Pawleys Island mayor under fire over controversial Facebook post
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Mayor of Pawleys Island is under fire over a controversial Facebook post. Some people are calling his comments “racially insensitive.”
Mayor Brian Henry commented on a recent Georgetown shooting where three people were shot and two of them were killed. A Moncks Corner man is now facing charges related to the incident.
In the now deleted Facebook post Henry said that because it was a black man accused of shooting white people, there was no outrage.
Many people were quick to respond to his post, calling for his resignation. Jacqueline Williams lives in Georgetown County and she says she was outraged by the post.
"He made the comparison of black and white in his particular statement. Two white people defenselessly being gunned down by a black man, this is something we deal with in our race every single day," Williams said. " I think that it is reckless and I think he has used his voice and his words very recklessly, and it further perpetuates the cycle of racism in this country and in our town."
Henry also referred to “Black Lives Matter” as a terror organization. He went on to say that people should demand action and all lives matter.
Some civil rights activists say there is no comparison between the shooting in Georgetown and the Black Lives Matter movement.
Maurice Scott says the mayor has not shown any outrage for the other murders happening, until now.
“The only reason why Black Lives Matter even comes into play is when folks are murdered and no one is arrested. In this case I think the individual was arrested,” Scott said. “We didn’t just come up with these civil rights groups for no reason. We came up with these groups to get equality, and Black Lives Matter is just an extension of what we had in the 50′s and the 60′s.”
In a statement to Live 5 News Mayor Henry said:
Yesterday, I heard about the senseless killing of 2 Georgetown residents. My wife and I know the family of the victims. I was deeply saddened and angered by the gruesome nature of the killing and felt grieved for the family and this community. I typically refrain from social media because of my position as an elected official. But, in this case, I felt compelled to pour out my heart to this family and release some of the emotion I felt, so I drafted a post on Facebook.
I regret that my post was misinterpreted, and some perceived it as rationally insensitive. My wife and I care deeply about the black community in Pawleys Island and Georgetown County. Our employees and the many organizations that we support have been at the center of our lives since we moved here 20 years ago. I have removed the post because I believe it may have been offensive and insensitive to the very people we care so much about.
Just like everyone in America, I am deeply frustrated with the racial division and unrest in this country. This incident stoked raw emotion from this community, including me. We need more conversation and understanding, and it is my plan to pursue that.
I would also like to emphasize that my opinions and comments were posted on my personal Facebook account and in no way reflects the views of the Town of Pawleys Island.
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