Home Waynesboro leaders never sanctioned Jim Wood: They, instead, went all in on his hate

Waynesboro leaders never sanctioned Jim Wood: They, instead, went all in on his hate

Chris Graham
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Photo: Facebook

Waynesboro Mayor Lana Williams, back on Feb. 27, called for Jim Wood to step down from his vice mayor position, following a hateful, bigoted nickname that Wood gave to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on his Facebook talk show.

Williams, at this week’s Waynesboro City Council meeting, struck a different tone with respect to her feelings on Wood.

“Vice Mayor Wood and I had the opportunity to attend the EDA Pitch Night last Monday night, where eight potential small businesses presented plans to be considered for grant funding in front of a panel of judges,” Williams cheerily reported at the opening of the City Council meeting.

Well, isn’t that cozy?

This was Williams back on Feb. 27:

“Such language is unacceptable in any context, and has no place in our city,” Williams said. “As a representative of Waynesboro, he should not be making remarks that are insulting and demeaning. I cannot condone Mr. Wood’s comments in the podcast. Although he was speaking as a private citizen, his comments have a negative impact on the city as residents and Council.”

This came after Wood referred to Buttigieg as “ol’ Pete Buttplug, or whatever his name is” on his Feb. 15 Facebook talk show, which he has since deleted, along with more than two years of questionable Facebook and podcast content.

“Pete Buttplug” is a homophobic slur directed at Buttigieg used widely in far-right conservative circles on social media and message boards to denigrate Buttigieg’s sexual orientation.

And it wasn’t the first from Wood, who asserted in a Nov. 2 Facebook talk show that the politically motivated home invasion hammer attack on Paul Pelosi, the husband of then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, was as a “domestic dispute” perpetrated by “a male prostitute and advocate for Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ.”

“Both in their skivvies, and both had a hammer. Nothing to see here. Huh? How about that? Yeah. Yeah. Funny how that works,” Wood said.

Once might be a slip of the tongue, but twice – and then deleting his past content – might just constitute a pattern.

That all seems to be water under the bridge now, though.

Ward C City Councilman Kenny Lee joined Williams at the Feb. 27 City Council meeting in demanding that Woods step down as vice mayor.

At-Large City Councilman Terry Short went a step further, calling on Wood to resign his City Council seat.

It seems now that all they were doing was pretending to get their pound of flesh, pretending to talk tough, to make it look like they were taking the stain on the city that Wood’s words represented seriously.

Far from being sanctioned for his bigotry, Wood, after the mayor had noted her chummy public appearance with the vice mayor at the Pitch Night event, was called on to read a resolution proclaiming National Library Week, which he did with the appropriate flourish.

Waynesboro has gone all in on the hate, apparently.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].