Pembrokeshire County Councillor Paul Dowson’s public statements criticising the Black Lives Matter movement should be formally investigated by the council, according to UNISON.
The trade union said Mr Dowson’s use of a phrase adopted by the racist Klu Klux Klan was deeply offensive when people around the world were united in protest at police brutality and the murder of George Floyd.
UNISON questioned whether the councillor is fit to hold public office.
Mr Dowson used his Face Book page to attack Labour councillor Josh Beynon’s suggestion Pembrokeshire County Hall could be lit up in support of Black Lives Matter’s commemoration of Mr Floyd’s death.
Mr Dowson posted that “White lives matter” a White supremacist phrase which originated in 2015 as a racist response to protests against police brutality against Black-Americans in the USA. Councillor Beynon received an online torrent of racist and homophobic abuse.
Manuela Hughes, UNISON Pembrokeshire branch chair said,
“The Black Lives Matter movement has shown everyone that racism is rife in society. Black people are more likely to have been subjected to police brutality, more likely to live in poverty and more likely to be unemployed as a result of systemic racism. Their contribution is often written out of the history of this country.
“Black workers have been disproportionately affected by Covid-19 and in the NHS, care and transport sectors, Black people have paid with their lives for caring for the whole community.
“This is the climate in which Councillor Dowson made his comments. He has brought Pembrokeshire County Council into disrepute. It is important that everyone stands together against racism and the council must formally investigate his behaviour.”
Mr Dowson was criticised for his Face Book comments in April last year that former Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, should commit suicide.
Notes to editors
· Link to April 2019 Western Telegraph article Pembroke dock councillor defends his Jeremy Corbyn suicide comment