Evers asks Trump not to come to Kenosha

    Gov. Tony Evers at a virtual news conference on 4/6/20 after he delays the April 7 election. (And before the Wisconsin Supreme Court overturns his order.)
    Gov. Tony Evers at a virtual news conference on April 6, 2020.

    In a two-page letter to President Donald Trump, Gov. Tony Evers asked the president not to come to Kenosha on Tuesday, saying Trump’s planned visit would “hinder our healing.”

    In the letter, sent electronically on Sunday, Evers wrote: “I understand yesterday you indicated you would be visiting Kenosha … I write today to respectfully ask you to reconsider.”

    Kenosha and communities throughout Wisconsin “are enduring extraordinary grief,” Evers wrote, “grappling with a Black man being shot several times and the loss of two additional lives on Tuesday night at the hands of an out-of-state armed militant.”

    People in Kenosha are “exhausted and heartbroken with the division that has ripped apart their community, but they are also already working to rebuild, together, and support each other in the face of adversity.”

    Trump’s visit will “only hinder our healing,” Evers added. 

    “It is our job as elected officials to lead by example and to be a calming presence for the people we know are hurting, mourning, and trying to cope with trauma. Now is not the time for divisiveness,” the governor wrote. “Now is not the time for elected officials to ignore armed militants and out-of-state instigators who want to contribute to our anguish.”

    Moreover, Evers added, an in-person visit from the president would require a “massive redirection” of resources that are currently being used to keep the people of Kenosha safe.

    For these reasons, Evers concluded, “I urge you to reconsider your decision to visit Kenosha on Tuesday. Thank you for your time and your consideration of this request.”

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    Ruth Conniff
    Ruth Conniff is Editor-in-chief of the Wisconsin Examiner. She formerly served as Editor-in-chief of The Progressive Magazine where she worked for many years from both Madison and Washington, DC. Shortly after Donald Trump took office she moved with her family to Oaxaca, Mexico, and covered U.S./Mexico relations, the migrant caravan, and Mexico’s efforts to grapple with Trump. Conniff is a frequent guest on MSNBC and has appeared on Good Morning America, Democracy Now!, Wisconsin Public Radio, CNN, Fox News and many other radio and television outlets. She has also written for The Nation, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Los Angeles Times, among other publications. She graduated from Yale University in 1990, where she ran track and edited the campus magazine The New Journal. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin with her husband and three daughters.