Waynesboro Community Group Demands City Leaders Stand-Up Against Hate
WAYNESBORO, Va. (WVIR) - People in Waynesboro are demanding city leaders do more to stand up against hate. On Monday night, members of the group ‘RISE’ addressed council after a handful of anti-immigration pamphlets were found in Waynesboro back in July.
The group said it felt silenced after the city council meeting slated for a week later was canceled due to a limited agenda. A couple of Waynesboro City Council members started Monday night's meeting by saying hate is not welcome in Waynesboro.
"In the larger scheme of things it may have been a minor incident. There was no personal violence or anything like that, but in our current context of culture in history we can't ignore it,” said Dr. Sam Hostetter, with Waynesboro City Council.
“You were asked nicely the first time to handle the situation about the flyers. Your refusal to address the issue shows all of us your lack of respect for the black and brown community and your cowardice to face us,” said Anitria Bellamy, who wants more from the city.
According to Waynesboro’s attorney, the city can't legally outlaw the distribution of pamphlets which is protected under the First Amendment - as is the content despite how offensive it may be.