I would like to express my concern over a recent social media comment made by Cletus Nicely, a member the Alleghany County Board of Supervisors.
On a ridiculous conspiracy post, Mr. Nicely commented that Kamala Harris “should be in a corn field,” a statement so racist and disgusting that it’s hard to even wrap one’s head around the sentiment behind it, but I, for one, would love to hear his backpedaling explanation.
For anyone unfamiliar, Sen. Kamala Harris is of Jamaican and Indian parentage and is typically identified in the media as African American or black.
Local leaders should be spending their time trying to make our area better for everyone, not making racist, sexist or other derogatory remarks. We vote people into office in hopes that they will consider each and every one of us in our beautiful county when making decisions in our place.
Anyone with hate in their heart cannot possibly be working for the good of all of our citizens.
Not only is this an embarrassment to his current leadership position and to the rest of the board of supervisors, this is an embarrassment to Alleghany County and every one of its citizens.
In a time when people are arguing whether or not Black Lives Matter, when our president has stated that there are “fine people on both sides” of the White Supremacy debate, when police are killing innocent black people in broad daylight as well as while sleeping in their beds at night, we must hold everyone accountable for their racist language and actions.
These seemingly small or subtle racist jabs that we’ve likely all heard growing up in Alleghany County are not acceptable. We cannot tolerate hate if we hope to hold our citizens together in such a tumultuous time.
Young people are leaving areas like ours because they don’t feel safe or accepted.
Knowing that men like Cletus Nicely serve on the board of supervisors, which makes decisions that affect our daily lives is extremely disheartening if he holds and remorselessly states such racist ideas.
We all deserve an explanation, and frankly an apology, from Mr. Nicely and action from our board of supervisors if he truly holds such hatred in his heart.
Commercial Ave., Clifton Forge
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