Fairfax County Library Board of Trustees

Fairfax County Library Board Member Accused of Racist Remarks

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People are calling for the resignation of a Fairfax County Library Board of Trustees member after he made controversial comments about the books highlighted on the library’s website.

The comments were made by Philip Rosenthal, the president of National Credit Corporation, during a public meeting.

“Black lives documentary. Why don’t we have some white lives documentaries?” Rosenthal asked.

Rosenthal also took aim at books celebrating the LGBTQ community.

“We have ‘Rainbow Reads for Teens,’ why don’t we have the flip side of the rainbow reads for teens?” he asked.

The Northern Virginia Equity Coalition sent a letter to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and the board of trustees of Fairfax County’s libraries asking for Rosenthal’s resignation or removal. 

“We do believe that the words and values he’s expressed are racist and they are homophobic,” Kofia Annan from the Northern Virginia Equity Coalition said.

“If he doesn’t understand what systemic racism is, then [he] does not need to be in a position of leadership in our county,” Annan said.

News4 reached out to Rosenthal for comment but he declined.

The coalition that is calling for his removal also said the library’s board of trustees needs more diversity.

A statement from the Fairfax County Library Board of Trustees reads, in part, "The comments made during the round table section of the meeting were expressed by individual members of the Library Board and do not reflect the collective policies or positions of the full Board or of Fairfax County."

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