Mayor Apologizes After ‘Hurtful,’ ‘Insensitive’ Quip 

Middleburg Mayor Bridge Littleton spent much of July working to smooth over a controversy he triggered while addressing students participating in a local history camp. 

Littleton offered a detailed account of the incident during the July 28 Town Council meeting.

The mayor said he was asked to greet the students who were gathered in two busses before the July 4 fireworks parade. In the second bus, Police Chief A.J. Panebianco was addressing the students and Littleton said the students better laugh at his jokes or he was likely to shoot them. 

 “I very stupidly, insensitively and thoughtlessly tried to make a joke that was not a joke,” Littleton said. “As you can imagine, that is an incredibly hurtful, insensitive, inconsiderate, thoughtless remark.”

His attempt to be funny did not excuse the behavior or the comment, the mayor said.

After the comment, several students and program counselors raised concerns that the comment was offensive. One teacher noted that seven people had been killed that same day in Highland Park, IL.

The students raised their concerns again when County Chair Phyliss Randall (D-At Large) met with them later in the month and she reached out to Littleton. 

Last week, the mayor met with all 85 of the students during lunch to apologize in person and meet with individual students after that. Littleton stressed that it was a learning moment for him and an example to the students that adults and public officials can make mistakes and should take ownership to address them.

Littleton said he did not want his conduct to reflect negatively on the town or on the Town Council. 

“This was my moment,” he said.

7 thoughts on “Mayor Apologizes After ‘Hurtful,’ ‘Insensitive’ Quip 

  • 2022-08-03 at 9:39 am
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    If you are looking for reasons to be offended you will find a reason. This is yet another example of our society creating snowflakes who cannot deal with life. This ought not even be a tempest in a teapot yet here we are.

    Yes, the mayor said something stupid and inconsiderate. Odds are that many of these students will go home and listen to gangster rap and play first person shooter games on their game console. But feign offense at a stupid comment.

    • 2022-08-04 at 9:24 am
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      What did he say? The article does not seem to mention it.

  • 2022-08-03 at 9:40 am
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    Yes, it was a terrible remark on the part of Mayor Littleton. But as the English poet Alexander Pope wrote: “To err is human; to forgive, divine.” I sincerely hope Mayor Littleton has learned from this blunder. Happy Back to School Month Loudoun!

  • 2022-08-03 at 9:59 am
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    Those words, arranged in that syntax should never be used under any circumstances.
    It’s not only not funny, it’s stupid. Or worse than stupid, if there’s such a thing.

    Good grief.

  • 2022-08-03 at 10:12 am
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    Bad joke, yes. But to have it escalate in the manner it did is ridiculous. Snowflakes offended and running to tell someone that they just heard a bad joke, yet somehow felt hurt and assaulted by it. Leave it to the liberals in charge of this county to jump on this, and make a photo-op out of it.

    What happened to the days that when you heard a bad joke, you just didn’t laugh and moved on….sigh.

  • 2022-08-03 at 1:17 pm
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    Eighty five students from all across the United States and outside the country, to learn about American history “where it happened.” Probably many thought of Virginia as the seat of the Old South. Which Mayor Littleton’s appalling behavior only reinforced.

  • 2022-08-03 at 4:24 pm
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    By all means let’s create another generation of ‘victim’ seeking students. These children better wake up the real way and realize the world is not all plum fairies and unicorns and if they get offended sometimes live with it. Of course they ran to Phyliss Randall.

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