HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – Waymond Wesley II, a TikTok star chef who worked in the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, has resigned after a laundry list of his own “racist” and “colorist” tweets surfaced, showing him trolling and targeting Black women online. Outrage stretched from the Houston area to nationwide platforms, causing the chef to go viral in ways much different than the “oxtail pasta” recipes he boasted about.
“I know that this has been a painful time for many. The situation has remained complicated offline, but I want to offer the much-needed apology and context that I have wanted to share since the day my past tweets garnered attention,” Wesley said in his resignation letter posted online Tuesday.
In tweets from 2015 and 2016, Wesley, an African American man writing under a now-deleted account, @WaymoTheGod, posted a barrage of negative comments about dark skin and fuller-figured body types. He also compared Black women to trash.
Twitter users called the tweets colorist, anti-Black and misogynistic.
According to the State Bar of Texas, Wesley has been licensed to practice law since Jan. 2021 and joined the Harris County D.A.’s office in March of that year.
Although the controversial posts were made before he became a prosecutor, people questioned if he would be able to treat any Black woman with any type of fairness in a court of law. Many pointed out that, if Wesley was truly a changed man, he would have removed such negative and harsh statements against the women of his own race.
Candice Matthews, with the Rainbow Push Coalition, Quanell X, chairman of the New Black Panther Nation) and members from the Brazoria County NAACP, Houston Rising, and other civil rights organizations, held a news conference calling on Wesley’s boss, District Attorney Kim Ogg, to remove him from his position.
Ogg, however, stood by Wesley’s side, releasing a statement saying her office felt his statements were a thing of the past.
In response, Matthews had a strong message for Ogg.
“In 2024, we will find you at the polls,” she said.
She then led the crowd in a chant: “Hey, hey, ho, ho, this sexist prosecutor got to go!”
WATCH FULL VIDEO OF NEWS CONFERENCE CALLING ON REMOVAL OF WESLEY:
It appears the viral cries were heard as businesses began distancing themselves from Wesley and pulled their endorsements from his cooking platform.
Wesley released a four-page letter attempting to explain his behavior:
“Seven years ago, in my early twenties, from a place of pain fueled by alcoholism, I would lash out at people on Twitter to seek attention, including Black women. I deeply regret and am sorry for my tweets. To be fully transparent, at the time, I was severely addicted to alcohol, underweight, sleep deprived, and in and out of rehab and sober living facilities. By God’s grace, I’ve been sober for more than 6 years now. In total, I spent around 19 months in inpatient and residential facilities to treat my alcoholism. Alcoholism is a disease. It nearly killed me. I am not the man I was 2015.”
Waymond’s resignation letter went on to explain that his hateful remarks were part of a “trend” to criticize Black women and said he was basically joining in to gain attention.
That portion of the letter reads,
“To Black Women
“Let me be clear. My alcoholism is not an excuse, but it gives context for who I was at that time in my life. I was a bully in 2015 that chose to pick on the most disrespected, unprotected, and neglected demographic in America: Black women. I do not hate Black women. I have never hated Black women. I have no childhood trauma, romantic heartbreak, or other interaction with a Black woman that would ever cause for me to hate them. I accept responsibility and apologize to Black women for the pain caused by the tweets, then and now.
“On Twitter from 2015-2016, there was a sick trend that targeted and trolled Black women to gain attention and followers. Unfortunately, I joined this trend. Like alcohol, I was addicted to the vitriol and hatred that was spewed back and forth between myself and other users that were angered by my posts. I regret that Black women, who already face dehumanization and discrimination from other racial groups, were the brunt of this inflammatory discourse, led in large parts by Black men online.
“These tweets were not a drunk mind speaking sober thoughts. These tweets do not reflect the majority of my interactions on the platform, and they were the product of a very sick individual who hated only himself and wanted attention. Alcoholism destroyed me mentally, spiritually, and physically. I had no deep-rooted pathological hatred for Black women then and I absolutely do not now. Black women, I am deeply sorry for the hurt I’ve caused.
“Punching bag” tweet is fake.
“While I accept accountability for the screenshots of the 2015 tweets, there is a fabricated, manually written “retweet” circulating referencing Black women as punching bags that I never wrote. The author of that tweet, Latry Howard, has since reached out to me and personally apologized, tweeted an apology, as well as made himself known to the DA’s office and the State Bar. I do not condone violence against anyone, especially Black women.”
Controversial Social Media Posts
You commented on one of my pics on my old account and said my dark skin made me ugly, I was in high school. Called me all types of butterface. You said if I was light skinned I’d look better. Now you’re a chef? That’s crazy. https://t.co/iMtA18VCzv pic.twitter.com/FHnyQmSGQs— Thebaglady (@IamHogoe) January 9, 2023
Just know if you’re a Black woman in some trouble in Harris County and Waymond Wesley is on the prosecution, get a good lawyer sis. Your chances of being incarcerated with a lengthy sentence just increased significantly https://t.co/DItnsReKci pic.twitter.com/jO8w37dTC9— Miss Tee ✨ (@MisguidedTee) January 11, 2023
@kimoggforda the Fact that you Believe in Second Chances is Good However Waymond Wesley Hatred for African American Women is Galling you need to go Over Every Case this Individual has Played a Part in Because His Hate has Blinded his Judgement And it has Real Life Consequences— Resonate then Pivot (@MeResonate) January 13, 2023
Return to public service?
At the end of the letter, Wesley vowed to return to public service.
“Although the leadership at the DA’s office and I believed a path forward was possible at the outset of this situation, it has grown clear that my presence is becoming a distraction. The major objectives of the Office are to seek justice and help victims, as well as assist defendants through one of the most, if not the most, difficult period in their lives. But once I saw that my presence at the DA’s Office was becoming larger than the Office itself and the ability of Black women in particular to feel protected, I knew the only correct course of action was to resign and allow the healing process to begin.
“I took great pride in serving the public. I loved my job and looked forward to working my way up to become a District Court Chief one day. To be confronted with the hurt I caused Black women, from a time when I was mentally, physically, and spiritually unwell, and after years of rehabilitation and reconciliation, is one of the most difficult challenges I have ever faced. However, I have not given up hope. I know that through trust in Him, my healthy coping mechanisms, and the support of my loved ones, I will continue to be of service to my fellows.”
District Attorney’s Office responds
Ogg’s office released a statement on Wesley’s resignation which read, in part:
“Wesley was hired in March 2021, but was only recently assigned as a prosecutor in the Misdemeanor Trial Bureau, where all of his cases were supervised by a senior prosecutor. At the time of his hiring, the District Attorney’s Office was unaware of a series of disparaging and offensive comments Wesley had posted on social media nearly seven years earlier. When the office became aware of the posts two weeks ago, it was determined he could no longer effectively prosecute cases and he was reassigned.
“In his resignation letter, Wesley noted that “it has grown clear that my presence is becoming a distraction,” and he and the office mutually agreed that it was in the best interests of his career and the District Attorney’s Office that he resign.”
What is colorism?
Colorism: prejudice or discrimination especially within a racial or ethnic group favoring people with lighter skin over those with darker skin.
Colorist: prejudiced against people with dark skin, specifically showing favor to light-skinned people over those with darker skin within a racial or ethnic group
[Editors note: A previous version of this article said Wesley made the comments “after” he was a prosecutor. It was a mistake made only today, as all of our previous stories noted that the comments were made “before” he joined the District Attorney’s Office.]