A Facebook post and an accusation of racism have left the Democratic mayor of one Connecticut city and the leader of its Republican party in a heated back and forth.
Middletown Mayor Dan Drew (D) told NBC Connecticut that he believes William Wilson, the chair of the Middletown GOP, is a racist, and does not regret calling him one in a Facebook comment this week.
But Wilson said he doesn’t have a bias against anyone and he thinks the mayor’s language is only dividing the city.
“I wouldn’t have said it if I didn’t believe it,” Drew said of his comments about Wilson on social media. He did not back down from his claim.
The online fight that’s now gone offline began Monday after Drew posted an article about Trump Administration staffers facing public harassment, Drew’s post calling it “good.”
Wilson commented, “Would you be happy if this was happening to you and your family?”
Drew responded, in part. “I’ll hold off on taking any lectures from openly racist people. And, yes, I mean you, Bill.”
Wilson said, political differences aside, the mayor has no reason to label him that way.
“I found that funny coming from somebody who promotes hate on his page constantly,” Wilson said.
“If you’re a Republican and you don’t believe exactly what the mayor believes, then you’re a fascist, a racist… all these other names,” he added.
Drew said Wilson’s views on the separation of migrant families at the southern border prove he’s biased and pointed to an image Wilson shared implying that President Trump doesn’t think of Hispanic children as “his residents.”
“This isn’t someone who has a different policy perspective, this is someone who is standing up and saying it’s okay to treat people different based on who they are,” Drew said.
Wilson, however, said he’s not a racist and believes Drew is using his platform to make false accusations and stir the pot in a boiling political climate.
“What happened to free speech? What happened to people just sitting down and discussing their differences to each other?” Wilson asked.
Wilson said he shared that image the mayor pointed to as a joke and to ask his followers what they thought about it.