Howard County Councilmember David Yungmann posted the following statement on March 9th:
It’s taken me a couple days to fully process the situation surrounding testimony that occurred at a public task force hearing on March 4. As a defender of free speech I try not to classify or censor an individual’s opinions based on how I feel about them personally, or to perpetuate the cancel culture of anything that offends me. However, I just cannot not ignore a wholesale public attack against every major immigrant group in our county in a public forum.
These statements that have understandably angered many Howard County residents were personally offensive to me as well. I am sorry for the pain that this incident has caused for Howard County immigrants who have devoted considerable personal resources to make this county their home and a stronger community overall. Part of this particular attack appears based on the successes these immigrants have had both individually and as a community, which we should be celebrating. I fully reject these and all other statements that demonize any group of people for their successes and positive contributions.
I opposed the creation of this task force because it is built on a structure of identity politics, which I believe pits groups against each other as they compete for government focus and resources. We’ve now seen how that inevitably brings out animosity between certain groups, turning a well-intended effort into another device to divide people based on their identities. To date we have heard nothing from the Council-confirmed leaders of this task force regarding this incident, adding to my concerns about this task force overall.
I urge task force leaders to advise the public what steps will be taken, not only in response to this situation, but to prevent this process from favoring any one specific constituency or being influenced by bias for or against any group of county residents. This task force is a significant use of taxpayer funds and the public deserves to know what influences led to whatever policy recommendations stem from its work.
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