Excerpted from Fairfax County Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova’s monthly newsletter, Byline:
I write this February issue of the Byline to a backdrop of confusion, anger and turmoil with Virginia’s Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General embroiled in controversy. Central to the issue is racial insensitivity, truthfulness and trust. People are struggling to put these allegations and admissions into context with elected leaders who have devoted their careers to honorable public service.
Let me state the obvious: donning blackface is always wrong and hurtful. Someone who engages in that behavior is not thinking about the African American community and the history of slavery, discrimination and racism in this country.
One Fairfax policy is designed to help move our county forward on the arc of the moral universe. I echo many others, including Martin Luther King, Jr., in believing that while this arc is long, it bends towards justice.
One Fairfax commits our county and school system to intentionally consider equity when making policies or delivering programs and services. It is a declaration that all residents deserve an equitable opportunity to succeed – regardless of race, color, sex, nationality, sexual orientation, income or where they live.
Whatever the outcome of this current turmoil, the episode has torn a scab from a wound that is yet to heal in this country and Commonwealth. If we are to end the blight of racial animus and the harm it has done, we must address it openly and honestly, and move forward together as a community. It is critical for all of us to seize this moment to examine ourselves, our society and the principles by which we live.
During February, Black History Month, I will be meeting with stakeholders to plan a community discussion on racial issues to lend a voice from the community to help inform the work of One Fairfax. It is your voice that will matter most in moving Fairfax County forward.