Updated as of 4/13/2022 at 9:30 a.m. ET
That digital footprint is no joke. A local Republican elections official in Virginia has been accused of posting racist messages on Facebook and was called to resign, reported The Associated Press. David Dietrich had been found using racial slurs against Unites States Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and calling for a “public lynching.”
Austin had previously vowed during his confirmation to “rid our ranks of racists and extremists,” reported The Hill. Pentagon press secretary John Kirby spoke on Austin’s behalf, saying despite the “wicked comments” the Pentagon chief will be focused on leading the department forward.
Kirby’s statement from The Hill:
No matter who you are … where you came from, what your background is, he believes that if you’re qualified and you want to serve this country, you should be able to do it. And you’ll be able to do it without fear of discrimination or harassment,” Kirby said. “In his view, there’s no place in the Department of Defense for comments like that, for the actions that come from comments like that.”
The Republican Party of Hampton announced on their Facebook page they were aware of Dietrich’s posts, condemning them as “abhorrent and unacceptable,” per AP’s report. They also included a screenshot of one of his posts from February 2021. AP reported Dietrich had either tried to delete the post or make it private, however, not before the group got to it.
More on the Facebook post from AP News:
The screenshot included language criticizing Lloyd Austin, the nation’s first Black secretary of defense, and retired Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré, who was tapped by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to review the Capitol’s security after the Jan. 6 insurrection.
“We are being forced into a corner by these enemies of the People,” the post said. “If it is civil war they want, they will get it in spades. Perhaps the best way to pull us back from the brink is a good public lynching.”
Gov. Glenn Youngkin went to Twitter to respond to the incident. “As governor, I serve all Virginians. I won’t accept racism in our Commonwealth or our party. The abhorrent words of a Hampton Roads official are beyond unacceptable and have no place in Virginia,” he tweeted.
The Virginia Legislative Black Caucus said they were glad members of the GOP took initiative in calling for Dietrich’s resignation and that they “invite more members of the GOP to condemn his racist language,” per AP News.
According to reports, Dietrich resigned and has also been removed from the political committee. Imagine how many more people like him are still working.