Naperville council members slam Stava-Murray's 'white supremacist' characterization
Naperville, tarred as racist by its own state Rep. Anne Stava-Murray (D-Naperville), needn't worry: City Council members have its back.
"It is very apparent that Anne Stava-Murray has a fundamental misunderstanding of both the Naperville community and what it means to represent a constituency," Councilman Kevin M. Coyne said during Tuesday's council meeting.
Coyne called on Stava-Murray to step down from the Illinois House seat she has held for less that three months.
Benjamin White, the only African American member of the Naperville City Council, also weighed in during the meeting.
"I don't believe Naperville is a community with white supremacist policies," White said. "However, that does not mean Naperville is immune to the ills of bias and discrimination. To believe so would be a fallacy."
White also suggested a committee be formed to consider the issues of Naperville's minority residents.
Stava-Murray was elected to her House 81st District seat in November, when she defeated incumbent Rep. David Olsen, a Republican of Downers Grove, taking 50.9 percent of the vote.
The 81st District is located within Dupage and Will counties and includes parts of Naperville, as well as Downers Grove.
The council members' comments were in response to Stava-Murray's comment on her "Anne Stava-Murray for U.S. Senate" Facebook page last month to a former Naperville resident's post calling Naperville "the biggest bullies." In her own post, Stava-Murray said that she "wanted to move to Oak Park but stayed to work on my community. Our history of white supremacist policies is ongoing.”
In the controversy that followed, Stava-Murray has largely stood by her Facebook comment, accusing Naperville police of racial profiling and questionable hiring practices, and saying there are mostly white teachers in the city's schools, according to a local news report.
Stava-Murray has also said she has no plans to step down, and she told Chicago's Daily Herald that Coyne in particular was trying to score political points off he controversy and that he is only trying to cause division.
"Councilman Coyne continuously tries to take this political hit on me," Stava-Murray was quoted in the Daily Herald. "It seems so partisan and unhelpful to the whole discussion."
Stava-Murray did say in another Facebook post the day following Naperville City Council's meeting that her "initial commentary" had been "obviously far from perfect" but that she would change the wording of her previous post.
"Yes, I absolutely would update them to something like, 'We're working on overcoming a legacy of white supremacy and I'm very sorry that happened to you,'" Stava-Murray said in that post.