The mayor of Luray, a small town in Virginia, is being urged to step down after calling Kamala Harris Aunt Jemima in a Facebook post.
What We Know:
- Mayor Barry Presgraves made a Facebook post about how Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden “just announced Aunt Jemima” as his running mate and faced a lot of backlash from the Luray Town Council and other residents.
- Presgraves took down his post and apologized Monday for his actions at a town council meeting. “I understand what I posted on social media was wrong, offensive and unbecoming,” he said. He also apologized to people of color and women for his comments and thinking of it as humorous while not recognizing that the racial stereotype was offensive.
- But before the town council meeting, Presgraves interviewed with Page Valley News where he told them that his actions were a “mistake” but didn’t think he did anything wrong. “I thought it was funny… I thought it was humorous,” he told the news outlet. “I had no idea people would react the way they did. If I had the chance to do it over, I wouldn’t do it.” And when asked if he would resign, Presgraves responded with “hell no”. “The people elected me and I have a few more months to serve.”
- Presgraves’ apology wasn’t enough for Luray Council Member Leah Pence and she sent him a letter asking him to resign. “Barry – I am writing to strongly urge you to resign over a racist comment you made on Facebook,” the letter said. “The comment you posted has a type of humor that [has]not been appropriate or funny in my lifetime or yours.”
Quaker Oats announced in June that it would be retiring its Aunt Jemima brand and logo because they were based on a racial stereotype.