Virginia circles are clutching all the pearls over some old Twitter comments made by Charlottesville City Councilman Wes Bellamy — considered to be a rising star in Democratic circles.

Of course, Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe has chimed in with a statement that could only be described as covering his backside from any potential fallout among fellow Democrats.  From the Daily Press:

“The governor is horrified by the content that has been reported on recently from Mr. Bellamy’s Twitter feed,” McAuliffe spokesman Brian Coy said after several requests for comment Tuesday. “He has reached out to Mr. Bellamy and is awaiting a return call.”

Blah, blah, blah…

The Charlottesville Daily Progress has more if you want to help them sell newspapers dive in a bit deeper.

…but really folks?

Look, we shouldn’t excuse bad behavior.  That’s not the point of letting this go or turning a blind eye to this.  Yet there’s a more salient point that I think many folks need to consider in all of this whenever there is a “gotcha” moment in the press (or in the blogosphere) and it is this: Is this who that person really is?

Bellamy doesn’t strike me as the kind of guy who doesn’t care about his community.  Bellamy is an educator, ran twice for City Council at a young age, dove straight into the political process with a wife and three young girls back at home — not for Congress or governor, but as a local elected official where the stakes are small and the feelings are hardest.

Ideally, this is a teaching moment for our more liberal friends.  I really don’t care if Bellamy vintage 2007 gets upset when he sees white people in Orangeburg.  I really don’t give a damn.  I’m pretty certain that Bellamy vintage 2016 would have something to say to his younger self about that sort of mindset.

That’s what matters.

I don’t know Bellamy personally, nor do I know the new media site that did the digging through Bellamy’s Twitter profile to find these nuggets of wisdom (gold stars all around, I suppose).  Nor am I terribly interested that Virginia Flaggers — an organization that supports the Confederate Flag and statuary in public places — seemed to be the first to pile on.  Nor am I terribly exercised about the fact that the big reveal co-incided with the announcement from a panel in Charlottesville to keep the Lee statue in Lee Park.

Perhaps in the future, we could focus a little bit on why folks believe certain things rather than the face value of such statements?  An opportunity for positive engagement rather than political gain?  Alas… that’s a tough sell, and politics rarely rewards such engagement.

There’s the old line that when people show you who they are, believe them.  I’m not sure this illustrates who Wes Bellamy really is at all.  In fact, quite the opposite… and we owe it to Bellamy (and the next guy who gets hung in the public square) the chance and the latitude to be himself — not who a handful of others want him to be out of political convenience.

  • Angie Love

    So eloquently written, enough about Bellamy. Why not move on to bigger concerns Trump as president..”Alt-Right”. Freedom of speech for everyone except Bellamy, right?? Let’s ask ourselves if what he stated as a very young man holds any truths then or today? If, your truth equates to reality, your answer will be “yes.” Until you address the realities in C’ville, please move on.

  • Dawn Woodring

    The comments about raping women are more disturbing to me than the race issue. No one seems to be addressing the misogyny.

  • Bt

    So this article suggest that we don’t judge Bellamy on who he was a few years ago and instead focus on who he is today. Well he hasn’t exact done that in regards to Robert E. Lee. Bellamy has just focused on the fact Lee owned slaves but never looking past that. Lee fought for what he felt was right (and the Civil War wasn’t just about slavery) but he was also a college professor aka an educator just like Bellamy. And instead of thinking of other solutions he immediately call for the statue to be removed.
    I was at that park when he had his press conference about it. He didn’t take any time to listen to anyone with an opposing view he spoke, got his supporters riled up, then did an interview or two before leaving. So if his supporters don’t want 2016 vintage Bellamy to be judged based on 2009 to 2014 Bellamy then maybe he should lead by example and listen to others with an opposing view instead of a teen who says she’s offended by the Robert E. Lee statue and take all the glory and say it should be removed.
    He has caused this area to be dived over his views about Confederate statues.

    Once he became a politician he should have either deleted his Twitter and started fresh or made it private sooner. Because once you become a politician everything you say, have said, do, have done, etc is on display for the public to critique regardless of your party affiliation or race.
    Just like when the liberals used old tapes of Trump saying vulgar things.

    • Chris

      Good points. Let’s get that Wes Bellamy statue started.

  • Tedde Biddle

    (the Hon.) tedde Biddle, Capt.’ USMM

    I sought only contact inf. for Mr. Bellamy, (whom I also don’t know.)
    My intention was/is to send a “Buck-Up-Buckaroo” note to him…
    Having NO twitterness in me, this post ALONE, balked me in that mission.

    SO well said. Huzzah!

    So, for you! A piece of what I will say to him:

    “Ralph Vaughn Williams, a ‘Sea Symphony’, (First Opus), Lyrics by Walt Whitman. Go ONLY to YouTube post by Colin, it has pictures. (Yes, Virginia, both Williams and Whitman might well have been shot, in their day, for their ‘purported, sexuality.)

    Also, seek out PBS documentary, “PIP and ZASTRO”, about why Annapolis did not burn with all the
    other great cities in the 1960s. (I knew Pip and Zastro, and their wives and children… Zastro remained an impossible and delightful, provocoteur and flirt, to a very ripe old age.)

    Carry On, Jeffersoniads’! & God Bless You, and all your people, Real Good.”

  • ConcernedCitizen

    Besides this, Bellamy appears to be a career criminal..

    Below is his record along with screenshots from the states that allow free criminal history searches (VA & SC). He’s from GA, but unfortunately that can’t be searched for free.

    South Carolina: Charged& Assault and Battery, Charged with
    Resisting/ Assault/ beat/wound police officer serving process, No
    Drivers License ,Failure to pay fines resulting in an arrest,operating
    a motor vehicle without a license in possession,expired license, speeding (x2), Disorderly Conduct, Improper start of car

    Virginia: Speeding (x5),reckless, No License,Failure
    to Appear, Failure to Carry/Exhibit License,HOV Violations,
    headphones while driving,No Valid License(second) Citations:

  • Abc

    You stated you don’t know him personally. He is mean. He banged on my car when I parked it blocking a parking spot when my lunch box rolled out of the car and under another car. He is not the teacher who volunteers to supervise football games or field trips. He is not the teacher who sponsored a club or worked as a tutor. You don’t know home. You don’t know how he approaches students or ignore them.