Transcript of Statements by Lacey Mayor Andy Ryder and Virgil S. Clarkson, Lacey City Councilmember, in Response to Councilmember Jason Hearn’s Anti-Muslim Remarks

At the March 10, 2016 Lacey City Council meeting, Mayor Andy Ryder and Council Member Virgil Clarkson offered public statements of reproach  to anti-Muslim rhetoric which Lacey City Councilmember Jason Hearn had posted on his Facebook page. Here is the transcript of those statements:

Statement by Mayor Andy Ryder

Lacey Mayor Andy Ryder

Lacey Mayor Andy Ryder

I have a quick statement as well. Now, words matter. There should be no misunderstanding that the recent statements made do not represent the Lacey City Council as a whole, and it is with profound regret that the Muslim community, which is a part of the greater Lacey community, has been disparaged. It’s even more regrettable in that the city of Lacey, whose uniqueness comes from being the most diverse city in Thurston County, just embraced that quality in signing a resolution as a compassionate community. Diversity brings richness to our community, It makes the city of Lacey better by … ideas, customs, norms and traditions. We are stronger and gain a deeper understanding of one another by acceptance of all.  Ultimately and largely, Lacey’s world view. Community by its very definition stands for inclusion. This council embraces the talents and friendship of everyone in Lacey as well as the greater Thurston County region. Our diversity defines us, makes us unique, and we are proud and humbled by it. Thank you.

Statement by Virgil S. Clarkson, City Council member

Lacey City Councilmember Virgil Clarkson

Lacey City Councilmember Virgil Clarkson

This is an open letter to Jason my colleague and working partner on many issues affecting our City of Lacey.  This is a hard letter to write because of our working relationship over these many years and yet it is an easy letter to write because of the personal trust I had in you as a professional leader in our city.

When it came to my attention revealing information that was shared on Facebook with your friends, that you considered
the President of the United States a Muslim and you had conversations that a percentage of the Muslims were bad people, I was aghast at what I was hearing and didn’t want to believe it because many of our constituents are Muslims.

I thought you were above the fray and common gossip, but evidently not.  It is imperative that a Political Leader in his or
her community working at the highest professional level should be committed to providing quality representation for each of our constituents and the citizens of Lacey.

Therefore, it is important that I must publicly state that your behavior is a breach of your expected and entrusted
leadership role.  It is equally important that the action be appropriate to the situation.  Jason, I want you to know what a disappointment you have been to me with my trust in you as a leader and one I thought I could depend on.