Pickering goes on record against hate; still no word from Mayfield

Newspaper has asked all local officials to go on record

by Matt Comer  Editor  editor@goqnotes.com
Published: October 21, 2012 in News

RELATED: Follow the latest news and other developments in qnotes' special coverage of hate leader Louis Farrakhan's recent visit to Charlotte and local leaders' reactions.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Another local elected official has gone on record against hate speech following the ongoing controversy regarding hate leader Louis Farrakhan’s recent events in Charlotte and several LGBT-friendly elected officials’ appearances at them.

Beth Pickering

“Yes, of course, all hate speech should be condemned, regardless of the source,” Charlotte Councilmember Beth Pickering told qnotes. “Diversity is to be celebrated and cherished as an American value.”

Farrakhan is a documented hate leader of the hate group Nation of Islam. Both have a history of anti-Semitism and anti-LGBT hostility, according to the Montgomery, Ala.-based Southern Poverty Law Center.

Pickering’s comments come after several other officials similarly condemned hate speech and the anti-Semitic and anti-LGBT comments of Farrakhan. Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx, Charlotte Councilmembers John Autry and Claire Fallon and Mecklenburg County Commissioner Jennifer Roberts have each done the same.

Mecklenburg County Commission Chairman Harold Cogdell, however, has said he had “no regrets” after attending a Farrakhan event and refused to condemn Farrakhan’s hate rhetoric. County Commissioner Vilma Leake was also at the Farrakhan events. She has not responded to repeated requests for comment.

Openly lesbian Charlotte City Councilmember LaWana Mayfield has taken center-stage in the controversy. She attended a Farrakhan speech on Oct. 13 at which she said the leader was “doing God’s will.” She has repeatedly refused to condemn the remarks and also accused this newspaper of misrepresenting her views. The full audio and transcript of her interview were released on Saturday.

qnotes has asked all local elected officials on the city council and county commission to go on record with a statement prior to our Oct. 27 pre-election print edition deadline on Monday.