The new chairman of the Allegheny County Democratic Party in Pennsylvania was forced to resign over a social media post that declared, “ I stand for the flag, kneel at the cross.”
“I’m not ashamed of my patriotism, not one bit,” Marine veteran Mark Salvas told television station KDKA. “I fought for this country. I think I have a right to have a voice and be patriotic.”
“We have a zero tolerance for sexual harassment or racism of any kind,” state Democratic Committee Chairwoman Nancy Mills told the Tribune newspaper. “I think Chairwoman (Eileen) Kelly made the right decision once she was aware of the issues.”
Salvas said he believes football players have a right to protest, but he refuses to apologize for his personal stance on the national anthem.
“I stand for the flag, I kneel for the cross,” he declared.
“No apologies,” the reporter asked.
“Not at all. Not at all,” the former Democrat leader replied.
Salvas said party leaders were also upset over an item his wife posted showing support for a police officer accused of killing an African-American. Salvas said they had known the police officer and his family since the officer was a toddler.
“The have been there for us in hard times, and my wife and I felt it was necessary to be there for them because family backs family,” he told the television station.
Rep. Ed Gainey (D-PA) accused Salvas of offending African American voters.
“To put that up on Facebook was, to me, insensitive, also to African Americans, who, as you know, have backed the Democratic Party for quite a long time, and everybody knows that it was insensitive,” Gainey told KDKA. “If you’re going to be executive director of the Democratic Party, you have to be sensitive to things like that.”
In spite of what happened, Salvas said he believes the Democrats are a big tent party.
“There’s a place for all of us and all of our views,” he said.
Unless, you are a member of law enforcement or you happen to stand for the national anthem and take a knee to pray.