Virginia Taliban: City takes down portraits of former mayors who were all too white

Noel C. Taylor Municipal Building / Facebook

The city manager of Roanoke, Va. wants you to know that even though white men are bad, bad, bad, he is definitely one of the good white men.

At the city’s municipal building, normal people could once see a hallway lined with portraits of former mayors.

City Manager Bob Cowell, however, saw only one thing: skin color. The intolerable whiteness of the former mayors offends him so much that he arranged to take down all the portraits in a hall at the Noel C. Taylor Municipal Building in August.

Now, in a move akin to removing statues of Americans from the Confederacy of nineteenth century America, or the Taliban removing statues and art that are intolerable to radical Islam, the portraits have been snatched from public view.

Cowell told an approving Roanoke Times that he talked about banning the portraits from the hall for about a year and a half with other staff and elected leaders before he succeeded in getting them cancelled. City officials have made a recent show of talking about “diversity,” “equity” and “inclusion” in their running of the city, which apparently means concealing historical truths.

Cowell wrote to the City Council: “the current image (a corridor lined nearly exclusively with white males) does not align with our efforts at being welcoming or supporting diversity and inclusion.”

A more tolerant art gallery – based on the color of people’s skin – was set to be in place by Sept. 10 as the kickoff for something called Welcoming Week, billed as a celebration to connect people of all backgrounds, as long as they were never white mayors of Roanoke.


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