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Leesburg town councilman calls Loudoun NAACP president a bigot

Leesburg Town Councilman Tom Dunn, left, and Loudoun County NAACP President Phillip Thompson.
Leesburg Town Councilman Tom Dunn called the president of the Loudoun NAACP “a bigot” in an email to the Times-Mirror this morning.

“I consider Mr. Thompson by his comments to be a bigot and not a uniting force within our community but a divisive individual,” Dunn wrote. “He accused citizens of Leesburg to be [Ku Klux] Klan members and did the same to me as you can see in the attached.”

Dunn provided an email from last September where Thompson told the councilman, “Now run along and dry clean your white sheets for your next rally.”

The email was part of a chain discussing the violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville last August.

Thompson responded Wednesday by saying Dunn calling him a bigot “is truly a badge of honor that I will wear proudly on any day.”

“Tom Dunn has a verifiable history of opposing almost every measure presented to the Town Council involving race or diversity during his tenure,” Thompson told the Times-Mirror. “Mr. Dunn attempts to hide his bias under the auspices of a policy, but when you uncover his true intent, it screams of prejudice toward minorities and any policy he perceived as benefiting minorities. However, for Mr. Dunn to use his official position to try to attack a citizen demonstrates that not only [he] disrespects the Town Council, but that he disrespects the Town of Leesburg.”

Thompson went on to call for Dunn to be “censured and admonished” by his council colleagues.

Speaking specifically on the “white sheet” comment toward Dunn, Thompson said, “Although obvious it was sort of meant in humor, it says what it says …I do believe Mr. Dunn has beliefs that border on white supremacist. I challenge anyone to look at his voting record and his comments.”

Dunn, who has served on council since 2008, did not support the creation of Leesburg's Diversity Commission in 2015. During debate on the commission, he made heavily scrutinized comments that “God” freed slaves in the U.S., “not government.”

Dunn was the lone opposition vote Tuesday on a memo of understanding between Leesburg Police and the local NAACP. According to the MOU, both groups agree to support youth programs that encourage positive interactions with police, have their leaders meet quarterly and provide training.

“I asked council to postpone signing MOU until new leadership for the NAACP come forward,” Dunn said in his email.

The spat between Dunn and Thompson comes after several recent instances of KKK fliers being distributed across Loudoun. Town Council on Tuesday unanimously approved a statement condemning racism and hatred in the community.

Dunn has also opposed removing or relocating the Confederate soldier statue in the center of Leesburg.


Correction: This article has been updated to correct Councilman Tom Dunn's vote on the creation of Leesburg's Diversity Commission. Dunn abstained from the vote, he did not vote against it.


Comments


I see a lot of comments about Blacks and Whites and Bigot this and that. 

In case folks have missed a population shift in the county, Blacks were the largest Loudoun minority in 2000 at 7.1% of the population.  In 2016, Blacks % increased slightly to 7.7% of the population, though now a distance third largest, less than a FOURTH of the total Asian and Hispanic percentage of the Loudoun population (32.4 %).  And, a whopping 24% of Loudoun County is “Foreign-born”.

It seems to me from the comments and the LT articles that the NAACP is driving division between Whites and Black – jokes or not – and it should spend time be promoting equal treatment under the law and fairness and harmony among ALL races. 


Bill Fox—a legend in his own mind!


Lawman, all those things are happening all across the country. Mr. Thompson has nothing to do with them. But I noticed you wisely did not dispute anything I said…there is a huge double standard that has allowed the Al Sharptons and Phillip Thompsons to proceed unfettered with their character assassinations. The irony of it all is that it was the Thompsons and Sharptons that elected Mr. Trump!


In the end results count.  NAACP MOU Signed, Anyi Klan Statement Signed, Diversity Commission Approved, More Minorities Hired, Black Police Chief Hired, two Black City Council Elected, Black Chair BOS Elected, Black Supervisor Sterling, Elected, More Black Principals Hired, More Minority Teachers Hired, More Black Sheriffs Hired, Black Sheriff Promotions, School Named After Racist Rescinded, School named after Black Community, Approved: so for all those who say Mr. Thompson is a race baiter and has done nothing since he took over the NAACP, seems to be some significant changes in this County. I guess his nothing is better than most people’s something.  But the real fact if his effectiveness is the fact that the racist com mentors are so bitter.  And that folks is Priceless.


