Jan. 24, 2017—Lawrenceville, GA By: Jeffrey Albertson
Tonight was the second Gwinnett County Commission meeting since Commissioner Tommy Hunter’s (R-D3) “racist pig” comments in response to Georgia Rep. John Lewis’ (D-GA) remark that that he believed Russia’s alleged hacking aimed at helping Trump in the 2016 race makes Trump an illegitimate president.
At the conclusion of presentations on zoning matters, Chairwoman Charlotte Nash (R) opened the meeting for public comment. In over two hours of speeches, Gwinnett County residents, County Democratic Officials, and even a former Tax Commissioner from Rockdale County voiced concerns of Commissioner Hunter’s inability to lead and represent the County’s diverse population.
Gabe Okoye, Chairman of the Gwinnett Democratic Party, stated to Hunter that “Demonrats” and “Libtards” live in your district and “you have lost their trust.” He added, you have “one thing left to do: resign.” Another speaker questioned, “How can you have our best interests in mind when you call us ‘Demonrats?'” Another commented, “I’m not a “Demonrat…not a Libtard”…I’m a Constitutent.”
Another speaker, donning a “United Together” t-shirt, pledged to protest until Hunter’s “resignation.” At least four other speakers echoed the same message: You will see us at every meeting until “you go.” Another remarked that the County Commission was “tainted with racism” and challenged other members to “stand up” against Hunter’s comments.
In a direct confrontation, Hunter was called a coward by one speaker. “You are a coward”…to sit behind a keyboard and insult a Civil Rights leader. Others questioned Hunter’s role as a Sunday school teacher, “What are you teaching those those children in Sunday school?” The speaker filtered her comments as a result of being in “cussing rehab.”
A disabled combat veteran challenged the other Commissioners and Chairwoman to do something about Hunter. I didn’t “sacrifice my back and knees to be represented by Hunter…freedom of speech isn’t slander,” he added. Referencing his children and the ideal of standing up to wrong-doing, he was unable to let this episode just “go-bye.”
Perhaps the most moving of all the speakers was an 11 year old, who stated “In my middle school, there are people from all walks of life. And I was taught to love them all.”
During the comment, Commissioner Hunter did not respond and several speakers asked him to face them while speaking. What remains to be seen is how the Gwinnett County Republican Party will respond.
I’ve included more photos from tonight’s meeting below.