Labor union accuses Ferguson of displaying racist book in office

Published 5:53 pm Wednesday, February 13, 2019

By Ben Nadler
The Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) — A federal labor union says some of its members found what it called a “racist book open and on display” in a Republican Georgia congressman’s Washington office.

The American Federation of Government Employees said in a news release that its members were visiting the offices of U.S. Rep. Drew Ferguson on Monday when a political coordinator for the union says he saw the book “Gen. Robert Edward Lee: Soldier, Citizen, and Christian Patriot” in the lobby of the office.

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The union said the 1897 book that glorifies Confederate history was open to a page that read: “The blacks are immeasurably better off here than in Africa, morally, societally, and physically. The painful discipline they are undergoing is necessary for their instruction as a race.”

Ferguson said in a statement that his staff had decorated the office and he did not know the book was there.

“When my staff learned about it, they removed it and apologized to the individual who was upset by it,” Ferguson said.

But the AFGE pushed back on that description saying in the news release that, when asked about the book, Ferguson’s staff “ignored the question and instead pointed (union members) to look at General George Washington’s hair that was also on display.”

AFGE National President J. David Cox called the display “utterly despicable.”

Democratic state Sen. Elena Parent took to the floor of the Georgia Senate on Wednesday to condemn Ferguson.

Parent called on Ferguson to publically apologize to “all of his constituents and the state of Georgia.”