The head of one of the state’s leading agencies that addresses domestic violence and sexual assault has issued an apology to her organization’s board of directors and stakeholders, including the commissioner of Public Safety and deputy commissioner of Corrections.
Last month, the Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault posted an item on Facebook that categorized the slogan “Make America Great Again” in a column with other white supremacy advocates, such as the KKK.
Must Read Alaska wrote about it and the item was shared widely on social media.
“If we’re serious about eliminating domestic violence, then it is vital to understand and eliminate all forms of subjugation including sexism, racism, homophobia, and xenophobia and thus eliminate hate and bigotry,” ANDVSA stated on August 20.
ANDVSA called for confronting “Make America Great Again” as a “covert form” of white supremacy:
“We can take action to end hate in our communities by working to understand and confront the socially accepted expressions of white supremacy,” the group wrote.
On Aug. 31, the director of ANDVSA apologized profusely for that social media post:
“This letter is to express the Network’s deepest apologies for the impacts of a Facebook post we made on 20 August, 2017. To clarify, a post was made that contained messages about white privilege and the intersections of overt and covert racism. This post had a visual that ANDVSA had received from a sister coalition, and in that visual, the slogan make America great again was listed as an act of racism.”
The letter continued to explain that the organization is nonpartisan and in no way wishes to create divisions or offense to those who support its mission. It explained that Must Read Alaska had spread it across social media and questioned the organization’s mission.
“We have reviewed our external communications strategies, and to that end have instituted a strict policy that all external communication must first be vetted through the ANDVSA Executive Director to ensure out key messages are firmly situated within our mission.
“We deeply value our relationship with the CDVSA [Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault], and with the people who look to you for support and leadership in eliminating sexual and domestic violence in Alaska. We apologize to you if our actions have cause others to question your role, or if our actions have put the CDVSA in a questionable position.” The letter was signed Carmen Lowry, the executive director of ANDVSA.
Member programs of ANDVSA include AWAIC in Anchorage, the AWARE shelter in Juneau, TWC in Bethel, CFRC in Cordova, SAFE in Gillingham, AIC in Fairbanks, SPHH in Homer, WISH in Ketchikan and several others across the state who give shelter and aid to abused women.
ANDVSA is not the only group to claim that Make America Great Again is a racist slogan. A university professor in Kansas who describes herself as a “brown feminist” also labeled it racist this summer. And claims in left-leaning publications have also inferred that white racism is behind the slogan, which was first made popular by President Ronald Reagan.