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Creep of the Week: Virginia Del. Frank Hargrove

By |2018-01-16T07:34:56-05:00January 25th, 2007|News|

Virginia House Delegate Frank Hargrove has taken quite a beating in the press for racist and anti-Semitic comments he made last week.
Personally, I want to thank him. By speaking his racist little mind he provided concrete proof that racism and anti-Semitism are alive and well in this country.
Referring to a resolution that would apologize on behalf of Virginia to the descendants of slaves, Hargrove told The Daily Progress, “I personally think that our black citizens should get over it.” He then added, “Are we going to force the Jews to apologize for killing Christ?”
This got folks upset. Del. David L. Englin, D-Alexandria, stood on the floor of the state house and tearfully told of his family who came to America from Poland after being “driven from their homes by people who believed that as Jews, we killed Christ.” According to The Daily Progress, Englin held up a picture of his son, Caleb, and said “inflammatory” statements like Hargrove’s “mean that my 7-year-old son is that much more likely to be verbally attacked, to be physically attacked.”
Hargrove told Englin to get over himself. “I think your skin was a little too thin,” said Hargrove.
Not surprisingly, Hargrove isn’t fond of homos either. He supported Virginia’s anti-gay marriage amendment and in 2002 co-sponsored a bill to prohibit “presentations, classroom discussions, school-sponsored assemblies and student meetings, and delivery of information or materials describing or depicting crimes against nature” which is, of course, code for “anything gay.”
Hargrove isn’t a single bad apple elected by the people of this country. For too long Americans – especially white Americans – have given politicians a pass on these crucial issues in exchange for keeping taxes low or being “tough on crime.” It’s the elephant in the living room of American politics. Just look at what happened in 2005 when Kanye West said on national TV that George Bush doesn’t care about black people. The media was quick to dismiss his “off-script” remark as an “outburst” rather than look at institutional racism that played a large, and tragic, part in the Hurricane Katrina rescue operation.
We’ve seen political careers damaged – like that of Senator George “macaca” Allen, R-Virginia – when folks slip and let their racist flag fly. While it’s heartening that many voters will oust an open racist, too many closeted racists remain. They need to be outted and voters need to decide if that’s really the person they want making decisions on their behalf. In addition, political leaders need to be held accountable for excusing the inexcusable.
“I know he didn’t mean offense, but I can see how people would be offended,” House GOP Leader H. Morgan Griffith said of Hargrove’s remarks. “The general gist of Frank’s comments is he certainly didn’t mean any offense to his seatmate (Englin), whom he likes.”
Which reminds me of a joke by comedian Jason Stewart, who is gay and Jewish. “Don’t get me wrong, I love straight people,” he quips. “I have two that clean my house.”

About the Author:

D'Anne Witkowski is a writer living in Michigan with her wife and son. She has been writing about LGBTQ+ politics for nearly two decades. Follow her on Twitter @MamaDWitkowski.
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