Editor: I’m not a personal friend of Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring now under fire for racism. But I have known Mark Herring for over 25 years in his various offices of Loudoun supervisor, state senator, and attorney general and worked often with him in my various capacities of failed politician, planning commissioner, and officer of various Loudoun organizations concerned with the quality of life in our county.
During all of my interactions over a quarter of a century I have never heard Mark Herring make a racist remark, tell a racist joke, or even give that wink and a nod when something racist is past around. As far as I know all his public service actions have been focused on equality, fair treatment regardless of race, and to the public interest.
By this letter I would like to challenge any one in Loudoun County who has any information that supports the thesis that Mark Herring is a racist to step forward and publicly present it now. But if there is no evidence to present from those of us in Loudoun who know him well; then I ask you and all our political leaders both Republican and Democratic, leaders of our African-American communities, and citizens who have interacted with Mark in one way or another on their concerns to speak out in his defense now.
It has taken me 24 hours of soul searching to write this letter as it is not my direct concern. I asked myself what if I’m accused of racism for writing in support of Mark? Will it marginalize me when the time comes to petition the Board of Supervisors to curb some of the development excesses that the Planning Commission is writing into the 2040 Plan?
But in the end, you’re forced to recognize that if you have testimony that can help prevent an injustice you must step up or be ready to live with the knowledge of your failure to do so for a long time. I just hope others will feel the same way.
Al Van Huyck, Round Hill