Why A GA Mayor Rejected A Black Candidate — And A City Councilman Backed Her Up

385014 02: The new Georgia state flag flies below the American flag January 31, 2001 atop the Georgia state capitol in Atlanta, less than 24 hours after it was approved in the state senate. The new flag design portra... 385014 02: The new Georgia state flag flies below the American flag January 31, 2001 atop the Georgia state capitol in Atlanta, less than 24 hours after it was approved in the state senate. The new flag design portrays five former federal and state flags in a small banner along the bottom edge of the flag. Civil rights organizations say the change means the state will no longer face threats of economic boycotts. (Photo by Erik S. Lesser/Newsmakers) MORE LESS
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May 6, 2019 10:45 a.m.

Mayor Theresa Kenerly of Hoschton, Georgia — a nearly all-white suburb of Atlanta — rejected a candidate, Keith Henry, for city administrator because he’s black and she thought “the city isn’t ready for this,” according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 

Hoschton City Councilman Jim Cleveland added his racist views to the chorus.

“I don’t know how they would take it if we selected a black administrator. She might have been right,” he said.

He added some background on his philosophy.

“I’m a Christian and my Christian beliefs are you don’t do interracial marriage. That’s the way I was brought up and that’s the way I believe,” he said. “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.”

Kenerly made her comment during a private council session, and two councilwomen conveyed it to the city attorney.

Henry was depressingly unsurprised.

“It comes with the territory,” he said. “If you live in America as a minority you can’t be naïve that it is the reality that you face.”

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