On this West Virginia Morning, Kari Gunter-Seymour is Ohio’s third poet laureate. Inside Appalachia Producer Bill Lynch spoke with Gunter-Seymour about poetry, getting published and the Appalachian part of Ohio.
Jefferson Commissioner’s Photo With Extremist Group Sparks Questions
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Updated on Wednesday, June 29, 2022 at 5:20 p.m.
A Jefferson County commissioner is under scrutiny after a photo of her with alleged members of a hate group circulated on Facebook.
The post includes a photo of Commissioner Tricia Jackson posing with two men wearing clothing with the Proud Boys logo and using the “okay” hand gesture, which was designated as a hate symbol by the Anti-Defamation League in 2019.
The Proud Boys are an alt-right hate group that have been linked to events like the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. The group is designated as such by organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Jefferson County NAACP President George Rutherford released a statement yesterday requesting that Jackson make it known publicly whether she supports the Proud Boys and their position on white supremacy.
“The mere fact that she’s supposed to be the representative on the county commission, we just want to make sure we’ve got the right personnel and that they represent our well-being,” Rutherford said.
Jackson said in a statement posted on Facebook that she believes the photo is innocent and does not plan to resign from the commission.
A release sent Wednesday evening by the Jefferson County NAACP to West Virginia Public Broadcasting announces the chapter is officially calling for the resignation of Jackson, saying her statement was not forthcoming enough and is unclear on whether she still supports the Proud Boys.
During the 2023 West Virginia Legislative session, lawmakers considered two bills to lower the state’s smoking rates. Both bills were sent to Health and Human Resources Committees and neither moved any further.