Calls mount for Virginia mayor to resign after saying Biden picked 'Aunt Jemima' as his running mate

ByReggie Aqui, Kristen Sze, and Eric Shackelford KGO logo
Saturday, August 15, 2020
Mayor asked to resign after racist Kamala Harris comment
Sen. Kamala Harris is facing more racism as a Virginia mayor is being asked to resign after his comment that Sen. Harris is "Aunt Jemima."

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- "I just hope we'll focus the election on issues, policy differences, and leave any sexist, racist references alone. We are better than that." That's the comment from ABC7 News anchor Kristen Sze referring to a mayor from Virginia who is apologizing after calling vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris 'Aunt Jemima'.

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Mayor Barry Presgraves of Luray, Virginia issued a formal apology about the since-deleted social media post.

"I understand what I posted on social media was wrong, offensive, and unbecoming. It does not reflect what was in my heart. I also want to make a direct apology to all people of color and women. Passing off demeaning and worn out racial stereotypes as humor isn't funny. It does not reflect what was in my heart," Presgraves said according to the minutes of the town's council meeting.

Councilmember Leah Pence posted what appears to be an email to the mayor asking him to resign:

This comes as President Trump gave credence to false, racist conspiracy about Kamala Harris' VP eligibility.

Sze, Reggie Aqui and Jobina Fortson talked about the comment. "I'm wondering if that's not in your heart, how does something so unreflective even come out?" Sze said.

"I can't believe that we are going down this road again, this old tired road," Aqui said.

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"I think we're going to have to gear ourselves up for these kinds of conversations to keep going, at least until November, which is unfortunate," Forston added.

The conversation ended with a simple message, a GIF:

ABC7 has reached out to Mayor Presgraves for comment and have not received a response.

Watch ABC7's "Midday Live" every weekday at 11 a.m., right after "The View." You can also stream it live or watch it on the ABC7 News App.