The word ‘Nazi” is widely recognized and understood as a term of disrespect and hate. State Representative Danielle Otten (Legislative District 155) invoked the term over the weekend in a social media exchange concerning union workers on the Mariner East pipeline project. Yesterday Representative Otten explained she was not calling anyone a Nazi (as quoted in WCHE News). Unfortunately, that is how her comments have been heard and interpreted by many.
As the Chair of the Chester County Democratic Committee, let me be absolutely clear: In the strongest terms possible, I condemn all hate language whenever and however it is used.
I wish to extend a sincere apology to everyone – union workers, members of the Jewish community, my fellow Democrats and all citizens of Chester County – who were offended by Representative Otten’s comments. Using the term “Nazi” in any context is never appropriate. It is not who we are as Democrats. It is insensitive, hurtful, insulting and unacceptable.
With that said, let me add that I am well aware Representative Otten’s comments were made in the context of understandable anger and frustration. This does not excuse them, but let’s be clear. The real issue here is not about union workers. The real villain here is Sunoco and its wanton disregard for the property, safety and health of Chester County citizens impacted by the Mariner East pipeline installation.
Sunoco has proven to be an incompetent, disrespectful and unreliable operator in Chester County. This is the real problem that needs to be fixed. All elected officials in Chester County, Democrats and Republicans, must work together to hold Sunoco accountable for their actions and to develop a path forward that works for Chester County residents.
Chair, Chester County Democratic Committee
May 2, 2019