Eric Barber is a member of the Parkersburg, West Virginia, city council. He has been criticized for a remark he made on Facebook about the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
He wrote to a private group, “Better get you’re coat hangers ready, liberals.” The post has since been deleted, but screen shots have been shared online.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Barber Claimed the Comment Stemmed From an Incident in July When a Protester Threw a Coat Hanger at Him
Eric Barber reportedly wrote the comment upon hearing the news that West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, a Democrat, was voting to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. He wrote the remark in a private group, but deleted it it prompted backlash.
Critics jumped on the fact that coat hangers are often referenced in connection to dangerous back-alley abortions. One of the chief concerns of Kavanaugh opponents is that he could potentially overturn abortion rights.
Barber stated that he did not mean the comment the way in it was perceived. In July, he was in Washington, D.C. when President Trump first nominated Brett Kavanaugh. Outside the Supreme Court building, protesters on both sides of the abortion debate were demonstrating. Barber said one of the women threw a coat hanger at him.
2. Eric Barber Apologized for the Facebook Post & Acknowledged it Was ‘Insensitive,’ But the Remark Has Triggered Severe Backlash From Both City Leaders & Community Members
Barber has apologized for the Facebook post. He stressed that he had not meant to reference unsafe abortion practices.
He acknowledged that it “was poorly worded and insensitive at best,” according to the Parkersburg News & Sentinel. The newspaper also reported that Barber has received death threats and a lot of angry mail since making the coat hanger comment.
Two of the people that have criticized Barber for his post include the mayor of Parkersburg and fellow city council member Sharon Kuhl. Kuhl referred to Barber’s remark as a “distraction” and insisted that her colleague does not represent the entire council. Mayor Tom Joyce told the Parkersburg News, that spoke with Barber and “tried to convey my serious displeasure with his boorish and inflammatory behavior. On numerous occasions, I’ve implored him to stop using social media as a mechanism for incendiary, divisive rhetoric and focus on serving those who live in his district and work in our community.”
Parkersburg resident Eric Engle was one of the people to share a screen shot of the post. In the caption, he called Barber a “worthless piece of human garbage.” The post has been shared nearly 700 times. The majority of the comments were critical of Barber.
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Eric Barber is a strong proponent of Issue 1, which is on the statewide ballot for …read more