Many have called for the resignation of Daniel Benjamin, the Salem City Councilor who shared a video of Black protesters being mowed down by cars on his Facebook page.
A Salem city councilor faces criticism after he shared a video of Black protesters being run over by cars on Facebook, Daily Caller reports.
Salem City Councilor Daniel Benjamin shared a video from Ron Dwyer showing cars running over Black protesters Thursday, reports The Oregonian.
Dwyer, a blogger, captioned the video with, “As this video shows people are starting to get tired of the Black lives Matter bullies blocking the roadways.”
— Brooke Dunne (@brookedunne) November 23, 2016
Now, activists and the city’s mayor have come out to express their disapproval over Benjamin sharing the video. Some, like Don’t Shoot PDX organizer Teressa Raiford, are calling for Benjamin’s resignation.
“I think it’s sickening and pretty much disgusting. You’re promoting racial intimidation and harassment and possibly murder. He needs to resign,” Raiford insisted.
Mayor Anna Peterson also expressed her dismay with the video, calling it “inappropriate.”
Benjamin claims that because he shared it on his personal Facebook page, that anyone who was offended by it could simply unfriend him. He then told KATU that any claims he was racist for sharing it, “is actually racist” itself, according to Oregon Live.
Raiford told the station it’s “hogwash,” and that sharing the video promotes racism. The graphic footage shows a series of clips from news reports wherein vehicles run over Black Lives Matter protestors.
According to the Salem city attorney, the only way a councilor can be removed is if he or she is convicted or a crime or neglects to attend work meetings for 30 days without notifying city officials, KATU reports.
The council can, however, censure Benjamin and Peterson can remove him from any sub-committees. She says she’ll decide what to do after meeting with Benjamin one-on-one.
SALEM, Ore. — Salem City Councilor Daniel Benjamin has apologized for sharing a violent, racially charged video on his personal Facebook page last week, KATU 2 states.
In one scene, ominous music plays as a crowd gathers on a street. Suddenly a car plows into them. The video then launches into a series of collisions between vehicles and groups of people.
Nearly 24 hours after a KATU News story aired about the post, Benjamin wrote an apology on his public Facebook page. Here’s his statement in full:
Salem city councilor shares video of cars running over Black Lives Matter protestors https://t.co/mfgqXj0bBo
— The 1st Lady of Love (@The1stLadyLove) November 23, 2016
I would like to issue an apology regarding a video that I shared on my personal Facebook page. My intention by sharing that video was to bring awareness that people were being killed in the streets of our cities… and I do not condone either side in regards to the violence that has been perpetrated on innocent people. I feel the same as everyone else when I saw the video I was appalled of the brutality being exerted on people across the country. I had not heard of these incidences that were transpiring from the mainstream media. Although I do not agree with the author of that video my intention was to share the video and hopes to bring a solution before it got worse. It is to be understood that that was the only source that I had for video. I had no other choice but to share… I regret not posting that this was simply unacceptable in a free Society. Myself as well as the City of Salem take great care and treating everyone equally.
It is also to be understood that I have a multicultural family. I have a beautiful wife who was born in Korea. My sister married a gentleman from African American descent. My sister-in-law is from El Salvador and her husband is Jewish. I just wanted to bring some perspective to this matter and that I truly apologize for any harm this may have caused.
My intention was to bring awareness to the situation NOT positive reinforcement of the Deeds committed in that video.
Benjamin told a KATU reporter off-camera Monday the post was on his personal Facebook page and although it was public, anyone who doesn’t like it can unfriend him.
He also said it has nothing to do with race and, “To infer I’m a racist is actually racist.”
Teresa Raiford, an organizer for Don’t Shoot Portland, said Benjamin should step down.
Salem Mayor Anna M. Peterson said she’s horrified by the video.
“It actually made my stomach churn when I could see people actually being mowed down on purpose,” Peterson said.
She told KATU she talked with Benjamin Monday afternoon.
“I told him that I was disappointed and shocked at the video and I suggested that he take it down,” Peterson said. “We’re striving hard to let people in the community know that the city of Salem stands firmly beside the civil rights of every person in this city.”
With such kind of people occupying important positions in our country, it is therefore not surprising that systematic racism has ten its hold on us. The Salem city councilor directly approves the killing of innocent Black people who are fighting for their rights. A lawmaker who doesn’t even believe in the rule of law; this is appalling! Is this how low racism can reduce a person to? All these bigots deserve to be kicked out of office.