CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte leaders are sending a message to the White House ahead of the Republican National Convention in the Queen City. City leaders passed a resolution condemning what they're calling President Trump's racist tweets and comments.
The move was prompted by a chant during President Trump's rally in North Carolina last week. The crowd in Greenville chanted "send her back" referring to Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, who came to the United States as a refugee from Somalia.
Monday night, Charlotte City Council said "racist hate speech" will not be tolerated in Charlotte. That resolution was passed Monday, a vote down party lines, Democrats voted in favor of it.
The two Republicans on the council voted against it -- arguing there are more local problems the council should be focussing on.
"When it came time to stand up against the hate, you chose financial opportunity. Much like a teenager, foregoing their values with no regard for the consequences, or its impact on others. The hate has since grown louder, and yet, you continue to sit quietly," Dianna Levitt said.
Levitt spoke at the City Council meeting on Monday asking the body to revoke the invitation for the Queen City to host the Republican National Convention in 2020.
Although he said he does not agree with the comments, Councilman Ed Driggs, a Republican, said he could not support the resolution condemning President Trump's past comments and tweets. He said there were more pressing issues at a local level that the city should be focusing on.
"I don't personally endorse the way the president has chosen to conduct himself, but he didn't create the tension that we're experiencing," Driggs said. "He's the result of the tension."
Councilman Tariq Bokhari proposed a substitute resolution after questioning why the local body was weighing in on national issues. Bokhari did make it clear, though, that he did oppose the words tweeted by the president and said by his supporters at the recent rally.
His substitute proposal failed.
This resolution brought up the question from some of the public that wanted Charlotte to revoke the invitation to host the RNC next year.
That will likely not happen.
The city attorney said there were two options: either one of the parties had to breach the contract, which has not happened, or Charlotte could breach the contract.
However, there would be financial costs and losses.
"I don't believe you're going to be able to walk away from this contract, even if you are willing to pay the financial penalties for walking away. I don't believe you'd be allowed to walk away," said Patrick Baker, Charlotte's city attorney.
Baker said he could not recommend the city to revoke the invitation to host the event, saying the city would be sued and would likely be responsible for the damages.
Still, some citizens asked the council to think about it.
One Democratic member noted Monday night that this conversation should have happened last year when the council voted 6-5 in favor of the RNC coming to Charlotte.
As of Monday night, Charlotte will still be home to that event.