BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – India Walton’s fitness to serve as mayor of Buffalo is under fire after a comment she posted a year ago – an insult with racial overtone against a city councilman – resurfaced.
Councilmembers say the comment has no place in city government.
Walton was incensed that Councilman Joe Golombek, and other members of the common council refused to defund the Buffalo Police Department last year.
The raw and racially-insensitive comment on Facebook has since then been taken down.
The setting was racial unrest last summer, as peaceful protests against police violence gave way to rioting in some places on the streets of Buffalo.
Protesters demanded the police budget be defunded, and the Common Council refused.
“I will not slash the police budget because I think people are missing out on a whole bunch of ideas,”
Councilman Joe Golombek of North District said last year.
Golombek told us when rioting spread to Riverside and Black Rock, police were slow to respond because they were tied up downtown.
“And I said I am not going to vote to defund the police because there’s a thin line between anarchy and civility,” Golombek said.
And when the North District councilman posted his feelings on Facebook, India Walton responded with a potentially racially insensitive comment – “You don’t know what you are talking about tender *expletive* white man.” The expletive referred to a man’s genitals.
Walton has issued an apology to Golombek for insult, saying in part she was outraged and heartbroken at the time – no excuse, but maybe to provide context for her poor choice of words.
Walton is now committed to being more careful with her words and would like to meet with Golombek to bury the hatchet.
The only member of the council to endorse Walton, Rasheed Wyatt, told us he would not have said that.
Wyatt points out Walton posted that unfortunate comment well before she announced her run for mayor, and he is not withdrawing his endorsement.
Golombek accepts her apology and has no hard feelings, but won’t be meeting with her.