The Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs visited Weirton, West Virginia, Thursday, Aug. 17, to hear concerns of minority residents in the Northern Panhandle. Some residents are worried about violence erupting in the state in response to neo-nazi rallies in Charlottesville.
Dr. William White is the executive director of the Office of Minority Affairs. He says so far during listening tours, minority constituents have shared the same concerns as the general public: job creation, youth retention, infrastructure, and the opioid epidemic. But the meeting in Weirton was different.
Resident Matthew Wyatt brought up several race-related concerns. Among them, his observations of death threats directed toward participants of a Black Lives Matter event scheduled for this weekend in Charleston in response to rallies held by neo-nazi and other hate groups in Charlottesville during the weekend of Aug. 11.
“I’m not sure if anything’s been done about that," Wyatt said afterwards. "I’m not sure that anyone’s aware of it. And I saw a chance to make sure they heard about it hear.”
Members of the minority affairs office assured Wyatt and attending residents that they would speak with Capitol police about the threats. This is the third of five tour stops planned throughout the state this year.