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Salem Convention Center: Don’t Host Huckabee’s Hate

Only weeks after hosting Fox News host and white supremacist Laura Ingraham, the Freedom Foundation is set to welcome yet another Fox News personality to entertain their donors.

While it’s a challenge to sink lower than the Freedom Foundation’s former speakers, a veritable who’s who of extremists and people espousing racist views including right-wing legislator Matt Shea and convicted felon Dinesh D’Souza (who recently likened climate activist Greta Thunberg to models in Nazi propaganda), the latest to join the ranks is making a competitive bid for overall worst: flagrant homophobe and failed Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. Huckabee is scheduled to speak at a November 9 banquet at the Salem Convention Center in Oregon.

Throughout his public career, Huckabee has stood at the forefront of the anti-LGBTQ movement. With his long record of climate change denial, sexist and racist comments, and ties to a prominent white supremacist group, Huckabee is right at home with the Freedom Foundation and their donors. 

Before making a profitable career for himself spewing hateful, divisive, and dangerous rhetoric on Fox News, Huckabee was the Governor of Arkansas and led two failed bids for the presidency. During his 2016 presidential campaign, Huckabee called for revisions to hate crime legislation to allow for discrimination against LGBTQ people and signed a pledge that described same-sex parents as “unconscionable and destructive” and a “threat to security.” Huckabee, who had previously likened the legalization of same-sex marriage to the legalization of drugs, incest, and polygamy, recently described LGBTQ equality as “the biggest threat” to America’s “moral fiber.” 

While working for Fox News, Huckabee referred to his female colleagues as “trashy” for using profanity he deemed unladylike, but his attacks on women don’t end there: Huckabee advocates for extreme anti-choice measures, including suggesting the use of military intervention to stop abortion, which Huckabee has compared to both slavery and the Holocaust

Prior to accepting the Freedom Foundation speaking gig, Huckabee spoke to a Southern Poverty Law Center designated hate group called the Council Of Conservative Citizens, a white supremacist organization that was cited as an influence in the manifesto of the gunman responsible for the 2015 mass shooting at a historic black church in Charleston. 

We could go on and on about Huckabee’s incessant tasteless and racist “jokes”, or about the time he claimed the criminal justice system could be improved by selling poor people convicted of crimes into slavery, but by now you get the picture: Mike Huckabee is a homophobe and a bigot.

The Freedom Foundation will continue to bolster up intolerant zealots like Huckabee because these are the people who embody their values and entice their donor base to shell out more money for them to waste on their failing anti-worker campaigns. But just because they’re willing to give people like Huckabee a platform to espouse their hateful rhetoric doesn’t mean our community businesses must be complicit. We’re calling on the Salem Convention Center to take a stand against Huckabee’s hate and to cancel his scheduled November 9 appearance. If they don’t shut it down, we’ll show up and exercise our right to protest.

Use our tool to email the Salem Convention Center’s General Manager Chrissie Bertsch and tell them that anti-LGBTQ bigotry has no home in Oregon.

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