top of page
  • Writer's pictureSam Orlando

One Hot Mess: Texting Tensions and Racial Intimidation Rise at Augusta County Board Meeting

Written by: Sam Orlando

A Not-So-Secret Text Drama It seems like 2023 is shaping up to be quite the interesting year in Augusta County. Just when you thought government meetings would be as dry as your grandmother's turkey, along comes a seasoned local who spices things up with a dash of, dare we say, savory intimidation tactics.

The Unintended Star of the Show Chanda E. McGuffin, the CFO of RISE, an esteemed civil rights and educational non-profit, attended an Augusta County Board of Supervisors Meeting where she was unknowingly cast as the star of a text message drama. While some might pen a love note to a secret crush during such a meeting, this elder Romeo had a different kind of messaging in mind.

Chanda, who was seated behind him, spotted the gentleman's texting banter with someone affectionately saved in his phone as "1 hot mama." Now, while it remains unconfirmed if this 'hot mama' is his secret salsa instructor, a long-lost college flame, or sister, she asked a simple question: "Is that >insert not so nice, profane word< there?" To which our protagonist confirmed, "Behind me."

From Private Texts to Public Entertainment McGuffin, ever the good sport and apparently the >insert not so nice, profane word< in question, captured this texted gem for the world to see. In her classy retort on Facebook, she playfully advised the man to perhaps keep his phone a tad more concealed next time, lest he become the evening's entertainment. It's always a good idea to remember that screens can be seen by more than just one's intended audience.

The post quickly became a social media sensation, with McGuffin's supporters expressing everything from sheer disbelief to the kind of laughter that has you shooting coffee from your nose.

A Deeper Issue Uncovered Many comments hinted at the underlying seriousness of the situation – such as Rainey Massie's suggestion that McGuffin might need security. And why might that be necessary? Because in 2023, attending a county board meeting is apparently akin to walking the red carpet or stepping into a boxing ring. One must always be prepared for the paparazzi or, you know, random acts of intimidation. However, this type if intimidation, levied toward minorities and civil rights leaders, is not new to 2023. In fact, it is a resurgence of our worst history, and it seems to be alive and kicking in Augusta County.

Linda Shallash asked if there was a standard speech on behavior given before each meeting. A valid question, considering the texting antics on display. Perhaps next time the Board should consider a more pointed "please refrain from being a jerk" reminder. Given the recent scandals of the Augusta County Board of Supervisors, one can't help but wonder if this type of intimidation of those who are different is perhaps par for the course?

In Conclusion: The Call for Change This incident, though met with humor and camaraderie, underscores a deeper issue. The fact that such derogatory exchanges can happen at a government meeting, of all places, is a stark reminder of the work still to be done in combating bias and prejudice against minorities.

In conclusion, as we approach 2023's conclusion, let's hope that the rest of Augusta County's meetings remain free of unwarranted drama. Unless, of course, it's the kind of drama that results in positive change and holds people accountable. Because, at the end of the day, isn't that what we're all striving for?


bottom of page