jesse White…
Thanks for bringing to my attention the hateful social media post by an Illinois resident who used the term “lynching” in his criticism of me and my office. Having attended college and played professional baseball in the south in the 1950s, I experienced the ugliness of racism firsthand and know how deeply it cuts. I’m saddened that in 2020 there are still people out there who knowingly or unknowingly use historically despicable terms like “lynching” to fuel the hate and divisiveness that are plaguing our country today. Frankly, I question whether the term “lynching” would have been used were I not African American.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was my minister while I attended Alabama State College and I learned from him not to dislike anyone because of their race, creed or color. I have lived my life adhering to this philosophy. I proudly served our country as a member of the military three times, worked as an educator and continue to help guide our young people as the founder of the Jesse White Tumbling Team. And to this day I continue to teach our children what Dr. King taught me many years ago.
I’ve been in elective office long enough to know that with the territory comes criticism. Since taking office we have made significant strides to streamline and improve customer services and office operations. Certainly the COVID-19 pandemic has posed unique challenges to an office of our size, but we are providing services while also ensuring that safety precautions are in place to protect the public and employees. While we are doing our best under these challenging circumstances, I recognize not everyone will be satisfied. I do not have a problem with that.
However, I do have a problem with people who make disparaging and hateful comments intended to inflict pain in a racially provocative way. This needs to stop.
I’m especially troubled because there appears to be a resurgence of this type of hateful rhetoric in this country. To be clear, it is never acceptable to use any type of hateful language designed to hurt each other over our real, or perceived, differences. We are in this world together—only by treating each other with respect and human dignity will we make it a better place.
Illinois Secretary of State
Pritzker tagged AG Raoul in his own tweet, so they were alerted to it and are also taking a look at this.