Mr. Fox, you are missing the bigger picture on this. For the past few years, race-baiters like Thompson have been able to irresponsibly label others who disagree with them as racists without impunity. The media has been quick to carry their water and assist them. Imagine if Dunn had emailed Thompson saying “now go home and get back to your fist-raising with your BLM pals”. Imagine if Thompson had publicly shared that email. The LTM would be all over Dunn with screams of racism and white supremacy. And the guy would lose his job on the council, no questions asked. No one who has been paying attention the past couple of years can dispute that. The headline on this article should be “NAACP President Makes Racist Remark to Town Council Member”.  Instead, it puts Dunn on the defensive, not Thompson. Thompson is unapologetic about his comment, even trying to pass it off as humor. But labeling someone a racist is not funny. Dunn could never get away with that, nor should he. But Thompson has. Race-baiters like Thompson are why the label “racist” has become almost meaningless these days. The NAACP says it wants to improve race relations in this country. Having a guy like Thompson representing them shows they are not serious about that.


Both buffoon & bigot come to mind from this story.


Thompson is using identity politics to Divide this community. Create rifts and division by demonizing your political opponents. Classic Alinsky tactic.


I only post Bill Fox’s response only because at this point what he say’s makes sense. Both Phillip Thompson and Tom Dunn should know better. As far as Ron Campbell and Tom Dunn working out there differences they better. Because the next time we go to the polls they should both be voted out.


Honestly, (IMO) both of these individuals are acting like children and don’t deserve the press they are being given.  Both of you go to your safe spaces for a time out (preferably both with a dunce cap on ... though this is not PC, I think it is apropos concerning these two individuals).


This is one recent example of how whites are racial targets and everyone is supposed to except it.  There are tons of stories just like this.  A white person calls it out then he’s a racist.  SO blacks can target white people and it’s ok.  What people fail to understand is when you call someone a racist/bigot, day in and day out, that person or group of people start to become bigoted, even if they never had a bigoted bone in their body.


Mr Fox
It looks like Dunn was trying to distance his constituents from the bigot by showing Thompson for what he is, unworthy of public trust with a special policing agreement with the Town. 

Dunn said the emails were town government emails and thus not private or personal.  It seems that Thompson or the press or both are trying to make this into some personal dispute.  What is Dunn retaliating about?  Even if it were a personal issue you have a public figure, Thompson, representing NAACP which engaged the government with a special policing agreement.  This is a huge responsibility worth maximum trust from all parties: NAACP, Police, and all citizens represented by Council.  The newspapers are filled quotes from Thompson that show he will not keep with the goodwill of the agreement. Dunn enforced how bad this Thompson is with public emails calling citizens and officals Klan members amoung other things.  The NAACP are good people but Thompson is not.  He is giving them a bad name.


I think most of us know what “white trash” is. It is unfortunate that the Loudoun NAACP chooses someone who is “black trash” as its leader and spokesperson. Nothing good will come of it and the situation will likely only get worse.


CampR3.  You sound like Ron Campbell.  Nice try with the alias! It’s a free country, sir.  and Tom Dunn didn’t do anything libelous.  If anything, he called out a bigoted, arrogant, self-righteous and inflammatory individual, whose actions in this county have probably engendered more racial division than since the Civil Rights era.  The KKK and extremist groups are now distributing their garbage here because Thompson riled up the masses about the Confederate statue.  I wish more elected officials would speak out because they have been the target of Thompsons’ venom.  This is not just a “personal spat” between him and Tom Dunn.


This is sure a lot of hysterics over a personal email exchange between a two community leaders.  The fact that the Times even considers this news says quite a bit about what kind of publication they are.

I know Phil Thompson.  He’s a friend of mine.  We disagree about many things, but we’ve also worked together on some things and actually been able to get stuff done.  I don’t agree with the inflammatory rhetoric he employs, and he and I have discussed it many times.  I wish he had not said what he did to Mr. Dunn, but its not the end of the world.  He’s probably said worse to me over the years…and yet we’re still friends. Mr. Dunn is a tough guy, he’ll pull through, I promise.  When you run for public office, this is what you sign up for…and you take it and move on.  I DON’T agree with Mr. Dunn trying to retaliate against Mr. Thompson in a public meeting. That’s just not how it works.  However, Mr. Thompson is also a tough guy…he’ll manage somehow, I promise.

I hope that Mr. Campbell and Mr. Dunn are able to work out their differences.  But if they don’t, that’s not really news.  The news is that there are some great things going on in Leesburg when it comes to racial relations, and there are some really discouraging things going on as well.  The resolution, the MOU, the election and close collaboration on the Town Council of people of various ethnicities, ages and political backgrounds…THAT’s the news. The town council is less partisan and divided now than it has ever been…and that is the type of progress we all say we are looking for. However, I suppose that’s not the controversial kind of thing that the Times likes to talk about.

