Virginia strikes again. Whether it’s the Virginia Democratic Governor in black face, the first lady of the state passing out raw cotton or sexual assault allegations against the lieutenant governor — the state needs some prayer.
Now, Councilman Thomas Dunn refused to sign a proclamation for Juneteenth, instead he defaced it with his own ignorant words.
According to NBC News, the Leesburg Town Council passed a resolution proclaiming June 19-20 as Juneteenth, which celebrates the end of slavery in the U.S. The resolution also recognizes lynchings in Virginia, including one in Leesburg. Leesburg town Councilman Thomas Dunn refused to sign the proclamation that was to go to the descendants of a man who was lynched. Instead, he wrote in the signature line, “Juneteenth is a celebration, lynchings are not.”
Clearly, lynchings are not being celebrated, they are honoring the lives of people who have been lynched in Virginia, specifically Orion “Owen” Anderson from Leesburg, Virginia in 1889. The 18-year-old was accused of assaulting a white woman and was lynched by a mob of white men. James Madison University says, “On November 8th, 1889, at approximately 1 AM, a hundred armed men captured Anderson from his cell and hung him on a derrick in the freight depot. Several bullets were also fired into Anderson’s body.?
There are now calls for Dunn to resign after his callousness and willful ignorance of history in his own state. Pastor Michelle Thomas, the Loudoun County NAACP president, said the comment was an insult.
Councilman Ron Campbell said, “Leesburg Town Council member Tom Dunn must resign from his elected position effective immediately.”
Dunn released the following statement, “Juneteenth is a celebration of the freedom of slavery by Texas and should not be diminished by bringing in other issues, while important, are not to be celebrated but observed such as lynchings.”
Dunn has reportedly also refused to sign other proclamations for LGBT rights and gun violence.
Of course, Dunn has refused to resign, which is no shocker. In Feb., Virginia Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam was in a blackface scandal earlier this month. In case you forgot, after a 1984 photo from Eastern Virginia Medical School went viral, which contained a photograph of two unidentified men, one in blackface and the other in a Ku Klux Klan costume under a page labeled as his, went viral, the Virginia governor Ralph Northam apologized.
However, he later said, according to CNN, that it wasn’t him in the photo, “I believe now and then that I am not either of the people in this photo. This was not me in that picture. That was not Ralph Northam.” He continued, “I intend to continue doing the business of Virginia. I could avoid an honest conversation about harmful actions from my past. I cannot in good conscience choose the path that would be easier for me in an effort to duck my responsibility to reconcile.”