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Endicott Mayor and Deputy Mayor apologize for questionable social media posts

ENDICOTT (WBNG) - Just one day after the Broome County Democratic Party called on two local leaders in the Village of Endicott to resign after questionable posts on Facebook, Mayor Linda Jackson and Deputy Mayor Cheryl Chapman are apologizing.

In a statement sent to 12 News, Jackson and Chapman "extend a heartfelt apology for the recent controversial social media post on our personal Facebook accounts."

The two went on to say that "it was a genuine mistake with no intent to promote racism through a post shared with us and no knowledge of its origins.  We have listened and learned.  Since the beginning of the controversy, we sought advice from community groups and educators with experience in diversity and anti-racism education."

All of this in response to the Chair of the Broome County Democratic Party Bridget Kane writing in a post on Facebook saying the committee held a special meeting to discuss Chapman and an inappropriate Facebook post that she shared. Kane says the post stated, "White Lives Matter!!!! Bet you wont [sic] repost."

Kane says the committee condemns the behavior and requested that they immediately resign.

She also said their actions are "not only racist but a dereliction of duty that both the Mayor and the Deputy Mayor were sworn to uphold" and wanted to make it clear that there's no place for racism in the country and the Broome County Democratic Party stands behind that.

Neither Jackson nor Chapman mentioned anything about resigning in their statement. Instead they acknowledge "you don't know, what you don't know."  They also said they're "committed to continue to learning about racism" and have signed up for a series of workshops facilitated by local professors, anti-racism educators and leaders of non-profit organizations that provide anti-racism education, programs, and workshops.

Jackson and Chapman ended their statement with another apology and say they hope their "efforts to take this proactive approach will bring healing, understanding, and enhance our mission to improve our community."

12 News is working on getting a statement from the Chair of the Broome County Democratic Party Committee for a response.

Stay with 12 News as we continue to learn more about this developing story.

Here is the statement in its entirety:

"Mayor Linda Jackson and Deputy Mayor Cheryl Chapman extend a heartfelt apology for the recent controversial social media post on our personal Facebook accounts. It was a genuine mistake with no intent to promote racism through a post shared with us and no knowledge of its origins. We have listened and learned. Since the beginning of the controversy, we sought advice from community groups and educators with experience in diversity and anti-racism education.

Acknowledging that “you don’t know, what you don’t know,” we have committed to continue learning about racism. We signed up for a series of workshops facilitated by Dr. Marguerite Wilson, Assistant Professor of Human Development at Binghamton University, and Lawrence Parham, a longtime community organizer, anti-racism educator, and CEO of CARES Advocates for Families, Inc. Mr. Parham and Dr. Wilson are the founders and co-facilitators of the Binghamton Witnessing Whiteness Community in effect for the past four years. They provided anti-racism education, programs, and workshops to several local organizations.

Again, we offer our sincere apologies and hope our efforts to take this proactive approach will bring healing, understanding, and enhance our mission to improve our community."

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Paul Mueller

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