Tobias Harris calls for official to resign after labeling Black Lives Matter a 'radical left wing hate' group

Philadelphia 76ers forward Tobias Harris has called for the resignation of a Pennsylvania public official who labeled Black Lives Matter a “radical left wing hate group.”

Republican Montgomery County Commissioner Joseph Gale released a statement on Monday condemning George Floyd protests in Philadelphia as “a riot.” Montgomery County sits just northwest of Philadelphia and is the third largest in Pennsylvania.

Gale went on to criticize Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and police commissioner Danielle Outlaw as sympathetic to Black Lives Matter.

‘Disgusting to read’

Harris issued a rebuke of Gale’s statement Tuesday on Twitter, calling for Gale to resign.

Meek Mill weighs in

Rapper Meek Mill, whose controversial prison sentence became a symbol of black oppression, responded to Harris’ Tweet: “True colors.... Welcome to PA!”

Gale’s statement echoes those of President Donald Trump and U.S. Attorney General William Barr, who have labeled “agitators” as participating in “domestic terrorism” during the nationwide George Floyd protests while targeting left-wing groups like Antifa. Right-wing white nationalist group Identity Evropa allegedly used fake social media accounts to pose as Antifa and make direct calls for violence. The president has not condemned Identity Evropa. Twitter says it shut down fake accounts being run by the white supremacist group.

Tobias Harris called for a Philadelphia county commissioner to resign, prompting a petition demanding that he do so. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Petition echoes Harris’ demand

Harris’ call for Gale to resign prompted a petition demanding his resignation.

“This statement demonstrates Commissioner Gale’s bias nature and presents statements that are not backed by evidence but instead divisive, racially charged opinions,” the petitions reads.

“Black Americans comprise approximately 9.9% of the county's population. Therefore, his utter assertion that the Black Lives Matter movement, which is successfully and peacefully raising awareness about the unlawful killings of Black Americans, is a ‘radical left-wing hate group’ that is the ‘perpetrator’ of the urban domestic terror is not only inaccurate but damaging to the safety and well-being of his constituents.”

As of the time of this post, the petition had gathered more than 16,000 signatures, Harris’ included. Harris, 27, joined the 76ers in 2019 in a midseason trade from the Los Angeles Clippers.

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