NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — On the second anniversary of the January sixth attack on the Nation’s Capitol, 98-year-old Dr. Bill Whitehurst said America remains strong but he’s concerned about challenges at home and abroad.
“I thought what an absolutely terrible thing to have your life threatened by a bunch of crazies and I just was shocked by it,” said Whitehurst.
Dr. Whitehurst served 18 years as the representative for Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District. That seat was recently filled by Republican Jen Kiggins who is due to be sworn in once the Speaker of the House is named.
10 On Your Side joined Norfolk Mayor Kenneth Alexander, former Norfolk Councilman Randy Wright, and Dr. Whitehurst for a fireside chat on the second anniversary of the attack on the Capitol.
“It was unpleasant; it was directly threatening the people who were there but insofar as the nation is concerned and its institutions, they are solid,” said Dr. Whitehurst.
Long before January 6, 2021, Whitehurst, a Republican, was concerned about a Trump presidency.
Regina Mobley: How will history remember former President Trump?
Dr. Bill Whitehurst: A Maverick a loose cannon. He is intemperate which is very dangerous and he’s not a builder he tears down.
Dr. Whitehurst, AKA Dr. Bill, retired from teaching at Old Dominion University in the fall of 2020 and has several concerns about Trumpism. He says the so-called America First policy has been damaging to the United States as Russia continues its attack on Ukraine.
“We’re still the biggest man on the block and it carries with it a lot of responsibility,” Dr. Whitehurst said.
Whitehurst, born in 1925, lived during the Jim Crow era, World War Two, the civil rights struggle of the 1960s, the Vietnam War, and the 9-11 terrorist attacks, and now he’s witnessing the effects of rampant gun violence at home.
According to the Gun Violence Archive, some 44-thousand people in the United States died from gun violence last year.
“It distresses me- it really does-the number of people in this country and in this community who own weapons,” said Dr. Whitehurst.
For former Norfolk City Councilman Randy Wright and his family, the gun violence issue hits close to home. In the summer of 2021, his nephew was shot in killed in the East Ocean View Section of Norfolk.
“It can happen anywhere and any time and I know. I never say this but we have to go after the guns,” said Wright.
Norfolk Mayor Kenneth Alexander is going after funding to restore several neighborhoods that have been reduced to deplorable conditions due to decades of despair and poverty.
“It’s very difficult to attract private capital in some of these communities,” said Alexander.
Both Wright and Alexander were endorsed by Dr. Whitehurst and they are proud of their personal relationship with the senior former lawmaker. Dr. Whitehurst recently penned a heartfelt letter to Wright and during the fireside chat, he told Alexander the people of Norfolk picked the right man for Mayor.
See the letter to Randy and Arlene Wright:
From Capitol Hill to Hampton Roads, Dr. Whitehurst says the solution is the same.
“Use common sense and if you don’t do that it’s going to buy all kinds of problems,” said Whitehurst.