Addressing the Goochland County Board of Supervisors during the board’s monthly meeting on July 7, Goochland NAACP President Wendy Hobbs made it clear that she and many other Black Goochland residents are disappointed by what they perceive as a lack of support from county leaders and a hesitancy to issue a broad condemnation of recent acts of police brutality.
“For 45 days this board has not issued a statement condemning racism, injustice, and inequality toward African-Americans,” Hobbs said, referring to the death in May of George Floyd, a Black resident of Minneapolis, Minnesota whose death while being restrained by police was captured on video and ignited protests around the world. “Your silence has implied that Black lives do not matter.”
Hobbs went on to question why there had been more discussion about the county’s new animal shelter during the board’s previous meeting then there had been about the sadness and anger being felt in the county’s Black community. “Was the shelter more important than acknowledging how black constituents are feeling in this time of unrest?” Hobbs asked. “Actions speak louder than words, and if fail to speak out your silence in complicit.”
Hobbs pointed to two recent events — a peaceful demonstration at the county Administration Building on June 6 and a march on June 19 in honor of Juneteenth, the holiday celebrating the end of slavery in the United States — that no board members attended, with the exception of District 4 supervisor Don Sharpe, who attended the June 6 event.
“Why,” Hobbs asked, are our leaders not marching with us?”
Hobbs concluded her remarks by formally asking the Board of Supervisors to issue an official resolution condemning the actions that led to the deaths of George Floyd and to several other killings by police of unarmed African-Americans. Hobbs asked that the resolution also acknowledge the disproportionate number of African-Americans affected by poverty and lack of access to quality education and health care, and also that it explicitly reject words and actions that bring about division in the community.
In addition, the requested resolution should offer some path toward contextualizing the Confederate memorial plaque at the County courthouse, Hobbs said.