An increasingly skeptical public continues to grow leery of elected officials. This reality is not helped by allegations of ethics violations that continue to plague much of the American political landscape. San Francisco has certainly not been immune, as District Attorney George Gascon can attest to. Recently embroiled in a campaign contribution scandal that cost him and two members of his staff a heft fine, he has now drawn criticism for comments directed at the Middle Eastern Community.
San Francisco is a diverse and eclectic community of millions of people from across the globe. Gascon, an elected official, should have known better than to invoke stereotypical language when addressing the media and members of the community at a recent breakfast. In addressing the audience at the soon to be renovated Hall of Justice, Gascon implied that the building would soon be immune to earthquakes and to members of Middle Eastern Community who might seek to blow it up by parking a van outside. It is this kind on incendiary language that continue to polarize this nation.
Elected officials have a pulpit to the community. They should use their words wisely and seek to unify society, rather than continue to divide it. San Francisco is a resilient city that is model of diversity. To seek to destroy that feeling of unity that is lacking in so many other big cities is simply a disservice to the community. This comes on the heels of ethics violations that continue to plague the DA’s office, which brings Gascon even more into the limelight.
City leaders need to be held to a high standard. Incidences such as this one should no longer go unnoticed. The voting public deserves to be heard, and Gason would be wise to heed this warning lest he find himself out of a job come the next election cycle. If he begins to unite the community, however, he will be equally likely to find a supportive and appreciative electorate.
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