Anne Arundel County Council member and Marine Reserve Captain Peter Smith broke down in tears during a highly emotional hearing on an anti-hate resolution that included shouting and allegation that once council member has failed to renounce past ties to a southern nationalist hate group.
Smith choked on emotion as described how his step father was beaten by three white men wielding shovels more than 25 years ago.
“I tell you this because racism is ugly,” Smith said.
Smith got a standing ovation. The council passed his anti-hate resolution unanimously.
The night was marred when council chair John Grasso shouted down citizens who tried to denounce Council member Michael Peroutka's documented links to the League of the South, a southern nationalist hate group.
►Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Download the WFMY News 2 App now.
Peroutka left the group in 2014 but critics say he has not forcefully renounced his past association with the group.
Peroutka complimented Smith on his tearful speech and voted in favor of the anti-hate resolution. Peroutka also spoke in tribute to Second Lt. Richard Collins who was stabbed to death at the University of Maryland. The suspect is an Anne Arundel County man with alleged ties to an Alt-Right hate group on Facebook. The suspect is from Peroutka’s district.
Two county residents have also recently been charged with hate crimes after allegedly hanging a noose at a middle school.