A local story went national on local media today, detailing how a Texas councilman up for re-election just dug himself into deeper trouble by fighting accusations of racism, after he posted a picture of an empty tractor trailer with the words, “A photo of all the supplies donated to Harvey relief by Antifa and Black Lives Matter.”
In his response to criticism saying that the meme was both a lie and racist, Schertz City Councilman Robin Thompson said he wasn’t racist because he had worked in a predominantly black church, inexplicably adding:
“Tonight marks the fourth time in my life that I have been called ‘racist’…Forgive the language I’m going to use, but it was exactly what was said to me. ‘We’re firing you because you’re encouraging n****** to drink our water and use our bathrooms’.”
Having already sparked outrage with the spurious Facebook post, he proved his detractors right by using a racial epithet.
Schertz resident Clare Layton said of Thompson posting the meme, “What he did was foster a lie that was offensive, it was incorrect, it was irresponsible and it was demeaning. It embarrassed the council.”
Another resident of the San Antonio suburb, Diana Taylor, said that the councilman’s use of the N-word only deepened the wound:
“I was so offended, I got up and I walked out the door. I slammed the door. I was hurt and I’m still hurt. Racism is something we should not practice,” Taylor said. “I would like to see Robin Thompson resign immediately and I would like to see the support of all the city councilmen.”
But the city’s mayor, Michael Carpenter, did not go further than saying, “”The City of Schertz and its leadership does not condone that sort of language in any manner and he hopes the councilman quickly offers a full and sincere apology.”
Councilman Thompson did issue an apology last night:
I deeply and sincerely apologize for all the embarrassment, hurt and confusion that I have caused to the Schertz City Council, its staff and employees, and especially to all the residents of Schertz through my lapse of judgement in the sharing of an inappropriate Facebook post, and the offensive word I used, even in the context of a quote directed towards me, in trying to explain my mistake last Tuesday night.
These mistakes do not reflect who I am in my inner being, and from this point on, you may be assured that I will focus all my efforts to be the leader you expected me to be when you elected me into office.
But another council member, Dr. Angela Kiser, was non-plussed by Thompson’s words, saying, “Right now what I’m hearing is there should be no consequences, let’s just accept an apology. I don’t know many people who can go before a judge after robbing a bank and say, ‘I’m sorry.’ and the judge says, ‘Hey! Ok, apology accepted. Bye!'”
His post and response are particularly outrageous, in light of the fact that Black Lives Matter’s Houston chapter distributed food to Harvey’s survivors.
Come November, Schertz voters can show that they stand against racism by voting out the offending councilman.
Lucia Brawley is a Harvard- and Yale-educated writer, producer, actor, and political organizer. She runs the progressive political Facebook group Consenting to Lead. To learn more, please go to luciabrawley.com.