I was disappointed with Charlottesville Mayor Nikuyah Walker’s commentary on Charlottesville City Council Candidate Lloyd Snook, who is certainly a favorite to win one of three seats on council in November.
Mayor Walker offered a bitter diatribe on Snook’s Facebook page and then proceeded to share these thoughts across her personal social media network. Mayor Walker’s commentary focused on why Snook is “not needed on Council.”
Along with other thoughts, Mayor Walker also had this to say about Snook:
“[Snook] is as ‘white is right’ as one can get.”
“[Snook], you don’t know what you’re talking about. You have the audacity to think that you’re going to make something work well with your pompous attitude. People are supporting you because they want to believe that you have the ability to stabilize conversations and return their lives and this community to normal.”
“The people who support you are interested in maintaining the status quo. All of you should be ashamed of yourselves. We have this brief opportunity to work on healing this city and here you come with your #45 spin (make America great again/make the government work again) to work from the inside to railroad any potential progress. White men like you always have been dangerous and I’m sure that you will continue that tradition. Do better!”
Mayor Walker’s commentary could not be more wrong. I personally know Lloyd Snook. He’s an evangelist for and an advocate of the City of Charlottesville in totality, especially our African American and Hispanic communities. Snook, a leader in the Democrat party in Charlottesville and one of the top defense attorneys in Central Virginia, routinely does pro bono work where he offers his most precious commodity – his time – to support and represent people of color.
Like many of us in Charlottesville, Snook is focused on helping CVille heal post August 12, 2017. He is willing to sacrifice his earning potential and his time with his wife Sheila, who has shared an undeniable love with Snook for more than 40 years.
Mayor Walker realizes that Snook is a favorite to win a seat on Council in November. Snook has earned significant support from Charlottesville voters already, including many in our African American community. Mayor Walker is trying to leverage her platform and her influence to create a perception about Snook that is simply not true. She is doing this because she realizes her politics are very different than Snook’s politics.
If Snook wins a seat on Council, Mayor Walker will be forced to work alongside him for the next three years. This will undoubtedly lead to contentious conversation and loggerheads when it comes to casting votes.
Here’s the thing though – as a City that is trying to heal, we should welcome different perspectives on Council. We should encourage diversity in thought. We should embrace Councilors from different backgrounds. We should champion a Council that embodies a medley of race, income levels and professional experiences. If we have a range of Councilors on the dais, then we will have a robust perspective that truly represents all aspects of our fine City.
I’m going to close with this: I’m tired of the mud slinging. I’m tired of folks in power wielding their influence in order to maintain their influence. Enough already.
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