Katz: Randall, Rogers should be held accountable for offensive statements

I am profoundly outraged that Phyllis Randall has not apologized immediately for her antisemitic social media post on Oct. 9.
The image she posted was not merely reminiscent of “a movie.” It was a Holocaust-themed movie called the “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.” The plot addresses the relationship between the child of a Nazi and a Jewish child during the Holocaust.
In the manipulated image she posted, a Palestinian boy is falsely portrayed behind the fence while an Israeli boy is depicted outside, effectively vilifying Jews.
Moreover, the letters “BDS”, which stand for the “Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions” movement, appeared on the image. BDS is an international campaign aimed at delegitimizing Israel and is recognized by the Anti-Defamation League as antisemitic.
Upon being notified that this image was antisemitic, Ms. Randall replaced the manipulated image with another image that portrayed a Palestinian boy and an Israeli boy arm-in-arm.
Yet, this completely misses the point. While there are many opinions about Israel and Palestine, this conflict is not between Palestinians and Israelis. This is between Hamas terrorists and innocent people who are being viciously and indiscriminately butchered in the most cruel and inhumane ways possible, with the intention of causing maximum carnage.
It is unconscionable as to why Ms. Randall would not make an immediate and unequivocal public apology. She claims to stand for equity and unity but her actions are anything but that.
As if Ms. Randall’s divisiveness wasn’t bad enough, it was recently discovered that her chief of staff, Matt Rogers, has made abhorrent and completely unacceptable statements. These are a direct reflection on Ms. Randall, the office she holds and our county. Mr. Rogers’ statements are overtly antisemitic, misogynistic, anti-LGBTQ and inappropriate in any forum. Some of these posts are as recent as 2021, and all were publicly available on his active account on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Rogers subsequently sent a letter to members of the Board of Supervisors about this, issuing what can only be described as a “non-apology apology.” He takes no responsibility for his actions and says that concerns over his statements are a result of “mud-slinging” that occurs in October prior to an election.
To add insult to injury, FOIA’d emails appear to show Supervisors Briskman and Turner “rubber stamping” Mr. Rogers’ justification for these posts. I cannot fathom them so easily providing tacit approval of such a non-apologetic response for anyone else and find this to be deeply concerning.
The broader theme here continues to be one of accountability. This should not be difficult. Ms. Randall isn’t taking basic and decent steps after her social media post. And as it pertains to Mr. Rogers, her silence in handling this — as well as that of her fellow board members — is deafening.
Phyllis Randall isn’t leading, she’s hiding. Loudoun deserves better.
Gary Katz
Katz is the Republican candidate for chair of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors.

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