A Texas city councilman used a racial slur as he insisted he was not racist for posting a Facebook meme attacking Black Lives Matter.
Robin Thompson, a Schertz city council member, shared a social media post showing an empty trailer that claimed to show “all the supplies donated to Hurricane Harvey relief by Antifa and Black Lives Matter,” reported KENS-TV.
Several residents lodged complaints with the city, saying the post was racist and needlessly divisive.
“What he did was foster a lie that was offensive, it was incorrect, it was irresponsible and it was demeaning. It embarrassed the council,” said resident Clare Layton.
Conservative blogs and social media pages circulated false claims that Black Lives Matter activists had neglected to assist in hurricane relief — or even blocked those efforts — but the group’s Houston chapter distributed food and school supplies to area families.
Thompson, who is running for re-election in November, insisted the post was not intended to be racist — although he admits he’s been accused of racism in the past.
“Tonight marks the fourth time in my life that I have been called ‘racist,” Thompson told City Council on Thursday.
He told residents and city officials about his past work at a Georgia church located in a mostly black neighborhood, which he said illustrated his lack of prejudice.
“I was called in by the leaders of the church, and forgive the language I am going to use, but it was exactly what was said to me — ‘We are firing you because you are encouraging n*ggers to use our bathrooms and drink our water,” Thompson said.
That only seemed to make matters worse for the councilman.
“I was so offended, I got up and I walked out the door, I slammed the door,” said resident Diana Taylor. “I was hurt and I’m still hurt. Racism is something we should not practice. I would like to see Robin Thompson resign immediately and I would like to see the support of all the city councilmen.”
The mayor condemned the social media post and Thompson’s language.
“The City of Schertz and its leadership does not condone that sort of language in any manner and he hopes the councilman quickly offers a full and sincere apology,” Mayor Michael Carpenter’s office said in a statement. “On behalf of the city council and the City of Schertz, I apologize to all he offended.”
The councilman apologized in a statement, saying he had exercised poor judgment.
“I deeply and sincerely apologize for all the embarrassment, hurt and confusion that I have caused to the Schertz City Council, its staff and employees, and especially to all the residents of Schertz through my lapse of judgement in the sharing of an inappropriate Facebook post, and the offensive word I used, even in the context of a quote directed towards me, in trying to explain my mistake,” Thompson said. “These mistakes do not reflect who I am in my inner being, and from this point on, you may be assured that I will focus all my efforts to be the leader you expected me to be when you elected me into office.”
The City Council will discuss the matter Tuesday in a private executive session.