Former governor’s behavior ‘baffles and confuses Black people’
5/26/2022, 6 p.m.
In quoting the advice offered to me as a new member of the Richmond City Council in 1978, L. Douglas Wilder said to me, “There are no black issues, only issues that disproportionately affect Black people.”
I have no axe to grind with Mr. Wilder, who went on to become the first Black governor of Virginia, nor his colleague, Jim Burke at Virginia Commonwealth University. However, the issue regarding Critical Race Theory transcends a personal insult and rises to a point where African-Americans are disproportionately affected by hate crimes. Those crimes are a direct result of citizens who are woefully uninformed about this country’s history and the unfair portrayal of Black people in that context.
Mr. Wilder is correct in pointing out the institutional racism in almost every bureau, department, and educational institution, whether public or private, in America. Still, the outing of such cases should be predicated upon when it benefits the community at large and not for personal retribution and revenge.
Mr. Burke expressed an opinion with which many African-Americans agree. It baffles and confuses Black people to witness a former Black governor of the state, aid and abet the functionaries of racism. Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s first executive order was to restrict any preachments or references to Critical Race Theory. This was a political abomination. The recent incident in Buffalo, N.Y., where a misguided white supremacist gunned down 10 Black unarmed innocent citizens, was due to his rage, resentments and bigoted attitude. all of which are steeped in the false narrative and misinformation of our history.
Had this young man been more adequately educated about Black people and the truth, he would have had no grounds to commit this heinous hate crime of violence. Unfortunately, we see the same crimes in California, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Florida, Michigan, and many other states.
Gov. Youngkin’s actions, realized or not, contribute to this dearth of knowledge and the continued polarization of the races.
I agree with the former governor pursuant to the presence of institutional racism. However, unless his association with Gov. Youngkin encourages him to reconsider his executive order, then his relationship with Gov. Youngkin is only self-serving and abides no good will to anyone but himself. as african-american constituents, we continue to rely upon Doug Wilder’s leadership in whatever capacity it may be. However, we would hope that his advice to Gov. Youngkin would be an asset not a liability, inimical to the interest of African-Americans.
I am not adequately informed regarding the former governor’s charges against the university or Mr. Burke, but the issue of Critical Race Theory should transcend any personal disputes between two individuals.
I would hope that Gov. Wilder’s influence on Gov. Youngkin would be utilized to encourage legislative measures that move us forward and not “Carry us back to ole Virginny.” We await with bated breath to observe his formidable influence on Gov. Youngkin.
The writer is a former member of Richmond City Council.