May 14, 2018
To the Kings County Republican Party:
Last month news leaked that the Brooklyn GOP would be hosting a fundraiser in Dyker
Heights, featuring as guest speaker noted anti-Semitic and Islamophobic propagandist
Sebastian Gorka. Gorka, who infamously wore the badge of a group of World War II Nazi
collaborators during an inaugural ball for President Trump, has made his name as a
nationalist who characterizes Islam as a global threat.
While this would be an affront to any community, it is particularly repellent here in South
Brooklyn, which is home to one of the largest Arab-American populations in the country
and also includes a vibrant Jewish culture. Thankfully, this announcement was met with sufficient public shock and backlash to convince the venue to withdraw from the event and
distance themselves from the anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim sentiment it embodies. We
applaud them for doing so.
The Brooklyn GOP, however, has not made clear whether or not this event will proceed
elsewhere with the same speaker. What it has made clear is that this is a turning point for politics in South Brooklyn and for the Republican Party throughout the borough and the
city. The Brooklyn GOP has every right to host a function that reflects their views, but we
are appalled that these are the views they wish to extol. By rolling out the welcome mat to
Gorka, Kings County Republicans have aligned themselves with the very worst their party
has to offer.
We are writing today as a coalition of citizens, community organizations, faith communities, and grassroots groups who begin in South Brooklyn and spread throughout our borough and our city. We call upon the Kings County Republican Party, its Chairman Ted Ghorra, and its primary beneficiary Senator Martin Golden to denounce Gorka in the strongest possible terms and make the commitment to terminate any plans to bring him to
this or any other fundraiser. The Brooklyn GOP can and must do better by making a public
statement that stands with our diverse and dynamic community, not against it, and sends
an unequivocal message that hate speech that targets and harms valued members of our
community has no place here.
We trust the Brooklyn GOP will make the right choice. We also wish to make them aware
that should this event proceed we, along with our friends and allies throughout the city,
will be there to meet Gorka, and all guests of this event, by exercising our First Amendment right to free speech in the form of public protest.
Bay Ridge for Social Justice
Brooklyn Anti-Gentrification Network (BAN)
Dream Action Coalition
Rev. Khader El-Yateem, Salam Arabic Lutheran Church
Rev. Bob Emerick, Bay Ridge United Methodist Church
Fight Back Bay Ridge
Jews for Racial & Economic Justice
NYS Senate District 17 for Progress
Rise and Resist
South Brooklyn Progressive Network
South Brooklyn Progressive Resistance
Staten Island 4 Change