Two officials in Endicott, New York, apologized Friday for “White Lives Matter” Facebook posts that resulted in calls for their resignation.
“It was a genuine mistake with no intent to promote racism through a post shared with us and no knowledge of its origins. We have listened and learned,” Republican Mayor Linda Jackson and Democrat Deputy Mayor Cheryl Chapman said in the joint apology.
In June, Chapman shared a post on her private Facebook account that read “White lives matter!!! Bet you won’t repost,” and Jackson liked a different post with the same wording, according to the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin.
The mayor said she “liked” the post but was unaware of any “hidden meaning.”
“I feel Black lives matter and blue lives matter. All lives matter. I have relatives who are Black. My ‘like’ was up for five minutes. The trolls are trying to find ways to get rid of us,” she commented.
Thursday on Facebook, Broome County Democratic Committee (BCDC) Chair Bridget Kane said the group held a special meeting Wednesday and formally called for Jackson and Chapman to resign.
The motion read:
The recent actions of the elected leadership of the Village of Endicott are not only racist but a dereliction of duty that both the Mayor and the Deputy Mayor were sworn to uphold.
The Broome County Democratic Party takes a dim view of such behavior. We stand firmly behind our Party Platform, which says, in part, that “we will push for a societal transformation to make it clear that black lives matter and that there is no place for racism in our country.”
“We cannot condone anyone’s actions, a member of the Democratic Party or not, that go against the principle that Black Lives Matter,” the motion concluded.
Although their apology did not include a resignation, Jackson and Chapman said, “Acknowledging that ‘you don’t know, what you don’t know,’ we have committed to continue learning about racism.”
We signed up for a series of workshops facilitated by Dr. Marguerite Wilson, Assistant Professor of Human Development at Binghamton University, and Lawrence Parham, a longtime community organizer, anti-racism educator, and CEO of CARES Advocates for Families, Inc. Mr. Parham and Dr. Wilson are the founders and co-facilitators of the Binghamton Witnessing Whiteness Community in effect for the past four years. They provided anti-racism education, programs, and workshops to several local organizations.
“Again, we offer our sincere apologies and hope our efforts to take this proactive approach will bring healing, understanding, and enhance our mission to improve our community,” the statement concluded.