When you find news stories like this, the election of Donald Trump to the White House makes a lot more sense, even if only for a moment. A Georgia city councilman melted down to local media about the supposed need for black people to stay separate from whites because… we’ve suddenly dialed back to decades and even centuries in the past apparently. Hoschton’s Jim Cleveland launched the diatribe in defense of the city’s Mayor Theresa Kenerly, who had allegedly told associates that she was rejecting an otherwise qualified applicant to be city manager because he was black and the majority-white jurisdiction “isn’t ready for this.”
In response, Cleveland shared:
‘I understood where she was coming from… simply because we’re not Atlanta. Things are different here than they are 50 miles down the road… I’m a Christian and my Christian beliefs are you don’t do interracial marriage. That’s the way I was brought up and the way I believe. I have black friends, I hired black people. But when it comes to all this stuff you see on TV, when you see blacks and whites together, it makes my blood boil because that’s just not the way a Christian is supposed to live.’
Cleveland also shared that he was happy to hear of the Confederate States of America making significant progress against the Union forces at Chancellorsville — just kidding, but he might as well have done exactly that at this point. In the year 2019, he is still surprised to see racial integration on television — and no, he doesn’t appear to be 100 years old.
In reality, he’s a symbol of a much deeper plague still affecting the United States that many refuse to acknowledge — virulent racism making the lives of minorities perpetually difficult. Lately, the president himself has helped lead that charge of racism that often he doesn’t even attempt to make palatable. For instance, while overseas he asserted that immigration into Europe had been “very, very sad” and back at home, he’s insisted that immigrants over the southern border are a criminal threat that should be confronted with the military with a complete lack of evidentiary crime rates to back him up.
Meanwhile, Kenerly eventually denied making the original comments in question after first claiming she was legally barred from commenting via some nonexistent protection of “executive sessions.” (Sound familiar? The Trump administration has obsessively resorted to “executive privilege” as a defense for stonewalling Congress.)
It’s worth noting that two city councilwomen went on the record to city attorney Thomas Mitchell to bring forward the allegations against Kenerly, so her case is frail at best. Although there’s no immediate sign of a case against her, racial discrimination in hiring is flatly illegal and has been for decades.
The city’s locale is expanding, with a recent purchase of almost 1,500 acres of land just south of there meant for just over 2,500 homes. There’s little apparent sign of Kenerly or Cleveland being soon out of the job — the latter has served on the city council for about a decade at this point, racism and all.
Featured Image via Atlanta Journal Constitution