Craig R. Butterworth
The recent unrest in Baltimore was as revealing as it was disturbing. We witnessed incredible acts of bravery and courage amid the chaos. We also witnessed colossal acts of ignorance and stupidity, some of them committed by the very people we expect to lead us out of the fray and into the light.
Hanover Delegate Buddy Fowler would very much like to have a “do over.” His controversial Facebook post that used racially offensive imagery to describe the rioting was thoughtless and insensitive. It may also have been illustrative of an even bigger problem: how many other public officer-holders share Fowler’s sentiments but hold their fire in public venues?
It’s unconscionable to think that a duly-elected representative of the people would harbor such ill-will toward any ethnic group or minority. But there’s no doubt that racial prejudice exists in Virginia politics. It may not manifest itself with the unmitigated gall of Fowler’s folly, but it’s there alright, simmering just below the surface.
Making sure minorities have a voice in local, state, and federal government has proven to be an effective means of neutralizing racial biases in the political process. Henrico voters will get the opportunity to level the playing field when they head to the polls in June to nominate their GOP candidate for Commonwealth’s Attorney.
Tony Pham is the logical choice. A Vietnamese immigrant and former prosecutor, Pham has spent his entire career fighting crime. No one better understands and appreciates the values of freedom and self-determination that constitute the foundation of Republican ideals.
Pham will help reassemble the fractured Henrico GOP and attract two key demographics that have been languishing on the sideline – the youth and Asian vote. With a population of just over 20,000, the latter has become a force to be reckoned with in the county and can no longer be taken for granted.