Buncombe Activist Turned Commissioner Offers 'Intimidation' resolution

New Buncombe Commissioner ‘Stays Positive’ with Negative Resolution

A Buncombe county LGBT activist who was elected this past November to the board of the Buncombe County Commissioners has proposed a ‘discrimination and intimidation’ resolution to be considered at the December 6th meeting of the board.

The Resolution, in part calls for, “Hate crimes, threats or intimidation of any kind or manner will not be tolerated;” and calls for citizens to document any intimidation that can identify a perpetrator and report it to local officials.

Jasmine Beach-Ferrara shared the resolution idea on Facebook with Buncombe Commissioners Brownie Newman and Ellen Frost.

Beach-Ferrara told the Mountain Express prior to the election that, “We’re going to start conversations by listening, we’re gonna stay positive and we’re gonna take some risks like talking about the politics of empathy which I think matter a lot in our political moment right now.”

Apparently, part of “staying positive” starts with a resolution about discrimination and intimidation which encourages citizens to turn each other in to the police if they feel intimidated.

Beach-Ferrara is the Executive Director of the Campaign for Southern Equality, a 501(c)3 which is involved with, “advocacy, legal and crisis response services for LGBT people in the South.”

Jasmine Beach Ferrara - Buncombe
Image via LinkedIn

According to her bio, Beach-Ferrara is also a, “minister in the United Church of Christ” and founded the Campaign for Southern Equality in 2011.

The bio also says that she She graduated from Brown University, received a MFA from the Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College and has a Masters in Divinity from Harvard Divinity School.

After winning the primary, Beach-Ferrara received 37,926 votes.

According to the State Board of Elections website, 140,021 out of 197,350 possible votes were cast.  She was sworn in on December 5th.

The Facebook post shared with Newman and Frost reads:

from Jasmine Beach-Ferrara:

On Tuesday, December 6 (4:30 PM, Commission Chambers at 200 College Street) the Buncombe County Commission will vote on a resolution opposing discrimination and violence in our community and re-affirming our commitment to treating all with dignity, modeled after a resolution that was recently passed in Weaverville.

This resolution is a first step in responding to the alarming uptick – nationally, statewide and locally – of incidents of violence and harassment targeting immigrants, religious minorities, women, LGBTQ people and other vulnerable communities. Below, you’ll find a full report from the Southern Poverty Law Center documenting 867 such incidents that occurred in the 10 days after Election Day, including 24 across North Carolina and the particularly concerning pattern of what’s happening in schools.

At this time, it is more critical than ever that we buttress on our local commitments to civil liberties, equal protection for all and a commitment to treating each other with respect and empathy. With this comes a commitment to reporting and investigating incidents that do happen and, when appropriate under the law, prosecuting them.

Attached at the bottom of the post was a link to an article at the Southern Poverty Law Center.  The image accompanying the article displays a swastika and the words, “Make American White Again.”

Southern Poverty Law Center Hate Crimes

The article describes “867” instances of hate crimes since the election, however the article states that Southern Poverty Law Center didn’t appear to bother to confirm the data and they included confirmed hoaxes:

The 867 hate incidents described here come from two sources — submissions to the #ReportHate page on the SPLC website and media accounts. Incidents were limited to real-world events; the count does not include instances of online harassment. We have excluded incidents that authorities have determined to be hoaxes; however, it was not possible to confirm the veracity of all reports.

Katrina Trinko of The Daily Signal recently wrote a lengthy article questioning the Southern Poverty Law Center’s findings – many of which mainstream media outlets picked up and ran with.

Trinko also chastised the media for actually using what she calls a “faux study.” Perhaps some elected officials should also heed Trinko’s warning.

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