Poor Me Lee

Following the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis, there is racial unrest across the country. Most people that are legitimately angry have taken to the streets to peacefully protest racial injustice and inequities.

Others have taken advantage of this horrible tragedy, burning down stores, looting, and grabbing the spotlight for themselves rather than seeking progress on how we can fix the system together that failed and killed George Floyd.

On Saturday, May 30th, Delegate Lee Carter grabbed that spotlight for himself.

In Manassas, there were protests on behalf of Black Lives Matter. They were mostly peaceful, and people of all colors wanted to show solidarity in the wake of Mr. Floyd’s death. Delegate Carter, sans mask, and less than 6 feet from the police, walked up to the officers -proceeding to yell at them.

He took a knee as the cell phones and the media snapped away. He continued to make a scene for the cameras, pushing up against the riot shields. He was then pepper sprayed.

Lee took to Twitter to say, “PWC police lied to me about not having CS gas. I inhaled some, and they flashbanged me <90sec after I identified myself. Then VSP sprayed CS directly into my left eye after refusing to answer basic questions for ~45min.”

On the Left side of Twitter and to many of his supporters online (most of whom are not even members of his District) he is being hailed as a hero.

But grabbing the spotlight for yourself is not heroic. By co-opting a movement that is highlighting racial injustice and making it about himself for a photo op, Lee demonstrated an example of white privilege and not a stand against racism.

Lee has the privilege to curse, push, and act out in front of armed police officers because he is white.

George Floyd gave a cashier a counterfeit twenty dollar bill and wound up dead for it.

This is the first time Lee Carter has emerged in public since the pandemic. Not during a food drive for those left hungry by COVID-19. Not supporting local businesses.

Because those acts of humanity do not come with a news crew or Radical Twitter Fandom.

If Lee Carter truly was being an ally and cared about racial inequality, he wouldn’t turn a blind eye to the Confederate idolatry in Manassas, a reminder of racial oppression by Jim Crow Democrats. Stonewall Jackson Middle School in his district would not be named for a man who fought against the U.S. to keep people of color enslaved.

If Lee Carter truly was being an ally and cared about racial inequality, he wouldn’t support Common Core that makes equity harder for children of color in the classroom, handicapping them later in the workforce and in life.

If Lee Carter truly was being an ally and cared about racial inequality, he wouldn’t support policies that make it harder for black and hispanice entrepreneurs, robbing them of chances, jobs, and the opportunity to build and create wealth.

Do not let Poor Me Lee fool you. He is no ally. He is not calling for all races, creeds, and colors to come together as a leader and as a representative of the Virginia House of Delegates. He specializes in making himself the victim, by not focusing on the real victims of racial inequality.

Cover photo: From @JessFosterVA who wrote, “@carterforva in Manassas standing between PWCPD/VSP and protestors demanding to know which agency threw a flash bang at him when he arrived and questioning the necessity of tear gas. Photo taken from @cathlyns FB live feed.”  May 30, 2020

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