A Black lawyer is being attacked online for his past tweets disrespecting Black women.
via: ABC 13
The Harris County District Attorney is standing by an assistant district attorney whose deleted tweets disparaging Black women have recently resurfaced.
Waymond Wesley made the posts in 2015 and 2016 before he joined the DA’s office in 2021.
On social media, Wesley is better known as Chef Way. He has hundreds of thousands of followers. The outrage over his tweets about full-figured and dark-skinned Black women online has led to him losing partnerships with culinary brands, but legal experts said the consequences shouldn’t end there.
Wesley’s oxtail pasta recipe has more than 33,000 likes on Instagram, but many of his followers have less of a taste for previous Twitter posts disparaging Black women. That account has been deleted. The pinned post under the account he uses now said, “To those I’ve hurt with my past tweets that have resurfaced, I am deeply sorry. That was a moment in my life where I was sick in more ways than one. Cooking saved me. You have watched a flawed man heal. I will continue to heal and learn. Thanks for being along for the journey.”
Retired U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore said that considering his position as a prosecutor, an apology isn’t enough.
“It’s not that he doesn’t deserve forgiveness. It’s that he does not deserve to be in a place that, one, shows that he may not be able to be fair in terms of his own decision-making process, and two, where it disparages and undermines people’s confidence in the justice system,” Gilmore said.
District Attorney Kim Ogg disagreed. She released the following statement in Wesley’s support:
“Waymond Wesley joined our office in March of 2021. We recently learned of comments he made on social media posts nearly seven years ago. These posts were inappropriate and offensive and do not reflect my values or those of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. Mr. Wesley has explained that these posts came during a period in which he was struggling with serious personal issues, including alcohol addiction. Prior to joining our office, Mr. Wesley went through treatment and has worked with the State Bar of Texas to resolve his issues. His recovery is ongoing. I am a believer in second chances, and Mr. Wesley has conducted himself professionally since joining our staff. I am confident that will continue.”
The backlash online has been less forgiving. The company Tastemade said in a tweet, “We’re shocked and disappointed to see this past behavior coming from a partner creator; behavior that we do not condone and certainly does not align with our values. He has been removed from our platform, and we do not plan to collaborate in the future.”
Anova Culinary added, “We have completely cut ties with this person as we strive to only work with partners who share our core values.”
Gilmore, who spent much of her career combatting bias in the justice system, said Wesley’s consequences should extend to the courtroom, where she questioned how fairly he can make decisions about the demographic he disrespected.
“It shows you what their implicit bias might be when it comes to other important decisions, such as charging decisions, which the prosecutors have a lot of discretion over,” she said. “Whether they’re going to charge somebody, and particularly with respect to things like what type of sentence they might recommend.”
On Friday, civil rights groups plan to hold a demonstration in front of the DA’s office, calling for Wesley’s firing.
You’re a nasty man pic.twitter.com/ZKmvvonBP4
— Divine ? (@tayshusmama) January 9, 2023
And this pic.twitter.com/1a3IwGxewV
— Kuboresha (@Kuboreshasaid) January 9, 2023
To those I’ve hurt with my past tweets that have resurfaced, I am deeply sorry. That was a moment in my life where I was sick in more ways than one. Cooking saved me. You have watched a flawed man heal. I will continue to heal and learn. Thanks for being along for the journey.
— Chef Way (@ChefWay__) January 9, 2023