A city leader in Connecticut resigned from his post this week after a series of his racist antics online ahead of a white supremacist rally caused a stir, as community leaders call for more to be done to mitigate growing xenophobia.
On Tuesday, Bristol Mayor Jeffrey Caggiano shared a Facebook post announcing Republican activist Jim Albert’s resignation from the Bristol Rotary Club due to “divisive comments.”
“The statement was very troubling to me personally and after discussing the incident with the rotarians, Jim Albert has resigned from the rotary club,” Caggiano said.
According to the Hartford Courant, Albert made a number of questionable social media posts while serving as a member of the rotary club and heavily involved with the city’s weekly farmers market, which fundraises thousands of dollars for local scholarships.
“Whites can’t fix black culture. The more blacks hate everything and everyone, including themselves, the farther behind they will get,” Albert wrote Aug. 17, the Courant reported.
The post came two days before a “Keep [Connecticut] White” rally was held in Bristol where demonstrators wore masks and carried torches. The Bristol Police Department released in a statement that local, state, and federal officers were investigating the event.
The Bristol Rotary Club also released a statement, condemning Albert’s “horrific words and message on social media.”
“The racist filled comments in his post were forwarded to Rotary International as we recognize the possible negative impact this post may have on its organization,” the group said.
After claiming Albert expressed “deep regret and remorse” for his racist views during an apology at a meeting, the rotary club said Albert’s post was “completely contrary to the mission and good works of our organization.”
However, Albert’s controversial views extended beyond that more recent post. In April, Albert, who had been a member of the rotary club since 2014, claimed that Black people hadn’t progressed since being emancipated from slavery.
“It has been over 150 years since the last civil war and over 55 years since Johnson’s great society,” Albert wrote, according to the Courant. “How has any of that helped the black community? All it has done is make millionaires of black leaders who work to keep the black community in fear, hate, division, crime, poverty, gangs, drugs, collapse of families, ghettos, welfare and plantation cities.”
In another post, he claimed Black people were the main people prosecuting former President Donald Trump because they were not “trustworthy.”
Despite Albert leaving the Bristol Rotary Club, Democratic candidates and members of the local chapter of the NAACP are concerned the city isn’t doing enough to fight growing racism, especially after Patriot Front propaganda was spread throughout the city in July, the Courant reported.
Connecticut Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz has said racist hate crimes have also increased within the area, local outlet News 8 New Haven reported.
Ahead of Albert’s resignation, The Bristol Edition reported that the Bristol Democratic Town Committee wrote a letter to Caggiano, requesting a detailed list of hate crimes be sent to state police, the implementation of a city diversity committee, and for the city council to officially denounce racist rhetoric.
Mayor Caggiano, the Bristol Rotary Club, and the Bristol Police Department did not immediately return The Daily Beast’s requests for comment Thursday.