W.Va. state delegate says she was target of racist abuse

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia State Delegate Danielle Walker has written to Gov. Jim Justice to say she was harassed by an “angry mob of White supremacists” at a recent Black Lives Matter demonstration, urging him to condemn the incident.

The letter, dated Wednesday, refers to a protest in Kingwood, West Virginia, on Sept. 12 where counterprotestors confronted Walker and others demonstrating against police killings of Black Americans.

Walker, who is Black, said she and others were called a racial slur and told to “go back to Africa.” She said in a two-page letter that Justice should address the matter at his regularly scheduled Friday press conference on the coronavirus.

Justice’s office did not immediately return a request for comment.

“Will you condemn the hate that was illustrated in our Mountain State from these White supremacists? Will you take a stand for racial equality and equity?” wrote Walker, a Democrat who represents Monongalia County.

The Dominion Post reported a day after the protest that it featured about 40 Black Lives Matter supporters and 60 opponents. It reported that an armed group carried firearms and told racial justice protestors to stay on the sidewalk during a march. Some of the marchers were armed, too, the paper reported, but there was no violence.

Walker wrote that she remains traumatized by the abuse she experienced.

Meanwhile, a group of 17 Republican state senators this week criticized West Virginia University after some of its football players wore helmets with the slogan “BLM,” calling the racial justice movement a “domestic terrorist group.”

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