The racism and sexism is already showing up for a vice president pick that Joe Biden hasn’t even chosen.
Luray, Va., Mayor Barry Presgraves, who is on his final term and not up for reelection posted on Facebook, “Joe Biden just announced Aunt Jemima as his VP pick.”
Meet Barry Presgraves, the Mayor of Luray, Virginia. pic.twitter.com/4aiJ8j8gV4— Seeking an Entanglement (@Keli__Kelz) August 3, 2020
According to The Washington Post, Presgraves could not be reached for comment.
There have been calls for him to resign. According to WTOP, Leah Pence, a Luray Town Council member, wrote, “I am writing to strongly urge you to resign over a racist comment you made on Facebook. The comment you posted has a type of humor that has not been appropriate or funny in my lifetime or yours.”
On Monday (August 3), Pence claims she sent an email to Presgraves the same day the Facebook comment was made and was waiting for a response.
“The racist Facebook post written by the Town of Luray Mayor, Barry Presgraves, today does NOT represent the views of The Luray Town Council,” she wrote on her FB page. “While I cannot speak for anyone else on the council, I personally condemn the statement he posted. #oneluray.”
Jerry Schiro, another council member, said he has plans to speak to Presgraves.
“All racial comments are inappropriate given the heightened sensitivity to racism in our country today,” Schiro said. “We are and should be held to a higher standard. I can assure citizens of Luray that kind of thinking is not indicative of the council.”
Aunt Jemima stems from a character based on the racial stereotype of a Black “mammy” who raised her master’s White children. Quaker Foods North America, whose syrup product featured the racist depiction, dropped the name in mid-June.
Presgraves was elected mayor in 2016 by 59 votes. He had previously worked for Aramark at Shenandoah National Park, according to his biography on the town’s webpage.
Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, has announced that he will choose a woman as his running mate. There’s been wide speculation that he’ll choose a woman of color. No decision has been made publicly as of yet.
Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images