Kennewick City Councilman Bob Parks posted a photo of Bernie Sanders with a comment about building a wall.
A Kennewick city councilman is being criticized for reposting a photo of Bernie Sanders on his Facebook page on Thursday with the words “I went to Yakima today. Now I know why Trump wants to build a wall.”
Councilman Bob Parks added his own comment to the post: “Wait until he sees pasco!” (sic)
About 56 percent of Pasco residents and 48 percent of Yakima residents are Hispanic or Latino, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Sanders visited Yakima Thursday afternoon.
Though Parks’ page is largely private to users who aren’t Facebook friends with him, the posts are public. Under the first post, Pasco Mayor Matt Watkins wrote, “You managed to trash Yakima, Pasco and Latinos all at once. That’s lame Bob.”
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Parks responded, “You let it happen as the mayor, your problem. I try not to go the either city’s. at least without rocks.” (sic)
The “rocks” comment may refer to the death of Antonio Zambrano-Montes, who was shot by police in downtown Pasco last year after reportedly throwing rocks at officers.
Parks posted Friday morning that he had caused “quite a stir” for supporting Donald Trump’s plan to build a wall on the border of the U.S. and Mexico.
“You wouldn’t believe what people are calling me, and so close to Easter, I forgive them for their ignorant views,” he wrote.
The posts drew criticism from government leaders and Latino advocacy groups in multiple cities. Kennewick City Manager Marie Mosley told the Tri-City Herald that the post is “not the city position in any fashion.”
Pasco City Manager Dave Zabell declined to comment specifically on Parks’ statements, but noted that the city “considers its rich cultural diversity to be a tremendous asset and a source of community pride.”
“The demographic shift in Pasco over the past three or more decades is an example of the ever-changing makeup of our nation since its inception,” Zabell said Friday afternoon.