Featured Letter: Explain yourself Congressman Zeldin

01/15/2015 6:00 AM |

Bravo to the News-Review and Grant Parpan for his op/ed challenging Congressman Lee Zeldin for not immediately distancing himself from Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise. Mr. Scalise, the majority whip in Congress, gave a speech in 2002 before an organization in Louisiana associated with David Duke, a nationally known white supremacist who has been associated with the Klu Klux Klan. This organization, the European-American Unity and Rights Organization (EURO), has been labeled by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a white nationalist hate group.

According to Mr. Parpan’s column, when initially asked for a comment on Mr. Scalise’s speech before the hate group, rather than just saying he disagreed with Mr. Scalise’s decision to address this group, Mr. Zeldin instead suggested the media was somehow responsible for focusing in on this issue. Nonsense!

I feel obligated to remind Mr. Zeldin that although his district is largely Republican, it also includes large pockets of African-American and Hispanic voters. Adding insult to injury, this group that Mr. Scalise spoke to was also labeled by the Southern Poverty Law Center as anti-Semitic. Mr. Zeldin is Jewish.

At election time, I hope to be at Mr. Zeldin’s speaking engagements in Riverhead and other venues, where he will have an opportunity to explain to African-American, Hispanic and Jewish voters why he chose to not immediately condemn Mr. Scalise’s conduct and prior decision to speak before a hate group.

Jerry Bilinski, Riverhead