Calls for Newton County Commissioner John Douglas to resign grew louder this week following his racially charged comments on Facebook, with several groups announcing their intention to make their position known at Tuesday’s Board of Commissioners’ meeting.
Last week, Douglas, who is white, admitted to writing a racist, sexist comment on Facebook under a photograph of a black woman abusing the American flag as a form of political protest. Douglas has apologized for his language, but maintains that he was defending the flag.
The story was picked up by state and national media outlets.
Georgia Perimeter College, which employs Douglas as a Military Outreach Center Coordinator at its Clarkston campus, has placed him on paid administrative leave pending further investigation.
Since the story broke, The National Action Network, the Minister’s Union, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the Newton County Democratic Party, and Congressman Hank Johnson have called for Douglas to resign.
“He has embarrassed our beloved Newton County all over the country and we don’t need that,” said Pastor Willie J. Smith, president of the Newton County Minister’s Union. “Douglas has got to go.”
The local chapter of the National Action Network, led by Victor Fields and Archie Shepherd, also called for Douglas’ resignation on the grounds that his actions contradicted the NAN’s core mission to “Promote a modern civil rights agenda that includes the fight for one standard of Justice, decency and equal opportunities for all people regardless of race, religion, nationality or gender.”
“We will join with other organizations [at Tuesday’s meeting] in our quest for one standard of decency for all people regardless of race, religion, nationality or gender,” the statement read.
The local Democratic Party also announced plans to protest Douglas remaining on the board at Tuesday’s meeting.
Christine Young-Brown, President of the Newton/Rockdale chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, issued a statement condemning Douglas’ “extremely offensive and belligerent” comments that brought back “memories of segregation and how White men treated Black women during segregation.”
“John Douglas needs to resign because he lacks the appropriate judgement and temperament to make decisions for the people of Newton County,” the statement read. “His rash and biased statement clearly indicate his beliefs and what is in his heart.”