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Letter to the editor: Peconi, Trump & fascism

August 4, 2018

I applaud Phil Koch of the Community Foundation of Westmoreland County for speaking up on racism with his comments about the vile copycat behavior of Karen Peconi (“Arnold mayor’s comments a lesson for Westmoreland,” July 23, TribLIVE).

I recently read a book about the history of the Ku Klux Klan and listened via audiobook to Madeleine Albright’s “Facism.” Peconi, with her “bring the hoses” remark, revealed that she is in racist lockstep with the Klan’s current iteration. When I call her a copycat, I mean she is following the fascist playbook and copying the “low-quality-reality-TV-personality-gone-mad” President Donald Trump.

Fascists create a myth of past “nostalgic days” of a history that didn’t exist (“Make America Great Again”); create fear of “the other” (hysteria over immigration, media); victimize themselves and accuse others of corruption when they themselves are corrupt (witch hunt, “fake news”); incite violence at rallies (“Knock the crap out of him, would you?”); and sow mistrust of anyone other than themselves (”(expletive)hole countries,” being vulgar with the queen of England, insulting world leaders).

Peconi’s behavior is not going unnoticed, as evidenced by national bad publicity from her Facebook comments inciting cult-like behavior. I believe we should de-esacalate tensions in our community by confronting her. We also need to put up signs with other messages, not just “God Bless Our Troops” or “God Bless Officer Shaw,” but also “God Bless Antwon Rose.” As Jon McCabe, young candidate for Pennsylvania House said, “This era of saying whatever you want and sweeping it under the rug is over.”

Laurie Lucianne Scheid

New Kensington

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