I imagine many of you have seen Karen Keys-Gamarra’s post on Blue Virginia about how she had someone hurl racial slurs at her during a virtual meeting of a local Democratic Committee, but I wanted to mention it here since I’m chairman of the committee that was holding the meeting. In case there’s any doubt, I strongly oppose the cowardly comments that were made and believe they have no place in our society. Karen’s done incredible work on the school board and I’m grateful she took the time to speak with the committee.
For those who are interested, here’s the email I sent out to our membership the next morning:
As many of you already know, last night’s virtual meeting for the Sully Dems was “zoom bombed” by several different people. While it’s unclear right now if they were affiliated with a specific organization, the “zoom bombers” directed disgraceful and bigoted comments at several members of the committee … including calling an African American elected official the n word.
There’s no way around it. The people who made these remarks are cowards who wanted to hide behind their computer screens and remain anonymous while spewing hatred designed to prevent meaningful discussion of local issues. And it speaks volumes about the character of our members that the remarks were immediately strongly condemned.
I know I’m just one of many Sully Dems members who have been joining protests recently to express outrage over the tragic deaths of George Floyd and so many others. Unfortunately, the cowardly actions of the people making racist remarks last night are a stark reminder of how hatred takes on many different forms and cannot be ignored.
One of the reasons I love living in Fairfax County is the vast majority of residents value serving the community and believe everybody deserves the opportunity to thrive. Those are the values that brought us together for last night’s meeting and they’re the values we’ll carry with us as we continue to stand up to the racism and divisiveness these hate filled individuals espoused.
As Chairman of the Sully Dems, I strive to make the committee a welcoming community and absolutely abhor the hatred these individuals promoted. I have already begun having conversations with committee leaders at the countywide level about the situation and you have my word we’re working to ensure this type of egregious behavior isn’t able to disrupt future virtual meetings.
Chairman, Sully District Democratic Committee