Alabama Republican State Rep. Will Dismukes, the pastor who resigned from Pleasant Hill Baptist Church after delivering an invocation at a birthday celebration for Nathan Bedford Forrest, the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, and who just days ago was charged with theft after allegedly stealing at least $2,500 (but possibly much more) from his former employer, won’t be resigning from the legislature because he’s a man of faith.
Dismukes’ attorney Trey Norman said there are no plans for him to resign from office because he’s just a young man making young man mistakes and God’s totally on his side.
“Will is young and is learning some hard lessons,” Norman said. “But he’s a very convicted man. He’s very convicted in his faith and he’s very convicted in his character. He’s very convicted in his heritage. And Will’s not a person who’s going to shy away from the tough questions to satisfy folks. And that upsets a lot of people. And I understand that. Especially in these times.
“But Will’s not going to admit to something he didn’t do. And he’s not going to step down from a position that he was elected to that he’s trying to do a good job at just because someone has pointed the finger and tried to make him out to be a bad guy. He’s a fighter. I’d be surprised if he resigns.”
Dismukes is 30. If he’s still working through the whole stealing-is-bad-and-racism-is-wrong thing, he shouldn’t be in a position of power. Stay home. Read a book. Go back to grade school. You don’t have to be in charge of decisions affecting the entire state.
Of course he’s presumed innocent, but even if he’s not a convicted felon — at which point he’d be forced to resign — he’s still the guy who spoke at a KKK leader’s celebration.
I’m tempted to say the Republican Party could do much better, but let’s face it, this probably is the best they can do. Still, Dismukes won his race with 70% of the votes in 2018. It’s a fairly safe Republican seat. If he stepped down, another Republican who’s far less embarrassing could easily take his place.
It should go without saying that if Dismukes was a Democrat, or a person of color, or a non-Christian, the pressure on him to resign would’ve been incredible. Right now, the GOP is simply making the argument that everyone just needs to relax until there’s a verdict, side-stepping the whole KKK incident.
(via Joe. My. God.)