Town councilman resigns after post of Hillary Clinton in blackface
MONCKS CORNER, S.C. (WCSC) - A Moncks Corner town councilman resigned Wednesday afternoon after apologizing for a Facebook post depicting former Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton in blackface.
Moncks Corner Town Councilman Chadwick Sweatman’s resignation was confirmed late Wednesday afternoon by Mayor Michael Lockliear.
Sweatman made the post on his personal Facebook page. The post had the words, “Hey Joe, I’m still here,” referring to presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden.
Sweatman wrote, “Too funny not to share.”
The post quickly spread throughout social media.
On Wednesday, Sweatman released a statement announcing his resignation:
I recently posted on Facebook an image of Hillary Clinton in black face. This was a mistake. My choice in posting the image was never maliciously intended. It was meant to be a joke. In hindsight, I understand it was a poor joke. I know it was offensive to many. I apologize for my decision to post the image.
After considering the matter carefully, I have come to the conclusion that it is in the best interest of my family, my colleagues at the Town of Moncks Corner and my constituents, that I resign as a member of Moncks Corner Town Council effective immediately.
I care about our community too much to cause my momentary lapse in judgment to become a distraction or in any way diminish the very excellent work of our Mayor and Town Council.
I want to thank the citizens of Moncks Corner for their support and their confidence in me over the years. I will continue to work hard as a private citizen to make Moncks Corner a place that we can all continue to be proud to call home.
Lockliear also released a statement following Sweatman’s decision to resign:
The Town of Moncks Corner is committed to inclusion representative of all of Moncks Corner’s citizens. We have worked hard over the past several years to build bridges and increase understanding. Our efforts include racial bias training for all Town employees, community outreach events in the neighborhoods that we serve, regular meetings with local community leaders, and proactive recruitment of minority employees. The Facebook post by Councilmember Sweatman is not representative of our values or reflective of these efforts. Recognizing this, he has issued a self-explanatory statement today confirming his resignation from Town Council.
Charleston community activist Pastor Thomas Dixon of The United Front said Wednesday afternoon that no one, let alone a town council member, should make such a post.
“Just totally floored because this person for whatever reason thought it was alright to post that and make a joke about it. It’s not, it’s not,” Dixon said Wednesday. “The use of black face on Hillary Clinton in order to make a joke, a racial joke aims at the first African American female vice presidential nominee, so it’s unacceptable.”
Community activist Sharea Washington also saw screen shots of a the councilman’s post.
“Some of those things that are put out could have been taken as a joke maybe ten years ago can no longer be taken as a joke,” Washington said. “Even if that’s how you joke at home, because you are a public official you have to be held in a higher regard than anyone else.”
Sweatman did not respond to a request for comment but he did post an apology on his Facebook page. He wrote that it was meant to be a political jab and that racism was never on his mind.
He wrote that he just found out Wednesday morning that black face is an unacceptable term or depiction.
“When you see all of these things taking place and it’s a national issue, there’s no way that you can jump on and say I just didn’t know or just last night found out,” Washington said. “That’s nonsense, it’s poppycock and we can’t allow that, it’s intolerable.”
Both Washington and Dixon had called for Sweatman’s resignation earlier in the day.
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