Originally published Sunday, June 24, 2018 at 06:05a.m.

Earlier this month, Prescott’s own Rep. David Stringer came under fire nationally after he gave a speech at the local Republican Men’s Forum on June 12. Critics, including the head of the Arizona Republican Party, deemed his comments so racist they called for his resignation.

Based on emails and phone calls we have received, not everyone feels the same way.

Just more than 53 percent of responses to The Daily Courier have stated they were offended, see his comments as racist, and some of those agree he should leave or be removed from office. The remainder believe he spoke the truth about immigration and the trend of a population shift in our schools.

No matter where you might stand on the topic of immigration, it’s fair to say that at least we all know where Rep. Stringer stands. Though a less-than-one-minute clip of the speech was rife with controversy, such as his comment that there “aren’t enough white kids to go around,” it appears that most respondents heeded our call for them to view the entire 17-minute video of the speech.

Few of the people who wrote in, who indicated that they did view the entire speech, still felt he was being racist or called for his ouster.

Would you rather have a sitting representative who is two-faced, from whom you cannot trust that he or she is telling you their true opinion? We think not.

Still, some readers had very salient points:

“I found (Rep. Noel) Campbell’s statement in the article in the Courier this morning most interesting. The audience, the article says, was ‘if not exclusively Anglo.’ So did Rep. Campbell ever think that maybe everyone in the audience was racist to some extent, the reason Stringer was applauded by the audience? If 75 (percent) of the audience had been Hispanic, does Campbell believe the same level of applause would have issued forth?”

Another said this:

“I couldn’t help but think of the Borg from Star Trek with his repeated use of the word ‘assimilate.’ (Stringer) talked about how European immigrant children eventually become ‘indistinguishable’ but not so Hispanic, Asian and African Americans. So... if you’re not blond, blue eyed and ‘indistinguishable’ you’re not American? There is a lot of work to do with regard to immigration; I don’t discount the complexity of the challenge. However, starting the conversation from a position of fear that America will no longer be white enough is, in my opinion, racist.”

And then another reader wrote this:

“His comments on the immigration issue were perfectly correct, but in the insanely PC world we are now in, you can’t say the truth without people going after you and demanding your head (or at least your job). I commend Rep. Stringer for having the courage to speak the truth in our ultra-PC society, as it is only obvious to anyone who looks, that immigration has been far too fast in Arizona, and that it is changing our culture and putting far more economic demands on our state to pay for this change.”

Our editorial board believes that though he was trying to give an honest telling of harsh realities, Stringer’s comments did nothing but incite.

Regardless, this issue is not going away. That is why we have placed the full-length video online with this editorial, as we did with the first article.

You be the judge – because you will be voting this fall.

Facebook Video

Rep. Stringer comments on immigration - full video

FULL 17-MINUTE VIDEO

Tempe City Councilman Schapira posted the entire 17-minute video of Rep. Stringer's remarks about immigration, which is embedded in this post.

Video sound may be muted. To unmute, click the speaker icon while playing.

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Capitol Media Services reporter Howard Fischer, who writes for The Daily Courier, interviewed Rep. Stringer and asked him for clarification and expansion on his comments.

See story: Rep. Stringer: immigration an ‘existential threat’ to US