First Black President of Springfield Township Commissioners resigns citing racism from fellow board member

The president of the Springfield Township Board of Commissioners resigned after a year of trying to get a local police organization to not use the so-called ‘Blue Lives Matter’ flag as its logo.

Eddie Graham says he wanted to give a voice to African-American residents and work on issues to bring equity and unity to the community when he was elected as commissioner eight years ago. 

Instead, Graham - the first and only Black Commissioner and the first Black President of the Springfield Township Board of Commissioners - said he was met with hate and humiliation. 

He claims he was ostracized and humiliated from his first board appointment when he was appointed to chair a non-existent committee. 

"Mind was given to the Committee of Human Resources, which there were no members and I was the sole member, and the laugh was I could have my meetings wherever I wanted," Graham said. 


Graham also said he endured a fellow board member sending him a derogatory caricature that depicted Black people as lazy and dumb. 

"I said ‘Are you serious right now!?’ and he actually, instead of apologizing, he got belligerent," Graham said. 

Last year, when Graham saw the Springfield Township Police Benevolent Association changed its logo to the ‘Blue Lives Matter’ emblem, he expressed concern because he claims it is a symbol of white supremacy. 

James Lee, the new President of the Springfield Township Board of Commissioners, wouldn't comment on the matter and referred FOX 29 to his comments from the Jan. 11 Commissioner Meting where he said the ‘Blue Lives Matter’ logo means different things to different people. 

"We have a larger responsibility to act with empathy and sensitivity for all of our residents," Lee said at the meeting. 

When the board made a resolution to limit use of the 'Blue Lives Matter' flag, the Springfield Township Police Benevolent Association sued board of commissioners. Meanwhile, Graham said he resigned last week because he said he's had enough. 

Chad Lassiter, the Executive Director for the Pennsylvania Human Rights Commission, said what Graham had to endure is troubling. 

"No one should be face with a racial bigotry and the challenges that (Graham) has been faced with and the racial fatigue can take a toll on your psyche," Lassiter said. 

Graham said he believes if parties came to the table to talk there would have been an understanding, but that never happened.