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Linda Sarsour was the keynote speaker on March 31, 2019, in Hillsborough, NC at an event sponsored by Orange County’s Department of Human Rights & Relations and The Orange County Human Relations Commission (HRC) of NC.
Sarsour is an American-Palestinian activist who has said “nothing is creepier than Zionism” and has advised Muslims not to “humanize” Israelis.
Records - Sarsour - Expenses - Costs - Orange
Public records indicate that Sarsour was paid $5,000 plus expenses with total costs to Orange County taxpayers reaching $9,313. We now know, according to HRC minutes, that Annette Moore — the Senior Staff Attorney and Director of the Human Rights and Relations Department — “introduced the idea of having Ms. Linda Sarsour as a speaker” and that HRC members immediately voiced approval.
Much of the reporting below is based on public records I recently received from Orange County, having waited six months for the county to provide me with results to my requests.
Sarsour - Event - Orange - County - Officials
Immediately after the Sarsour event was announced, Orange County officials began receiving strong letters of concern.
Four prominent local rabbis wrote the HRC, “By inviting Ms. Sarsour…the Human Relations Council is dividing rather than uniting us.” One resident wrote the HRC, “Your actions demonstrate your willingness to spread racism, sexism, hatred, bigotry, and division.” Another concerned resident wrote, “I am going to start going to meetings more often, and get people more involved. It is clear that whatever you conceive your mission to be, it most assuredly does not include working to protect Jews and their allies in Orange County.” In an email to Orange County commissioners titled “This is not a ‘free speech’ issue,” a resident explained, “Sarsour can say whatever she wants; I just don’t want to be forced to subsidize her toxic ideology.”
Response - Avalanche - Concern - HRC - Chair
In response to this avalanche of public concern, HRC Chair Deborah Stroman sent several emails asking her fellow HRC members...
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