Del. Candi Mundon King concludes her remarks with a bow of respect at Fauquier NAACP's 67th Annual Freedom Fund Celebration.
Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel,
but on a candlestick, and it giveth light
unto all that are in the house.
Full disclosure: When it came time to publish the video recording of Fauquier NAACP’s 67th Annual Freedom Fund Celebration, there was disagreement in the ranks. The virtual event, held Saturday, August 27, began, and ended, with uplifting music and calls to action from VA State Conference regional vice-president, Rev. Cozy Bailey and Fauquier Branch president, Dr. Ellsworth Weaver.
The work of the Branch’s Health Committee was spotlighted this year; a presentation on the state of health care in our community featured some of our own members.
The theme of this year’s program was “Protect the Vote.” The keynote speaker, Del. Candi Mundon King (D-2nd District), was asked to speak on that topic.
Michelle Shanks, who leads the committee charged with putting on this year's program, said she was inspired to invite Del. King to address the Branch after seeing a video of the delegate speaking on the floor of the Virginia General Assembly last February. In that speech, Del. King, a self-proclaimed “good troublemaker,” described the “miseducation of the Commonwealth.” She said we are living in a “new era of Massive Resistance,” where the battleground is “not the Woolworth’s counter. It’s the classroom where teachers dare to bring Black stories from the margins onto the full page of the curriculum.”
But remarks made by Del. King at Fauquier NAACP's 2022 Freedom Fund Celebration alarmed some in the Branch and sparked concerns that the delegate spoke "inappropriately" and "overstepped" certain bounds. We imagine there are those in the Fauquier community at large who might agree with that assessment.
In response, Michelle Shanks offers the following:
Del. King stated that we have a governor whose goals and aspirations extend beyond the governor’s mansion, perhaps before the end of his term.
MICHELLE: That’s not her opinion. That is something that is being widely discussed and reported in the news.
Del. King stated that a white supremacist had been appointed to be the state health commissioner.
MICHELLE: Dr. Colin Greene downplayed the role of racism in health care, saying he had yet to see compelling evidence of racism playing a role in the well-documented maternal and infant health disparities between black mothers and their babies and white women and theirs. Dr. Greene claimed publicly that “racism” is a politically charged word and that if you say racism, you’re blaming white people. He later backpedaled on those comments.
Del. King stated that we must protect women’s rights because our governor has taken a public stand against the reproductive rights of women.
MICHELLE: Gov. Youngkin has been working on legislation that would ban most abortions after 15 weeks. The national NAACP has taken a stand on guaranteeing fundamental human rights, including protecting the reproductive rights and health of women.
Del. King stated her positions in strong, unequivocal terms.
MICHELLE: Were her words harsh? Yes! We are on the cusp of turning the clock back decades in terms of human rights. Right now, my daughter has fewer rights than I did when I was her age. Now is not the time to be selling guns to both sides. Now is not the time to be tolerating polite racism.
It is possible that Dr. Colin Greene (and others) are not conscious of their racism. Perhaps the current governor does not recognize the injustice of railing against so-called “critical race theory” and "inherently divisive concepts" while making it taboo for Black stories to be told.
In 2019, after a very public and serious gaffe, former Gov. Ralph Northam took earnest steps which led to positive change. One of the things he did was establish the Commission to Examine Racial Inequity in Virginia Law. Excellent, in-depth reports were issued as a result (including one entitled, "Setting a Path for a More Equitable Commonwealth" which can be found on this website).
Almost immediately after Gov. Glenn Youngkin took office, he removed the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion section of the governor's website. No longer available to the public are reports like those mentioned above. Instead of continuing the important work of race relations began by his predecessor, Gov. Youngkin has removed and denied information that might help enlighten people and make them more aware.
After much discussion, the leadership of Fauquier NAACP voted to publish the video recording of the 67th Annual Freedom Fund Celebration in its entirety. It is with compassion, humility, and respect that we do so. We hope that those who watch the video will do so in a similar frame of mind.
The link to the video, with a breakdown of hours and minutes, can be found near the bottom of the Home page of this website.
Link directly to the video here: Fauquier County NAACP 67th Annual Freedom Fund Celebration.
Download pdf of "Report from The Commission to Examine Racial Inequity in Virginia Law":