Rep. Stava-Murray’s Comment Sparks Discussion

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Naperville City Councilman Kevin Coyne called for the resignation of Illinois’ 81st District Representative Anne Stava-Murray at the most recent city council meeting.

“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,” said the councilman.

Coyne’s remarks came in response to a Facebook comment left by Stava-Murray on the page “Anne Stava-Murray for U.S. Senate.” The representative wrote that Naperville has a “history of white supremacist policies.”

Several councilmembers and members of the public weighed in on the comments.

“If we were really a community that was that racist, if we were really a community of white supremacists, there would be no way that I could stand here and say to you this is my hometown,” said Naperville resident Walter Johnson.

“To be clear, I do not believe Naperville is a community with white supremacist policies,” said Councilman Benny White, the dais’ only person of color. “However that does not mean Naperville is immune to the ills and bias and discrimination – to believe so would be a fallacy.”

White went on to suggest a committee to listen to issues from minority Naperville residents. Though White still wasn’t sure whether those sessions would take place during a formal meeting or in a more relaxed atmosphere.

Stava-Murray posted on her Facebook page the morning after the meeting, saying, “I absolutely would update [my comment] to something like, ‘We’re working on overcoming a legacy of white supremacy.’ ”

She also said that she was glad her comments have sparked productive public conversations.

The meeting began with White awarding plaques to four black Naperville residents, recognizing their actions in honor of Black History Month.

Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.