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Mayor Curry: Kluskiewicz FB cartoon 'hurtful,' but he does not have to apologize for his political views

By Dan Miller

danmiller@pressandjournal.com

717-944-4628
Posted 6/13/20

Middletown Borough Council member Richard Kluskiewicz “does not have to apologize for his political views. He does not have to apologize for believing that a particular party has failed …

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Mayor Curry: Kluskiewicz FB cartoon 'hurtful,' but he does not have to apologize for his political views

Mayor James H. Curry III posted a video on his Facebook page June 10 addressing several issues, including recent Facebook posts by Middletown Borough Council member Richard Kluskiewicz.
Mayor James H. Curry III posted a video on his Facebook page June 10 addressing several issues, including recent Facebook posts by Middletown Borough Council member Richard Kluskiewicz.
Posted

Middletown Borough Council member Richard Kluskiewicz “does not have to apologize for his political views. He does not have to apologize for believing that a particular party has failed minority communities,” Mayor James H. Curry III said Wednesday.

Curry made his comments in a video on his Facebook page regarding whether Kluskiewicz should resign over posts that Kluskiewicz made on his Facebook page.

Curry confined his comments to the outcry over one of the posts, the screenshot of a cartoon titled “Defund Democrats” which depicts an image reminiscent of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 25, when Floyd was being held down by a police officer who was kneeling on his neck. The cartoon, from the website conservativefiringline.com, makes reference to the Black Lives Matter movement and “Decades of Democratic Policies.”

“I specifically told Rich the cartoon was insensitive and hurtful in general, but especially in light of current events,” Curry says in the video. “I told him that in my opinion an apology was warranted but that he was his own person and would have to make the decision he felt was right. Before long, Rich did issue an apology, which some have felt is not genuine.”

“This is the part some of you will not like,” Curry said, continuing his video. “Rich does not have to apologize for his political views. He does not have to apologize for believing that a particular party has failed minority communities.”

“He should, and did, apologize for the manner in which he expressed those political views. The picture was inappropriate and he apologized for using that picture to express his views.”

Curry did not add his name to those who are calling on Kluskiewicz to resign, saying: “We live in a representative republic, and this issue lies between Rich and the citizenry, and that is where I am leaving it.”

Curry did not say when he had talked to Kluskiewicz about the cartoon, and he has not responded to the Press & Journal in requests seeking comment.

He did not in the video address other posts that Kluskiewicz put on his personal Facebook page that people have pointed to in calling for his resignation. They include images portraying Gov. Tom Wolf as a Nazi for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and derogatory comments about Secretary of Health Rachel Levine being a transgender woman.

Another screen shot sent to the Press & Journal is a link Kluskiewicz posted May 26 depicting a black man voting Republican who “immediately turns white.” The link is from the satirical website babylonbee.com.