Massachusetts city councilor resigns ahead of censure vote for his comments on Black Lives Matter, coronavirus

The Massachusetts city councilor who called Black Lives Matter a “terrorist organization” and said the coronavirus pandemic was “minuscule” and “overblown” has resigned before the council was set to vote to censure him.

North Adams City Councilor Robert Moulton resigned ahead of the Tuesday meeting when the City Council was set to bring forward a resolution to censure and reprimand him following his comments last week about Black Lives Matter, the coronavirus and other city issues.

In a one-sentence letter to North Adams Mayor Thomas Bernard, Moulton wrote, “Effective immediately I am resigning my position on the North Adams School Committee, and the North Adams city council.”

Moulton, on local public access television program “Let’s Talk About It,” had called supporters of Black Lives Matter “moronic.”

“It seems like that’s this month’s flavor. It’s a terrorist organization,” Moulton said of Black Lives Matter. “They want to get rid of the family.”

The council resolution to censure Moulton had called on him to apologize.

“It’s disappointing that there was no apology,” City Councilor Jason LaForest said of the resignation letter.

“This is now an opportunity for the city to move forward and for the Council to continue its work on diversity and equity issues,” LaForest said.

Bernard said the School Committee was also preparing a censure resolution.

“I appreciate that this was a difficult decision for Mr. Moulton to resign from both the School Committee and the City Council,” Bernard said. “I appreciate that he took the step.”

Moulton could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.

A public official getting censured for “expressing his point of view is disturbing and bizarre,” said civil rights attorney Harvey Silverglate.

“The trend towards intolerance in this country has accelerated quite rapidly lately,” he said. “It makes it risky for people to express their opinions. It’s quite scary actually.”

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