PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - A local civil rights leader called out high ranking Republicans Monday who were expected to speak at a rally supported by far-right groups and activists.

"When we see hate speech from anyone, we expect those in leadership to condemn it, to distance themselves from these individuals," said Roy Tatem, the President of the East Valley Chapter of the NAACP.

Tatem singled out Congressman Andy Biggs and Kelli Ward, the chairwoman of the Arizona Republican Party.

[WATCH: Controversial political event planned in Gilbert]

Both were listed as speakers at the Patriotism Over Socialism event taking place in Gilbert tonight at 50 East Civic Center Drive from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m.

Also speaking, right-wing activist, Laura Loomer, who was banned by Twitter for a series of anti-Muslim falsehoods about a current congresswoman.

In addition, extremist groups like the American Guard, and Patriot Movement AZ, have promoted the event on their Facebook pages.

"For the Southern Poverty Law Center to label it, that makes me proud to be at a place they call a hate group," said Shaun Hair, the executive director of The Western Journal who spoke on stage at the event. "I don't think that saying - because we don't agree with you, this guy standing over here shouldn't be here either. I think that's bad."

Ward was unavailable for comment. Biggs' office never returned AZ Family's calls for comment.

However, state Rep. Noel Campbell, a Republican from Prescott, defended their right to speak at the rally.

"I think our party leadership has every right to reach out and talk to concerned citizens so," Campbell said.

"The First Amendment protects speech and I'm not the person who's going to say - you can speak but you can't, because I don't like what you're saying," said Republican state representative Kelly Townsend. 

The executive director of the Anti-Defamation League sent us the following statement:

“Essentially this is a right wing event that will most likely attract a variety of extremists, and their extremist viewpoints, to show up.”
—Carlos Galindo-Elvira, Regional Director, ADL Arizona 

 


Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

 

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(7) comments

Trailboss

With Tatem, it is what it is... Booker T Washington one of my personal heroes had a lot to say about people like him, but Dennis Welch pretty much sucks as a guy that pretends to be a journalist... he is obviously, a paid for, sued in the wool leftist, with an agenda... this tripe effectively communicates that.

YoureAnIgnoramous

I personally don't know Welch nor do I read much of his work, but after reading this article I have to admit that none of how you describe him makes any sense, and in fact are broad generalizations. I submit that the argument over whether or not "Welch is a paid leftist", without supporting that claim at all, is an over-used generalized trope of journalists everywhere, though mainly by extremists themselves. It's easy to dismiss journalists when they say something bad about you, especially if what they say is true LOL.

That same logic you are using to label "liberals" and "leftests" and "socialists" into the same grotesquely over-simplified box, is all to familiar to that of how Fascists were able to divide Europe in ethnic/racial groups leading into WWII.. But now it's not entirely about race, it's all about who can yell and scream louder than everyone else about how "patriotic" they are, and if you're not at the "Patriots" rally, then you're not a real patriot. That is how ridiculous our political climate has gotten.

Daddy

Roy Tatem needs to be sued for defamation of character. Tatem not liking what's said at an event or by a speaker doesn't mean that what's said at the event is wrong and that he is right. It simply means he doesn't like it. He doesn't have to like it but when he starts associating people with so-called 'hate speech' he should be sued. 'Hate speech' does not exist but what he's trying to do is associate these speakers and the event with racial prejudice. Sue these anti-White agitators every chance you get.

Daddy

Roy Tatem thinks because he doesn't like what they are saying that they are wrong and he slanders. It is Roy Tatem who is wrong and the speakers who are right. Shut these anti-White agitators down with relentless lawsuits and legislation.

YoureAnIgnoramous

Oh the irony is thick with that comment.. threatening to sue one for calling out anothers hate-speech and for wanting political leaders to distance themselves from that kind of extremist rhetoric, is not grounds for a law suit of ANY kind.

skippy101

When will these idiots learn. There is NO SUCH THING as hate speech. Only free speech. If you don't agree with something that is said. Doesn't mean it is hate speech.

YoureAnIgnoramous

You're way off base. There is such a thing as hate speech, but it's protected under the first amendment. So you're allowed to call refugee woman and children fleeing violence in central america "rapists and murderers", that's about as hateful as anyone can get, even if it is patently false you are allowed to be an idiot in this country.

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