Va. Mayor Refuses Mob Call to Resign over ‘Aunt Jemima’ Joke on Facebook

'This was about a prominent woman who made pancake batter and the company was forced to take it off, which was wrong...'

The mayor of a Virginia town rejected calls from leftists this week to step down after he shared a humorous post joking that presidential candidate Joe Biden would tap “Aunt Jemima” as his running mate.

Offended residents, supported by leftist activists, demanded that Barry Presgraves, the mayor of Luray, Va., resign after he wrote in a since-deleted post: “Joe Biden just announced Aunt Jemima as his VP pick.”

The post was a reference to the popular brand’s decision to change its name due to accusations of racism.

Like the minstrel mammy mascot, Biden also has caught considerable flak recently for making controversial remarks that many have deemed offensive, including a suggestion this week that all black people were alike.

In all likelihood, Presgraves was alluding to the fact that both of the bygone relics—Biden and Aunt Jemima—are now considered racist.

Critics, however, claimed that his joke was also racist.

“The comment you posted has a type of humor that not been appropriate or funny in my lifetime or yours,” council member Leah Pence wrote in an email to Presgraves.

“While a resignation alone will not resolve the systemic subliminal racism that plagues our community, your resignation is imperative as we work towards ending racism in our community,” she said.

In response, Presgraves, who is not seeking reelection this year, said: “Hell no.”

“The people elected me and I have a few months more to serve,” he told the Page Valley News.

“This was about a prominent woman who made pancake batter and the company was forced to take it off, which was wrong,” he continued. “This was no more racist than the names I’ve been called. I don’t have a racist bone in my body.”

Presgraves admitted that the would not have made the post had he known how offended residents would be.

But he refused to cave to the mob, arguing that “you can apologize all you want, but no one will believe it.”


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