Mayor who marched against racism now wants to host GOP convention

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Jacksonville, Florida, Mayor Lenny Curry thinks Trump's renomination will be a 'world class' event.

A Florida mayor who has presented himself as an advocate for civil rights in recent days is behind the city's push to host the 2020 GOP convention.

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry, a Republican and the former chair of the state party, has reportedly convinced the Republican National Committee to move the major portions of its quadrennial convention from North Carolina to his city.

Curry tweeted last week that the "$100 million local impact event would be important for our city as an event/convention destination," stating that Jacksonville was "ready for world class events" like the convention.

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"We welcome the opportunity to host the @GOPconvention in Jacksonville," he wrote, adding that the city was "ready show the world we are open for business."

The push to bring the convention to Jacksonville comes as Curry tries to distance himself from his party's rhetoric on civil rights issues and racism.

"I hear you," Curry told anti-racism protesters on Tuesday, as he announced that all Confederate statues would be removed, in the wake of nationwide protests against racism and police brutality. "If our history prevents us from reaching the full potential of our future, then we need to take action."

Curry also marched with several Jacksonville Jaguars players and other members of the community, promising on Friday that his administration would bring about positive change.

"I will participate in a walk next week with our community," he tweeted at the time. "I will also announce policy initiatives and actions I will take to bring our city together and address racial inequality."

Curry's inclusive messages conflict sharply with Trump, who is expected to accept the Republican nomination at the August convention.

Trump said in 2017 that taking down Confederate monuments amounted to "changing history" and asked whether George Washington might be next.

He has attacked peaceful protesters, baselessly accusing a 75-year-old man assaulted by police of being an "ANTIFA provocateur" despite zero evidence backing his claim.

And while Trump has spoken out about George Floyd, a black man killed by a white Minneapolis police officer, whose death sparked the wave of nationwide protests taking place across the country, he has rejected all claims of systemic racism in law enforcement, asserting without proof on Monday that "99%" of police were "great, great people."

"We want to make sure we don't have any bad actors in there. And sometimes you'll see some horrible things, like we witnessed recently," he said. "But 99% — I say 99.9, but let's go with 99 — of them are great, great people."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.