An appointed deputy mayor from Chris Christie's hometown, Mendham NJ, resigned amid backlash for his anti-immigration post on Facebook that compared a house infested with raccoons to immigrants living in the United States.
Deputy Mayor Rick Blood announced his resignation late Monday after a Township Committee meeting denounced his anti-immigration Facebook post that explained people voting for President Donald Trump because they viewed him as the "exterminator" to get the job done.
Dehumanizing hate speech by @MendhamTownship Deputy mayor & @RoxburyTwpNJ Public Works Employee. #NoHumanBeingIsIllegal @dailyrecord @starledger @NAACP @ADL_NJ @NJTVNews @News12NJ @latinojustice @LATINOACTION pic.twitter.com/dqmJl0ZFza
— Karol Ruiz (@KR_KnowUrRights) February 12, 2018
According to the Daily Record, Blood took down the post that same Sunday night and apologized, saying that he had not written it himself but reposted it from somewhere else.
On Monday Blood stated early on in the meeting that he had no intention to step down. "I do not believe my brief misstep warrants stepping down from the committee," he said.
However after listening to more than two dozen people he did just that.
During public comment one resident spoke out against his role in filling a vacated seat after losing to lone Democrat Amalia Duarte. "You lost an election to a Hispanic Democrat in a community that has 1,000 Democrats, [Amalia Duarte] got 1,200 votes," township resident Michael Merritt said. "Only 600 Democrats voted. Subsequent to that, you were selected by an all-white peer group from an all-white male slate, to serve on the township committee. Following that a white male majority appointed you deputy mayor. I'd like to encourage you to think that maybe white privilege is a reality you should give thought to when you make jokes about Tom, Ricardo and Hasid."
In an emotional speech, Amalia Duarte, whose parents immigrated from the Dominican Republic, said "How could you post that not knowing it would be incredibly offensive to people in our community?"
Only reason Blood resigned is because a blue wave election in November brought Mendham its FIRST EVER Democratic official -- a daughter of Dominican immigrants. She defeated Blood in November, he was appointed to an open seat in Jan, and then she forced his resignation last nite.
— Matt Katz (@mattkatz00) February 13, 2018
When the council wanted to adjourn the meeting Duarte said, "There's a quote form Maya Angelou that says when someone shows you who they are, believe them, I think we've seen it. I think we need to listen to the public. Let's take action tonight." And after two hours of listening the Town Hall meeting adjourned to a closed session. A few minutes later, his resignation was met with applause as Mayor Richard Diegnan Jr. announced that Blood had submitted his resignation, effective midnight. The packed committee room cheered and some residents took pictures.
Deputy Mayor Rick Blood resigns at Mendham Twp Committee Meeting tonight receiving heavy criticism & pressure from community members for a Facebook post he shared comparing undocumented immigrants to 'rabid, messy, mean raccoons.' Check back for article/photos/video pic.twitter.com/TmY6gVGxV0
— Bob Karp (@BobKarpDR) February 13, 2018
Blood remained after the meeting for awhile to speak with residents who criticized him.