Supervisor calls for another’s resignation

Published 9:28 am Friday, May 31, 2013

Editor’s note: Isle of Wight Board Supervisor Rex Alphin read this statement during a board meeting on May 23.

By God’s grace and through his providence, we have been granted the privilege to be called citizens of these United States. By nature of that fact, we, unlike most of mankind up to this point, live within a framework of laws based on the concept of freedom, whereby we may choose, of our own volition, that which we deem our best interest. To live where we choose, decide our vocation, and worship as we please are but a few of the grand benefits we enjoy simply by the fact of our citizenship. The full force of the law stands behind these concepts and guarantees every person their right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” I would choose to live nowhere else.

Among those freedoms, as articulated in the first amendment, is the guarantee of free expression. The same law that guarantees any person the right to express a particular view also guarantees any other the right to object to that same view. That principle is evidenced in this room tonight and is a cornerstone of any free society. Let me be clear: we have the right to express ourselves whether those views be popular or not.

But, with that right comes a responsibility. Beneath that freedom lies a moral framework whereby we are called, particularly as leaders, to use our communications to promote what is good and true and beautiful, to call forth that which is noble among us.

Those communications alluded to tonight failed in those arenas. Their insensitive and condescending manner denigrated a people group only because they were a member of that group. By corresponding in such manner, one necessarily adopts a stance of superiority and relegates the other as inferior. I contend that what one finds humorous is indicative of one’s character and is often discloses the heart more than one’s tongue.

It was a Virginian that penned the words “I hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal….” This is not some historical document to be framed to fill a space on a wall; it is who we are as a people. It is a cornerstone on which our society is based; a grand destination to which we should strive. And when any vestiges of our past arise that might disavow that statement, it is our right and our duty to speak against such things, lest such ignoble views perpetuate themselves from generation to generation.

It is for that reason I speak against these actions tonight. In light of their content, their tone, their manner, and their message, I believe it to be in the best interest of our board, our county staff and our community that Mr. Bailey step down from his position.

This is very difficult for two reasons. I am very aware of my own multitude of shortcomings. And secondly, I have always considered Mr. Bailey a friend. I still do.

Rex Alphin
May 2013