WRAL was out with a report Saturday about Lee County Commissioner Kirk Smith declining an interview request “about recent social media comments.”

From the article:

“In light of the fact that in the past, the media takes liberty to edit and often takes one out of context, I will decline an interview. I prefer emails as they provide one with evidence for the record,” Smith wrote.

WRAL News reached out to Smith after several people shared comments he made about race on Facebook. Smith characterized those questions as “a concerted effort by the Progressives monitoring us, to silence my comments on FaceBook.”

Smith is a regular participant on a Facebook group called North Carolina Truth Seekers / Formerly Lee County Truth Seekers.

The story goes on to show some of Smith’s boilerplate response to critics, who have apparently been emailing him after seeing the comments about race … but doesn’t mention what any of those comments were, which is a bit confusing since they remain in the public domain. The Facebook group in question is a public one (click at your peril), and multiple Lee County residents have been sharing them in recent days. Here are a few samples:

Additionally, posts have been making the social media rounds about plans to attend the next Lee County Board of Commissioners meeting for public comment in response to Smith’s comments.

Smith’s controversial views on race – and a number of other topics – are nothing new. His letters to The Sanford Herald on homosexuality and Lee County High School’s Mock U.N. program go back more than two decades, and he’s been known to call environmental activists “eco-marxists” and make reference to “diversity’s perversities.” Smith has also advocated that low income children in public schools be fed peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, blamed county staff for falsehoods in a letter he wrote attacking another local elected official, made a stink about basketball players at Central Carolina Community College locking their arms in solidarity during the national anthem, attacked the service of a combat wounded veteran who disagreed with him, blamed minority students for parking problems at a private lot near Lee County High School, and claimed that military and paramilitary organizations in Nazi Germany were “dominated” by something called “the virtuous macho gay male.” That June 15 meeting promises to be interesting.

Smith, a Republican, served a partial appointed term term on the Board of Commissioners in the late 2000s before resigning. He was elected to an at large seat in 2012, heavily defeated in his bid for re-election in 2016, and won a district seat in 2018 by a 55 vote margin. He is not on the ballot in 2020.