Local Politics

Religious leader wants answers from lieutenant governor-elect about Facebook posts

Posted November 4, 2020 10:50 p.m. EST
Updated November 7, 2020 8:51 p.m. EST

— Mark Robinson made history Tuesday by becoming North Carolina’s first Black lieutenant governor.

Robinson ran as a political outsider and is known for making some controversial posts on social media. One of those posts has some in the Jewish community asking for an apology.

WRAL News obtained a copy of the five-paragraph letter from Rabbi Eric Solomon of Beth Meyer Synagogue in Raleigh. In it, he asks Robinson for a meeting to discuss why his words were hurtful.

WRAL News did reach out to the lieutenant governor-elect. An interview was scheduled for Wednesday, but when it was disclosed WRAL News wanted to talk about this letter as well, we didn’t hear back from his representatives to firmly lock down a time.

Back on Sept. 25, WRAL’s "On the Record" held a debate between the two candidates for lieutenant governor: Robinson and Yvonne Lewis Holley. One of the questions centered around Robinson’s controversial social media posts.

"Mr. Robinson, I want to talk about some of your Facebook posts," WRAL reporter Travis Fain said to Robinson in the interview. "You called Hollywood demonic. You talked about Black people giving their shekels to Jewish people."

"Absolutely, I'm not ashamed of anything I post," Robinson said. "Those are my personal things that I put on Facebook. I don’t back up from it a bit. There is a lot of sharp wit on there. Some things on there may hurt people's feelings, some things that people might not like. But those are my personal opinions that I share with my friends on Facebook."

Solomon said he hoped Robinson would admit a lapse in judgment, but he didn’t.

"When given the chance to repudiate it, he refused to do so," Solomon said. "He stood by it. He took it as a source of pride."

Solomon then sent a letter to Robinson, asking to have a face-to-face meeting with him.

“I think we would like to have the chance to share with him how much his words hurt, and hopefully give him a chance to educate himself on the Jewish community,” Solomon said.

If the discussion happens, Solomon said he would remind Robinson he represents all North Carolinians, including those who want clarity on his post.

"Children and teenagers are asking what does this mean, about someone who represents us," Solomon said. "Someone who is using antisemitic language ... is that possible? Even my own daughter."

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