Oct. 20 Facebook status update never relayed as on-the-record statement to newspaper
CHARLOTTE, N.C. ‚ÄĒ After two weeks of scrutiny, a message against discrimination from openly lesbian Charlotte City Councilmember LaWana Mayfield has been revealed to this newspaper even as Mayfield continues to dodge requests for an on-the-record and public statement.
Mayfield and other local elected officials have come under fire for their repeated refusals to make a public, on-the-record condemnation of anti-Semitism and anti-LGBT hate after they attended a speech by Louis Farrakhan in mid-October. Farrakhan is the leader of the Nation of Islam, a hate group documented by the Montgomery, Ala.-based Southern Poverty Law Center. Mayfield has also come under scrutiny for a Twitter message in which she said Farrakhan was “doing God’s will.” The original news report by qnotes was published on Oct. 19.
On Friday morning, qnotes received screenshots of a message Mayfield posted on her protected Facebook profile. The status update was posted on Oct. 20. It is the first time this newspaper or its staff has received any sort of statement made by Mayfield following her interview with us on Oct. 18 and various comments she made on Facebook on Oct. 19. The newspaper has not had access to Mayfield’s city council Facebook profile.
“I have always stood for equality, love and respect of all people,” Mayfield wrote in the status update. “My time at City Council has been proof of my commitment to all those that call District 3 their home. I have been present in many events, meetings and forums; as an elected officials I want to understand, hear from, and be informed from all those that I come in contact with. I also believe that by being present I can inform and teach others about the various sections of my community that I represent and that I belong to. My mere presence at an event is by no means an endorsement of any particular person or belief. I never have and never will support beliefs that contradict what I stand for or discriminate on the basis of race, gender, religion, disability, sexual orientation or economic status. I look forward to the day when all people can be respected, loved and treated with equality. I am grateful for All [sic] of those that are doing Their [sic] part to make this world a better place for us All [sic].”
Local attorney, longtime activist and Mayfield campaign supporter Connie Vetter referenced the above statement to this writer on Thursday but declined to forward it to the newspaper. A local freelance journalist was able to send the newspaper screenshots of the comment.
Mayfield, who previously accused this newspaper of misrepresentation, continues to decline repeated requests for comment. Mayfield and Mecklenburg County Commission Chair Harold Cogdell and Commissioner Vilma Leake, who both attended the Farrakhan event with Mayfield, have not yet responded to an email on Thursday morning following news of an upcoming Nov. 10 neo-Nazi hate group rally in Charlotte.
Mayfield’s continued refusal to go on-record with a condemnation of anti-Semitism and anti-LGBT hate prompted two of her endorsers, the national Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and the local Mecklenburg LGBT Political Action Committee, to issue public statements against hate after being approached by this newspaper. Mayfield’s two endorsers were among the single largest contributors to her 2011 city council campaign in which she became Charlotte’s first and only openly LGBT official.