Wash. city councilman feels heat for promoting school speaking tour with sexually suggestive picture

A Lynnwood City Council member in Washington state is feeling the heat over an Instagram post targeting middle and high school students.

In the post, 23-year-old city council member Josh Binda shared a photo of himself posing without a shirt to showcase his muscular physique — to students.

The stunt resulted in calls for his resignation but Binda responded by playing the victim card, crying racism while attacking the media for calling attention to the sexually suggestive photo.

Binda was elected to office in 2022 and is the youngest black man to hold office in Washington, according to the New York Post, which reported that he was kicking off a “Love Conquers All” tour at middle schools and high schools in his district and the Instagram post shared on March 19 was informing students he was launching his own public speaking business to talk with kids.

“As I prepare to speak at more conferences and schools in and out of state here soon, I’ve had time to reflect on my first tour here and how much all you students truly meant to me,” Binda wrote in the post. “To all the students I’ve inspired, talked too, helped, coached, or impacted this ‘Love Conquers All’ tattoo is dedicated to you and my way of remembering you all forever and keeping yall with me everywhere I go moving forward.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by COUNCILMAN BINDA (@joshbinda)

The photo showed the tattoo and much more, which upset some parents who called it “disgraceful and unacceptable,” according to KIRO 7.

“I feel deeply insulted and angry that a councilman could do something like this to promote himself,” one resident said at a March 27 city council meeting “He even encouraged kids to tattoo his name on their bodies. Like I don’t know what he’s thinking about.”

“I am a positive role model for the youth and will continue doing work in being a positive role model. I think it’s easy to sexualize something that was not meant to be sexual at all,” Binda said at the meeting.

The controversy over the city councilmember urging children to tattoo his name is disputed by Binda, but the Lynnwood Times took to Twitter to produce “the receipts.”

“Lynnwood Councilman @JoshBinda claims racism, mocks the media, and gaslights the public in denying he directed minors in an Instagram post to tattoo his name on their body,” the paper tweeted. “However, we have the receipts!”

Binda went full victim in a follow-up post responding to the controversy.

“I’ve been consistently slandered, stalked, intimidated and bullied behind closed doors. Discriminated against because of my age and race,” he wrote. “Plotted against by certain media outlets, colleagues, and groups of people who’ve decided to spread misinformation which continuously put me and the people closest around me in harms way. I believe this because I don’t conform to their standards of what a politician should look like, talk like, and behave.”

 

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