Loudoun County, Virginia, Treasurer Roger Zurn is asking a current Fb submit mocking the choice by Quaker Oats to retire its Aunt Jemima pancake model offensive and inappropriate, however says he will not give up his submit.
For greater than per week, Loudoun County, Virginia, Treasurer Roger Zurn is asking a current Fb submit mocking the choice by Quaker Oats to retire its Aunt Jemima pancake model offensive and inappropriate, however says he gained’t give up his submit.
“I cannot be resigning my place as treasurer, as some have instructed,” Zurn mentioned at a information convention Thursday on the county authorities heart. “Leaders don’t run from their errors; they develop from them.”
Zurn mentioned his remarks had been “offensive, inappropriate and triggered offense, particularly to the African-American neighborhood,” including that “Once you make a mistake you’ll want to come clear. I made a joke in poor style. There isn’t any excuse. There isn’t any rationalization.”
On June 17, Zurn posted on his private Fb web page: “Questioning if Aunt Jemima will change to Uncle Tom’s?”
About two minutes after he made the submit, Zurn mentioned Thursday, “I noticed what the that means of ‘Uncle Tom’ would replicate, and I took it down.”
“We’d like folks like me to pay attention, and to apologize,” Zurn mentioned.
The day after the Aunt Jemima submit, Zurn issued an apology on Fb:
As most are conscious, I did a extremely inappropriate submit yesterday. It was a feeble try at humor and realized it inside 5 minutes and took it down. I can not flip again the clock so I’ll personal it and apologize for my insensitivity at a time once I can and will do higher. I’ve realized and will probably be a greater particular person for this unlucky expertise. I sincerely apologize to anybody who was offended. You have got a proper to be upset with me. I’m disenchanted in myself. Sincerely, Roger Zurn
Zurn gave a few of his background, saying he grew up in Baltimore “in various communities of colour, and I delight myself that I can stroll into any room, any church, any social gathering, and make buddies, construct alliances and, most significantly, have significant fellowship.”
He mentioned his mom was a single dad or mum who labored cleansing homes, and his father was an alcoholic who left the household and by no means returned. He mentioned he went to colleges that had been 80% to 90% African-American. “It grieves me deeply to suppose I’ve triggered ache to a neighborhood I do know so very nicely.”
The treasurer added that he didn’t perceive “the devastating impression” of phrases on social media, however does now.
One member of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, Democrat Juli Briskman, and the native NAACP have referred to as for Zurn — a Republican, who was first elected into workplace in 1996 — to resign.
Two different supervisors — Sylvia Glass and Koran Saines, who’re Black — have mentioned this isn’t the primary time Zurn, who’s white, has posted racially insensitive feedback on social media and mentioned he was solely joking.
Zurn acknowledged that, saying, “I do know there have been different posts too,” including, “I’ll by no means submit jokes sooner or later that may have racial overtones.”
Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Chair Phyllis Randall — a Democrat who’s the primary lady of colour in Virginia’s historical past to be an elected chair of a county Board — has not commented publicly about Zurn’s submit, or requires his resignation.
Since his apology on Fb, the newest submit on the social media web page features a assertion from Loudoun County Republican Committee Chairman Sharon Sadler.
Loudoun County Treasurer Roger Zurn cares for each resident of the county he serves. I do know he isn’t a racist. Roger has an unassailable file of serving folks of all races in an equitable method. It’s unlucky that these on the left merely select to assault Republicans as a matter in fact. They haven’t any regard for Roger as an individual who has proven no in poor health will in the direction of anybody, of any political stripe, within the work he does as Treasurer. Nevermind the hypocrisy coming from Democrats: they nonetheless stand alongside a Governor who was comfy with photos of individuals (together with himself) in blackface and a klan hood on his medical college yearbook web page. The very fact is that county Democrats usually are not really “outraged.” They simply wish to rating factors in a fraught political local weather. They need extra division, not unity. I assist Roger Zurn and thank him for his a long time of service to Loudoun County.
Requested in regards to the combative nature of that submit, Zurn mentioned, “I can solely do what I do. … I’ve no management over what the get together does.”
He mentioned he would discourage each events from utilizing the incident in fundraising appeals.