Moral Mondays protesters stood in front of Merchants Square with signs saying “Black Lives Matter” and “Redemption” — however, none of them mentioned Gov. Ralph Northam by name.
John Whitley, who started Moral Mondays locally, said they didn’t name Northam specifically as that could be viewed as partisan, and the governor is only one part of the greater issue of racism in Virginia.
“We never, ever bring a name forward,” said John Whitley. “What we’re dealing with is the reality of what we must do when we face moments like this.”
“We’ve had so many opportunities to criticize Trump,” another protestor added behind him, but the group has never put his name on a sign.
Whitley said what is most important to the group is dealing with reconciliation and reparations for racism in the commonwealth as a whole, and not to telescope into a single issue.
“What do you gain just simply tossing a person out of office when the conversation in this community … needs to go much deeper around economic issues, education issues, health, environment, minimum wage, living wage … and having a better relationship with the elements of our community,” Whitley said.
“Is there a black legislator in Williamsburg? When’s the last time there was one? There hasn’t been.”
Heymann can be reached by phone at 757-298-5828 or on Twitter at @HeymannAmelia.