Supporters of Augusta City Commissioner-Elect John Clarke held a press conference last week to tell the world they accept his apology for outlandish and racially offensive remarks made some years ago on his Facebook page.
Dilly-dilly for him and them.
What Clarke and his gathered supporters remained silent on are the myriad lies and countless refusals to remove those offensive posts, that have come in the past four months.
We can start with the lying, first. While I do not have a list of everyone who got this one particular whopper laid at their feet, I can tell you one person who did, and that would be me.
“I was hacked… there is no way I typed those words.”
After Sylvia Cooper’s City Ink column detailing a small sample of his horrific Facebook entries, which ran two days before the Tuesday election, a few of us went looking through more of his posts from that same era. What we saw were numerous offensive posts, featuring all kinds of bad language and racial slurs, that seemed to be written at all hours of the day and night. When I inspected the posts myself, I was appalled. Several dozen posts and instances where the N-word was used, and more “Jesus H F***ing Christs” than I could keep up with. I had been told Clarke was claiming that he had been “hacked” and that the posts were not his own.
About that time, just after 11 p.m. Sunday night, I spoke with Clarke on the phone. It was then that he told me himself, again, “I would never write those words, that is horrible language. Someone changed those posts, I have been hacked!” While that was hard to believe, I made the mistake of trusting the word of some mutual friends who believed Clarke was an honest man.
I won’t make that mistake again.
In the midst of attempting to read through the posts, his entire Facebook page disappeared. For a minute. I took that minute to make the case on my own page that “poor John was hacked” and that he was insisting he was going to report it all to the police as soon as the sun came up.
His page did pop back up in a bit. Long enough for me to see that the most offensive posts were still in place, and once I was able to check their “editing history,” I could see that in fact the posts were never altered in any way, and they definitely had been in place since 2014.
So he lied to me. Lied like a damned dog, while asking me for advice and counsel. He lied knowing I would take his case and make it to my audience, with the hopes of garnering the sympathy and understanding that such a victim would deserve. He lied to me in an effort to use me and in turn, betray my audience.
By the time I and a few others understood what was going on, we were already into the wee hours of Election Eve. While none of us (Clarke supporters) were happy with the deception, there was still no way we wanted his opponent, the highly dubious Lori Myles, to win the seat. We were hoping against hope there was an explanation.
But it got worse.
About that time, I was informed that a number of local friends and supporters had seen or heard about Clarke’s offensive posts and urged him to take them down. He refused. He refused multiple requests to take them down, from multiple people. As you can see in one response (pictured here), he blew off his posts as “humorous.”
Countless inflammatory uses of the N-word and the F-bomb as “humorous.”
How one human being can be such a moron and still manage to tie his own shoes is a mystery to me.
I had hoped once Clarke was confronted with the evidence that we had confirming his own lying and obvious ignorance, if he did still manage to win against Myles, he would withdraw before ever being sworn in as a Commissioner.
The last-minute revelations did take a toll, in a seat he should have won by 15 points easily, he struggled to win by 6 points. But win he did.
By late Tuesday and early Wednesday, there were expectations among many of his former supporters (like me) that his conscience would kick in, and he would make the announcement he had told a number of people he was going to make, that based on the revelations of the past week he was “unable to govern” and thought it best to resign the victory and allow another election to determine a new Commissioner in November.
He made that promise to at least four people.
But apparently that was the ‘liar” in Clarke kicking back into action, energized by the “moron” inside, listening to a small group of minions insisting that he should “stay in place.”
John Clarke’s recent press conference convened with many of those minions at his back, along with some new BFF’s from the Augusta City Commission.
Clarke made his apologies for what he claimed were apparently “grief-inspired” and “alcohol-fueled” racist and profane posts to his Facebook account over the years. An account which was finally and completely terminated at the request of everyone he knew with taste.
For his dozens of lies of the past week, and his hardheaded stupidity of the past four months, he offered no such apologies.