Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Chair Phyllis Randall (D-At Large) issued a statement Jan. 23 defending her participation in the Women’s March on Washington on Jan. 21, the day after President Donald Trump was inaugurated.
The march and accompanying rally with celebrity speakers, which organizers said served as a defense of women’s rights and a statement to President Trump, drew hundreds of thousands to the nation’s capital. Thousands more participated in similar events nationwide.
Randall’s statement expressed her many reasons for participating, and made clear her views on the rhetoric used by singer Madonna and actress Ashley Judd who spoke at the rally. In a statement issued Jan. 22, the Loudoun County Republican Committee (LCRC) called for Randall to denounce Madonna for saying she had “thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House” and Judd, who called Trump’s cabinet “Nazis.”
“Obviously I denounce the inappropriate remarks from Madonna and Ms. Judd,” Randall said in her response statement. As for her own participation, “I attended on my own dime and my own time representing no one but myself,” Randall said.
Randall’s statement continued:
“I attended because candidate Trump threatened to register my fellow American citizens simply because they happen to be Muslim. I attended because candidate Trump said that a judge was not worthy to hear his case just because that judge was of Mexican heritage. I attended because he was a leader in the birther movement and denied knowing [former Klu Klux Klan leader] David Duke’s agenda. I attended because my father fought three tours of combat duty in two separate wars for my right to speak. I attended because I will not remain silent in the face of a president who I believe seeks to harm my fellow Americans. I attended because millions of people who came before me paid a price for me, some their very lives; I owe them a debt and that bill has come due. For these and so many more reasons I attended this march.”
“One does not drown because the waters too deep, one drowns because they stop kicking.”
Other prominent Democrats who participated in the march included Virginia Lt. Gov and 2017 gubernatorial candidate Ralph Northam, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring and Loudoun County Board of Supervisors member Koran Saines (D-Sterling). They were criticized along with Randall in the LCRC statement, and the board chair was accused of “an unacceptable lapse in judgement” by participating.
“Chair Randall’s association with the March alongside liberal Virginia Democrats indicates a disappointing willingness to engage in cheap partisan maneuvering, instead of prioritizing the needs of families here in Loudoun.” said LCRC Communications Chair Nicole Tardif in the statement.