Letter: Calling out extremism

Posted8/12/2022 1:00 AM

Thank you Russell Lissau for your reporting on Illinois 6th District congressional candidate Keith Pekau and his connection to extremism. Like many, I have been shocked by the speed at which far right organizations have blasted out of the shadows over the last several years, and am appalled at the hate Awake Illinois broadcasts daily.

It should alarm any person with any modicum of compassion that Pekau flaunted his rejection of community health recommendations during the worst health care crisis we've seen in a century, to the extent that a far right extremist group celebrated his reckless behavior as a "Warrior," and granted him their "Advancing Freedom" award.


Pekau aligns himself with an organization that encourages its followers to harass public officials, teachers, librarians (recall St. Charles Library shutting down for several days due to safety concerns? That was Awake), and most recently UpRising Bakery -- which, incidentally, was not the first time the white supremacist group Proud Boys organized with Awake.

Additionally, Awake Illinois maintains a watchdog list of organizations and public and private citizens and constantly files FOIAs in order to publicly harass those who speak out against Awake and their leaders.

We cannot risk Pekau, proud recipient of Awake's "Warrior" Award, winning congressional office and taking the homophobic, anti-public school, anti-DEI, anti-science, anti-SEL, anti-democracy racially insensitive tenets espoused by these organizations to Washington.

This is not how a democracy should operate, and we are at a tipping point to save our democracy. We will never get to a place where our communities can heal when we have candidates who not only reject the existence of their constituents, but actively engage in confrontational, aggressive behavior with groups like Awake Illinois.

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We need Sean Casten in the 6th District. Please vote for inclusive, rational leadership in November and vote for Sean Casten.

Maggie Romanovich


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