If you haven’t been following this story, see Virginia Board of Education member resigns after vulgar tweets surface, Tweets from Charlottesville councilman cause some to call for his removal, Bellamy on administrative leave after tweet discovery, Homophobic, sexist, anti-white language abundant in Charlottesville vice mayor’s tweets: Wes Bellamy’s tweets contrast with other published messages of unity, empowerment, etc, etc. The bottom line is that tweets Charlottesville Vice Mayor Wes Bellamy sent out several years ago were…well, not good, to put it mildly. On the other hand, since then, by all accounts Bellamy has risen to become a leader in Charlottesville and – as you’ll hear in his own words – basically turned his life completely around. With that, here’s video from last night’s Charlottesville City Council meeting, first Wes Bellamy’s powerful apology/statement, which received a standing ovation from the large crowd present, and then statements of support by his Council colleagues.
I’d just add, since I come from a Jewish background, that Bellamy appears to have satisfied most or possibly all the fundamental elements of repentance and forgiveness in Jewish tradition.: “almost all agree that repentance requires five elements: recognition of one’s sins as sins (hakarát ha-chét’), remorse (charatá), desisting from sin (azivát ha-chét’), restitution where possible (peira’ón), and confession (vidúi).” With that, here’s the video. For my part, I’m with Bellamy’s colleagues in strongly supporting him at this point. I look forward to great work from Bellamy moving forward for the people of Charlottesville.
P.S. Needless to say, I vehemently oppose any attacks on Bellamy from the so-called “alt right” or any others who hold racist views. They have the 1st Amendment right to express those views, as Mayor Signer correctly points out, but WE have the 1st Amendment right as well to completely reject their warped, hateful views.