The Virginia State Conference NAACP (Virginia NAACP) calls for the resignation of Martin D. Brown as the Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer of Virginia. Last week, Mr. Brown delivered an address to faculty members of the Virginia Military Institute that denounces the precepts, goals, and mission of the very office he fills. The speech was filled with partisan talking points and erroneous assumptions and demonstrated Mr. Brown’s lack of fitness for the critically important position he occupies. Mr. Brown is the third person to fill this position since the current administration took office and to date, has failed to deliver either a framework to promote inclusive practices across state government or a strategic plan to address systemic inequities in state government practices, both of which are mandated in the legislation that created his position. Instead, in his remarks, Mr. Brown stated that “DEI is dead” and that this governor has a philosophy different from the mandate of the statute, which is state law. Mr. Brown implied that the very existence of the office he occupies creates division and what he called “stink” among the people of the Commonwealth of Virginia. His comments are not in keeping with either the intent of the office nor the spirit of unity of people supported by the Virginia State Conference NAACP. He should resign immediately.
Virginia NAACP President Robert N. Barnette, Jr. issued the following statement today:
“Mr. Brown actively promotes the reckless rhetoric of this administration. We will not stand silently while this administration dismantles the progress being made to achieve equity and advancing civil rights.”
The Virginia NAACP will continue to fight for the achievement of equity, political rights, and social inclusion by advancing policies and practices that expand human and civil rights, eliminate discrimination, and accelerate the well-being, education, and economic security of Black people and all persons of color.