Loudoun NAACP President Phillip Thompson said he is “more than a little upset” about how the press conference held after the vandalism of the historic Ashburn Colored School turned out.
Thompson said elected officials used the press conference to grab the spotlight, stealing the focus from the NAACP’s efforts to bring the county’s political parties together and organize a day of service to repair the damage.
In a Facebook post beginning “Here’s why you can’t trust any freaking politicians,” Thompson wrote:
“NAACP helps setup and plan Community Day to clean up and paint the school. Cameras show up and politicians run in front and freeze NAACP out. Now I could do something ugly, but, notice must be served. Do not take us and our support for granted in the future. If I am reelected President, things will get interesting for all politicians in Loudoun County.”
At his urging, the Loudoun County Republican and Democratic committees offered a joint $1,000 reward for information about the vandals, and the NAACP has organized a day of work to restore the church Sunday, October 9. The 300 volunteer spots for that day of work filled up almost immediately.
Thompson said he will be pushing for a study of all black historic sites in the county, which he said are falling into disrepair and neglect.
“They let this stuff deteriorate, and then they get a Swastika on it, and all of a sudden everyone’s running out and talking about ‘historical site’ and ‘blah blah blah,’” Thompson said. “It’s just a bunch of disingenuous nonsense going on.”
Thompson hopes the county will recognize, protect and preserve historic sites before they gain attention through vandalism.
“This county just does not want to recognize its African American past, and the impact of African Americans in this country,” Thompson said. “…General Lee walked across the street and picked an apple, you’ve got a plaque. But over 200 years of human bondage… this is just kind of swept underneath the rug. And we’re going to be sure this year to continue to raise this as an issue.”