An Arlington County staff learned “KKK” scrawled on a pillar in the parking garage beneath the county government’s Courthouse headquarters previous 7 days.
The employee, who is Black, uncovered the message in the garage for the Ellen M. Bozman Government Centre (2100 Clarendon Blvd) and noted the incident on Thursday early morning to County Board customers, County Supervisor Mark Schwartz, Chief Race and Fairness Officer Samia Byrd and the Arlington department of the NAACP, according to the area NAACP. The personnel filed a police report yesterday (Monday).
The Arlington NAACP shared an excerpt from the e mail chain concerning the employee and the county that it said encapsulates how the incident harms extra than just the unique who uncovered it.
“It would seem because I reported it, and simply because I transpire to be Black, I am witnessed as a solitary victim,” the personnel wrote to the county in an e mail, according to the NAACP. “I do not see myself in this way.”
In a statement to ARLnow, County Board Chair Matt de Ferranti condemned the message.
“It’s regrettable and unacceptable to see racist graffiti anywhere in our group, enable alone in our individual parking garage,” de Ferranti mentioned. “This garage is open to the public at all periods and frequented by people applying the businesses throughout the Courthouse community.”
Arlington’s Office of Environmental Expert services and house owner JBG Smith took measures to take away the composing from the pillar, he reported.
“Our thanks go to the unique who claimed it to us,” he added. “ACPD is also investigating, and we will have a additional comprehensive response with regards to the steps we have, are, and will be using more than the coming times.”
In a assertion, the Arlington department of the NAACP took a more powerful stance, indicating any county employee who parked in that garage was “victimized” by the information and emphasizing that this incident is not “graffiti.”
“Speech expressing hatred of a specific team of persons is described as ‘hate speech’ and is not ‘graffiti,’” the business reported. “The Arlington Branch NAACP condemns any kind of dislike speech and stands with the Black staff and any worker or citizen who studies dislike speech.”
The NAACP requested county management to send out a information to the county workforce that detest speech will not be tolerated everywhere.
“However, unfortunately, the County missed the options to get in entrance of this and, as of Monday night, four times later on, nevertheless had not tackled these worries with its staff members,” it mentioned.
Hateful messages have popped up in other places in Arlington in modern yrs.
“It’s Alright to be white” was sprayed over a church’s racial justice sign final summer season. “Heil Trump,” “KKK” and two swastikas have been uncovered on a dumpster two a long time in the past — the similar yr racial and gender slurs ended up located on a setting up that serves individuals with developmental delays.
The comprehensive statement from the NAACP is under.
On Thursday, August 26, 2021, at 11:05 a.m., an Arlington County staff claimed a Hate Speech incident to County Board Officials, the County Supervisor, the Main Race and Equity Officer for Arlington County, and the Arlington Branch NAACP. As a result, a police report was filed on August 30, 2021, by the employee. In addition, the Arlington Branch NAACP intends to notify federal authorities. The incident happened in the garage positioned at 2100 Clarendon Boulevard, Ellen M. Bozman Government Center (Courthouse Plaza). In emails shared with the County and NAACP, the employee who claimed the hate speech explained it finest: “It appears to be for the reason that I claimed it, and for the reason that I take place to be Black, I am found as a one victim. I do not see myself in this way.”
The Arlington Department NAACP believes that each County employee who parks in that garage was ‘victimized’ by the hateful information. We strongly think that a “KKK” information is meant as a message of despise and intimidation OR as a concept of solidarity – there is no in-concerning.
Speech expressing hatred of a distinct team of individuals is described as “Hate Speech” and is not “Graffiti.” The Arlington Department NAACP condemns any type of Despise Speech and stands with the Black workers and any personnel or citizen who studies Hate Speech. We are now mindful County management intends to handle the difficulty shortly. Hence, we are inquiring County management to instantly have interaction the workforce, sharing a effective anti-discrimination message that plainly states despise speech has no area in our County–including our public parts or where by we do the job. This kind of information will reveal solidarity with all who observed the news hateful. In addition, this will strengthen that we stand agency from all types of hatred in our place of work and the community. Having said that, sadly, the County skipped the opportunities to get in front of this and, as of Monday evening, four days afterwards, however had not tackled these worries with its personnel.
The Arlington Branch of the NAACP shares the whistleblower’s feeling of outrage. But regrettably, this loathe speech now permeates the County’s workforce 1st by its mere presence in an spot mostly frequented by its employees and second by the County’s deflection and deficiency of an quick and robust reaction.
The County has said, “more is coming.” But the article-George Floyd anti-racist playbook is crystal clear. There should really be no excuses, no pats on the again for past initiatives, but instead an acknowledgment that racism and racial intimidation nonetheless exist in Arlington County, and it hurts — All of us.