A military veteran and top Democrat in Pennsylvania was forced to resign after a posting a patriotic stand on the national anthem.
Mark Salvas explained on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” that he was asked to step down from his position as the executive director of the Allegheny County, PA Democratic Party over a year-old Facebook post which stated, “I stand for the flag, I kneel at the cross.”
“He made the mistake of writing this in a Facebook post, ‘I stand for the flag, I kneel at the cross.’ Not so long ago most Democrats would have nodded in agreement at that, today it’s hate speech and he lost his job,” host Tucker Carlson said Wednesday, introducing Salvas.
Did I misstate that? Did you have to leave your job running the county’s Republican — rather Democratic Party because of those words on Facebook?” Carlson asked.
“Well, I was the executive director of the county party and, yes, basically that’s exactly what happened because of that post, which I remind you was over a year ago that I posted that. I was asked to resign, yes,” Salvas, a Gulf War veteran, replied.
Allegheny County Democrats were apparently offended by his post.
“It doesn’t seem like that long ago it wouldn’t have been weird for the head of a Pennsylvania Democratic county party to say I stand for the flag and kneel before the cross,” Carlson noted. “Would it have been five years ago a crazy thing to say?”
“Absolutely not. And I can tell you even just last year when the Pittsburgh Steelers decided to stay in the locker room instead of come out for the national anthem, one player, [Alejandro] Villanueva, who was an Army Ranger, came out and stood by himself with his hand over his heart and he was not considered a racist,” Salvas said.
Salvas revealed he has not communicated with any of his former colleagues and has been told it is a “personnel matter,” noting that no one has reached out to him since he resigned.
The extreme reaction to his patriotic stance had him questioning the direction of the Democrat Party.
“It makes me wonder if there is room for moderate Democrats in the Democratic Party nowadays,” Salvas said, adding that even those who defended him against accusations that he is racist still called his post “insensitive.”
Salvas also came under fire for a post by his wife encouraging support for an officer charged in the fatal shooting of an African-American teen in June.
“They have been there for us in hard times, and my wife and I felt it was necessary to be there for them because family backs family,” he said.
“To put that up on Facebook was, to me, insensitive, also to African Americans, who, as you know, have backed the Democratic Party for quite a long time, and everybody knows that it was insensitive,” Pennsylvania Rep. Ed Gainey told KDKA. “If you’re going to be executive director of the Democratic Party, you have to be sensitive to things like that.”
“As an official, he has to be very careful and sensitive that his words and his posts are not necessarily just his. They are reflective of the party in its entirety,” Rep. Jake Wheatley said.
Salvas, who reportedly has a bi-racial child and African Americans in his family, had no apologies for the posts.
“Unfortunately, if my patriotism and standing up for family friends has become insensitive, then I think we as Democrats need to stop and re-evaluate exactly what we stand for,” he told Carlson.
“God bless,” Carlson replied, telling Salvas to remain a part of the Democratic Party because “it needs normal people.”
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