More than a year before Republican leaders first called for David Stringer to resign over racist comments, the state representative wrote a column opining that the United States is better off as a predominately white nation.
In an opinion piece on Prescott eNews on October 16, 2017, Stringer lamented the transformation of the United States from "a nation predominantly peopled by those of European ancestry into a true multiracial society where White people are becoming a minority.”
Stringer's latest racist comments, published by Phoenix New Times last week, has spurred renewed, bipartisan calls for his resignation.
Stringer co-owns Specialized Publishing, the parent company of Prescott eNews. The website’s founder, Lynne LaMaster, also serves as its editor. Neither Stringer, who was overwhelmingly re-elected in November, nor LaMaster responded to request for comment.
In his 2017 column, the Prescott representative cites census data showing growing diversity, and predicts that the United States is likely to have a majority non-white population within the next quarter-century.
"The cultural implications of this rapid transformation are only beginning to be felt,” Stringer wrote. "We see it in our popular culture in everything from entertainment, sports and music, to changing school demographics and public safety. We see it in the media with the savage negativity toward President Trump and the White voters who elected him.”
As an example of a negative consequence of diversity, Stringer cites pro football players who kneeled during the national anthem to protest racial oppression and police brutality. Stringer’s column was published as President Donald Trump ramped up his criticism of NFL players who kneeled.
"Although many claim the controversy over NFL players refusing to stand for the National Anthem is really about patriotism and not race, it's hard not to notice that most of the players refusing to stand are Black,” Stringer wrote. "Most of the people standing for the National Anthem are White."
Stringer also cites a controversial study by the Federal for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) estimating that illegal immigration costs the United States roughly $116 billion per year, a figure that was disputed by the libertarian Cato Institute.
Stringer's column concludes, "The United States may be the first nation in history to voluntarily surrender its traditional culture and national identity to other peoples. We are only beginning to experience the consequences."
FAIR was founded by Jon Tanton, a Michigan extremist described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as the “racist architect of the modern anti-immigrant movement.”
Stringer’s column was published months before he told a group of Yavapai County Republicans in June that there “aren’t enough white kids to go around” in Arizona public schools, prompting both Governor Doug Ducey and state GOP chair Jonathan Lines to call for Stringer’s resignation.
On Friday, New Times published an audio recording of Stringer telling Arizona State University undergraduates that African-Americans, compared with European-Americans, “don’t blend in” to American society, among other racist remarks.
Arizona House Speaker-elect Rusty Bowers removed Stringer as chair of a criminal justice reform committee, but left him as vice chair of the House Judiciary Committee. Both Ducey and Lines applauded Bowers' move and renewed calls for Stringer's resignation from office.
Prescott's mayor and vice mayor both echoed those calls, and the Prescott City Council is scheduled to vote on a resolution condemning Stringer on Tuesday. Besides that, a flood of Democrats have called for Stringer to resign or face consequences.
Civil rights activist Jarrett Maupin, who organized a forum with Stringer at Lo-Lo's Chicken and Waffles last year after the representative's first racism controversy, issued a statement strongly condemning him. In a phone interview, Maupin said he hoped the Lo-Lo's event would help "rehabilitate" Stringer, but that his most recent remarks show "he obviously believes it's okay to be a neo-Nazi in office."
Stringer told the Arizona Republic on Friday that he would issue a statement after the weekend addressing his comments. But an assistant for Stringer later told New Times in a phone interview that Stringer did not plan on respondingafter all.
Today, Stringer posted a link on Facebook of a Prescott eNews story containing a transcript of the audio recordings published by New Times. The story, written by editor LaMaster, implies that New Times picked Stringer's comments out of context "in order to make a point."
"Were the comments really racist?" LaMaster wrote. "Frequently, media, in it’s [sic] zeal to push a chosen narrative, carefully picks out comments in order to make a point. Often that media will have limitations on exactly what they can report – only so many words in an article, only so long in a newscast. In order to attract readers or viewers, they choose a few words they think will be salacious."
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(New Times published the full audio of Stringer's comments on Friday.)
LaMaster's story also contains an editor's note claiming that, though Stringer is a partner in the website's parent company, he has no oversight over its editorial content.
"We will not try to defend or justify his comments in this forum. We will defend his right to express his opinions – it’s a matter of free speech. He will reap the good and bad consequences of his words on his own."
LaMaster then notes that Stringer in November "received the 2nd highest number of votes for the Arizona Legislature."