FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Saturday, February 9, 2019
CONTACT: Ian Silverii, Executive Director at silverii@progressnowcolorado.org

DENVER: Following the release of video showing Candace Owens of the far-right activist group Turning Point USA defending the politics of nationalism and asserting that “Hitler just wanted to make Germany great,” A coalition of civic engagement groups, elected officials, and leaders in the religious community called on the Boulder County Republican Party to rescind their invitation for Owens to speak at their annual fundraising dinner Saturday evening.

“The ignorance on display in these comments from Candace Owens is both saddening and frightening,” said Amanda Henderson, executive director of the Interfaith Alliance of Colorado. “The evil carried out by the Nazis was no more acceptable within the borders of Nazi Germany than in any other nation. How is this not obvious to everyone? Nationalism is not patriotism, and nationalism can never again become a justification for crimes against humanity as it did in Nazi Germany. To forget these lessons of history sets us up to repeat them.”

“Whether she thinks Hitler was a nationalist or globalist is of no matter, anyone who can condone Hitler’s actions is someone I would consider very dangerous and has no place amongst reasonable individuals. Worse than that, someone with that mindset addressing a political body is a disaster waiting to happen to our communities. Let us learn from history and not repeat it,” said State Representative Dafna Michaelson Jenet, former Director of the University of Denver Holocaust Awareness Institute and former Program Director of March of the Living for the Board of Jewish Education of Greater NY—a trip that took teenagers to bear witness to the Nazi concentration camps in Poland.

“It is a sad testament to the state of our discourse when any attempt is made to diminish or erase the atrocities committed by Nazi Germany against every ethnicity, creed and gender,” said Rev. Dr. Dawn Riley Duval, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Soul 2 Soul Sisters—a fiercely faith-based, anti-white supremacy, nonprofit organization in Denver. “There is no excuse for any of the horrendous crimes committed by the Nazis. For misguided people like Candace Owens, who promulgate hate speech that reeks of white supremacy and Christian supremacy in defending Nazism to justify their own oppressive ideology, it’s time for them to stop. Soul-search. Apologize for the wounds they’ve caused with their harmful words. And engage in steps toward healing and conciliation.”

“Candace Owens and her controversial far-right ‘student group’ already have an ugly reputation for political intimidation and and promoting racism on college campuses,” said Ian Silverii, executive director of ProgressNow Colorado. “These newly-uncovered remarks by Owens, grossly distorting history and minimizing the horrific crimes of the Nazi regime are simply beyond the pale. For the Boulder County Republican Party to give this fringe viewpoint a platform at their annual fundraising dinner would be yet another travesty.”

“Candace Owens and Turning Point sell division and hate, and young people aren’t buying it. Giving Turning Point staff a platform to promote ideas that Coloradans have soundly rejected is irresponsible at best, Boulder is no home for hate,” added Lizzy Stephen, Executive Director of New Era Colorado.

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