The Mayor of Hoschton, GA excluded a candidate for city administrator from consideration because he was black, and then claimed that racism wasn’t an issue:
The mayor of Hoschton, a nearly all-white community 50 miles northeast of Atlanta, allegedly withheld a job candidate from consideration for city administrator because he was black, an AJC investigation has found.
According to documents obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and interviews with city officials, Mayor Theresa Kenerly told a member of the City Council she pulled the resume of Keith Henry from a packet of four finalists “because he is black, and the city isn’t ready for this.”
The AJC’s investigation into the controversy revealed not only a deeply flawed hiring process, but also hard racial attitudes inside Hoschton’s government. All of this occurs as the city of fewer than 2,000 people just outside Gwinnett County is poised for dramatic growth with the construction of thousands of new homes.
The mayor reportedly made her comments to a member of the council in an overheard whisper during a closed-door session of the council March 4. Councilwoman Hope Weeks said she repeated them to her in the parking lot after the meeting, according to a document released by the city in response to an open records request from the AJC.
“She proceeded to tell me that the candidate was real good, but he was black and we don’t have a big black population and she just didn’t think Hoschton was ready for that,” Weeks wrote in an account dated March 4.
Weeks confided with Councilwoman Susan Powers, and both women agreed to take the matter to city attorney Thomas Mitchell.
Councilman Jim Cleveland defended the mayor, while confirming many aspects of the story, including that she made a tearful apology in another executive session on March 12. According to accounts from council members, Kenerly said she was “looking out” for Henry because the city does not have a lot of minority residents.
“I was there for that,” Cleveland said. “She cried. She had tears in her eyes. It was in my opinion a very sincere apology.”
Powers said she was unimpressed with the apology. “It was, ‘I’m sorry if I caused you guys trouble,’” she said. “She was apologizing to the council. To me, she shouldn’t be apologizing to us, but to the person she harmed and to the city.”
Councilman Cleveland said he did not think Kenerly was necessarily wrong.
“I understood where she was coming from,” he said. “I understand Theresa saying that, simply because we’re not Atlanta. Things are different here than they are 50 miles down the road.”
Cleveland described Hoschton as “a predominantly white community” not in accord with urban sensibilities about race.
“I don’t know how they would take it if we selected a black administrator. She might have been right,” he said.
While Cleveland said it was not an issue in his decision on whom to hire, he did share his beliefs about race.
“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.”
Nope, no racism here, you inbred, racist, stupid Deliverance rejects.