As for the KKK fliers, those who believe this is just a hoax and that we should ignore it, I would recommend you do a bit more research on the subject.  I would start by Googling “klan birdseed”, and read some of the newspaper articles from outside Loudoun.  I think you may change your tune.

No, Leesburg is not a haven for racists, white supremacists or the Klan.  Its a diverse and inclusive community, represented by a diverse and inclusive Town Council.  Those of us who care intend to keep it that way. We will keep working to repel those who seek to divide us, and tone down the rhetoric among those leaders and residents who SHOULD be working together to preserve and enhance our awesome community.

Take a breath, everyone.  Go find someone you disagree with, and take ‘em out for a beer (unless its me, in which case you can take me out for a nice diet carbonated beverage).

Bill Fox
Resident of Leesburg


Dunn’s voting record and comments do hold him suspect. Seems like a rude boorish type. That does not make Thompson right in his backlash. Hopefully the Council will deal with this on their own.


“Fact:  Some Neo Nazi, White Supremacist or KKK wanna be is passing out Racial hate flyers..

Is it a fact, Cindylou? As of this writing, my understanding is that nobody of any political bent has been associated with these flyers. With all the “hate crimes” that have later been proven hoaxes, I wouldn’t be so quick to jump to conclusions. And yes, I’m hoping that one is a hoax, too. Loudoun County has come so far, and it would be a shame if in fact the KKK, even in its most impotent form, was back.


“Some Neo Nazi, White Supremacist or KKK wanna be is passing out Racial hate flyers and is an American Terrorist.”

And how do you know that, cindylou? There is yet NO information to indicate who is behind this. There isn’t even an indication of any suspects. So as of now it isn’t a “fact”. It’s merely your speculation and assumption.


Sadly, the race card is the pretty much the sole tool of the NAACP these days. Everyone is racist. This is one of many reasons why they have ceased to be relevant.


CindyLou, it is NOT a FACT that some white racist is putting out KKK flyers. As we saw with the Ashburn Colored School vandalism, when LTM and other media kept quiet about the race of the vandals, this could be a hoax. In that case it generated thousands of dollars of white guilt money. This may have the same purpose. All the hoaxes get front page treatment—the reveal of the hoax gets a tiny mention. And there have been many hoaxes.


How about this for the title of the article.

Loudoun NAACP president calls Leesburg town councilman a KKK member.


Leesburg town councilman calls Loudoun NAACP president a bigot


I have looked at Dunn’s comments and voting record—nothing would indicate Dunn borders on being a white supremacist….this is a serious charge this NAACP President seems to dole out frequently (with the help of this enabling paper) when someone disagrees with them…sometimes people have a disagreement, it has nothing to do with their race….i think the NAACP needs a more mature leader to be credible.


I bet the person handing out the flyers is someone known in the community. Just have a gut feeling. Hope I am wrong.


NAACP President Phillip Thompson. is a BIGOT and tries all the time to divide.  The email he sent said exactly what it was meant to say and he is no better than any KKK representative.  He clearly does not like white people and feels superior.  WRONG you are a human first try and act like one instead of a BIGOT


Fact:  Some Neo Nazi, White Supremacist or KKK wanna be is passing out Racial hate flyers and is an American Terrorist.  It needs to stop.  Fact.  Everything else is background noise.


Race relations in this country were really improving to point where people were beginning to be judged by their character and not by the color of their skin. When Barrack Hussein Obama became President it was set back for years as he made hero’s of Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin and demonized law enforcement. You want the truth, that’s the truth. Race baiters like this Thompson guy now feel emboldened to throw accusations around by accusing certain white people to being Klansmen without repercussions. How would Thompson feel if he was accused of being affiliated with a Black hate group? Would he wear it as a badge of honor? From his tone it sounds like he would.


It is amazing how there are 6 or 7 posters here that believe that anyone that does not agree with them lock step must be racist or KKK members. What a sad little world they live in when disagreeing with someone calls for name calling.


Camp53 you must approve of Thompsons insults about calling citizens KlAN members


I pity the fool but a regular reader of the comments section of LTM stories can not come away with anything but the conclusion that there are six or seven unrepentant racists regularly posting here. 

