Just two days after his absurd statement — wherein he justified turning away of Syrian refugees with the reasoning that the US federal government was correct in treating Japanese American citizens and nationals with similar racial suspicion and hostility — went viral, Mayor David Bowers has reportedly apologized.
Bowers’ three-paragraph press statement from earlier this week buzzed through social media, with angry constituents and Asian Americans calling for the mayor to apologize and/or resign. Several officials of the state of Virginia — including Roanoke City Council members and Bowers’ own Vice Mayor — joined in that outcry, and condemnation of Bowers’ statement showered down upon the Mayor’s office from both sides of the aisle.
Roanoke mayor David A. Bowers, a Democrat who is now in his fourth term in office, joined the growing chorus of (mostly Republican) American politicians vocally trying to turn away Syrian refugees; but Bowers has taken a unique angle on his reasons why.
In an entirely unsolicited press statement, Bowers’ office announced it would be asking Roanoke Valley government and non-government officials to halt aid to Syrian refugees. He justified the stance by suggesting that President Franklin D. Roosevelt was right to treat Japanese American civilians with similar suspicion during World War II.