We're Kansans. And as Kansans, we're appalled by state representative Steve Alford's ignorant and racist comments about African Americans and marijuana - and we demand his resignation.
We are parents, working to bring our children up in a world where they aren't considered "lesser" because of the color or their skin. We are cancer survivors and their loved ones who know the therapeutic value of marijuana and other conditions. We are teachers, nurses, small business owners, artists, and more. We are the Kansans who moved away and the ones still making Kansas great in communities across the state.
We know that Kansans deserve better that the ignorance and bigotry that Alford has shown.
"Bloody Kansas" fought hard for its Free State status. The abolitionist John Brown lived here. A Kansas family helped ignite desegregation across the US with the Supreme Court's Brown v. the Board of Education decision. The town of Nicodemus still stands here, the only remaining western town established by African Americans during Reconstruction.
But that's not the history state representative Alford evoked in justifying his opposition to legalizing marijuana at a community coffee in Garden City. Instead, he said marijuana was banned — and should remain banned — because African Americans in the 1930s "were basically users and they basically responded the worst to those drugs just because of their character makeup, their genetics and that."
Alford has since apologized, but hasn't been held accountable in any meaningful way.
Whether you live in Kansas or not, we need your signature on this petition. Your signature today will help us show the Kansas Republican Party — and politicians everywhere — that character counts and that people in the Wheat State and around the world demand an end to this sort of ignorant racism.
Take a stand against racism. Sign our petition and urge the Kansas Republican party to call on Representative Alford to resign.