They always take pains to couch their racist views so I guess we’re making progress toward a more tolerant society but it’s painfully slow.


You folks are hilarious.  Don’t have a clue about the context of the conversation or Dunn’s record. Just get your talking points in and you phased outrage.  Love it when white folks try to turn around racism. Sort of like Putin calling himself a democratically elected official.  One thing for sure Mr. thompson must be doing his job if this many white folks are upset.


Camp53 must be Ron Campbell who did not like Dunn reading Thompsons hateful words sent to a public town council email address.  And Campbell further does not like Dunn standing up for all of Leesburg against the racial bully Thompson.  And Cambpell does not like Dunn trying to stop a formal agreement to be signed committing the Leesburg Police and the Town Council (meaning all citizens)with an obvious bigot.  Campbell must approve of Thompson calling everyone Klan members.  Very sad very sad, and You want to be Mayor?


real truth….Thompson “puts white people in their place”...what place is that, exactly?


Please provide your name Campr53.  It is great to level attacks at someone while hiding your identity.

As a member of the Leesburg Town Council


As a member of the Leesburg Town Council, it is clear that Council Member Dunn overstepped the lines of civility and used this stage to try to get back at Mr. Thompson for perceived insults between the two of them. The people’s government should never be used in this way. I have personally witnessed this type of behavior from Mr. Dunn before as he has verbally attacked and insulted Town Staff and other Council Members. If Mr. Dunn wants to be transparent then he should also reveal his own comments between himself and Mr. Thompson. It is unfortunate that I weigh in on this situation but Mr. Dunn is out of order and the Council should consider taking action to respond to his behavior. If Mr. Dunn wanted to express legitimate issues to Council, then he had time over the last month to express his concerns before last night. Deliberate and unprovoked attacks against citizens that you disagree with is not acceptable under any circumstances for elected officials.The people of Leesburg deserve better.


There is now video of Dunn’s remarks and it seems he is reading verbatim emails from Thompson. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Afo7A-UHf8&feature=youtu.be Thompson is the man! He puts white people in their place and Dunn doesn’t like that.


Yes, that’s it, the white sheet reference was humor…So LTM condones Thompson making a racial/hateful comment but anyone else…. Is LTM owned by NAACP? Just wondering. Seems like they’re only in the news in Loudoun.


Thompson joking about race!  Thats the Joke! watch or listen to the end of Town webcast cause dunn read a few emails from thompson.  I don’t have exact quotes but Thompson said stuff like Leesburg residents were taking part in torch burning Klan rally and that Dunn was like a terriost in Thompson’s eyes.  NAACP you are nice people but Thompson is not!


Thompson is a huckster in the Jackson/Sharpton mode. The NAACP (exclusionist/racist by nature of its name) is a great example of people/groups making it difficult for race relations to improve in this country


Lawman, I presume you mean “privilege” not “previlidge”. And your comment was actually racist, by the way. Let me explain. You are ascribing something - coming up with despicable names (check your spelling on that word too btw) - to an entire race, and arguing that any individuals of that race should not be offended when they as individuals are called names or something they are not. While you may think throwing around the phrase “white privilege” makes you look hip and “woke”, your comment shows quite the opposite.


“Now run along and dry clean your white sheets for your next rally.”

Why yes, that is sure to improve relations among our different ethnic groups.

“Although obvious it was sort of meant in humor”

No, it wasn’t, Mr. Thompson, and you know it.


That is one funny joke to me.  I bet that would have won top prize on America’s got talent.


“Now run along and dry clean your white sheets
for your next rally.”

Although obvious it was sort of meant in humor


The NAACP is always the first to complain and never do anything.  They complained we have few black teachers but yet do not do anything to solve the problem.  Enough with the NAACP rhetoric, either do something or be quiet. We are tired of your complaints.


Lots of elected reps opposed moving the statue, not just Tom Dunn.  But finally, someone in official capacity stood up to Phillip Thompson who is polarizing and incendiary.  He is a bigot and NAACP needs to get rid of him.


Always funny to hear the race of people who came up with all the dispicable names for everyone else: have the nerve to get upset when a name or label is thrown back at them. Would that qualify as “white previlidge”?


Finally and take a close look at Randall’s behavior.


Enough with the race card. I am no fan of Mr Dunn, but we do share an increasing distrust in those who use derogatory labels to minimize opposing points of view.

This NAACP fellow needs to be reprimanded for using such awful terms to demean folks who aren’t in lock step with his agenda. Shame on the NAACP for allowing this sort of divisive rhetoric.

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