Mayor Theresa Kenerly
Mayor Theresa Kenerly. (Photo via Hoschton, Georgia.)

Reporter A.R. Shaw, Lifestyle Editor for Rolling Out magazine, recently posted a story on Rollingout.com about a Georgia city’s refusal to hire a job candidate for the sole reason that he is Black. The incident took place in Hoschton, Georgia, a nearly all-white city 50 miles north of Atlanta.

A.R. Shaw
A.R. Shaw is an author and journalist who currently serves as Lifestyle Editor for Rolling Out magazine. Twitter @arshaw and Instagram @arshaw23.

“According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,” Shaw wrote, “Mayor Theresa Kenerly told a member of the City Council she pulled the resume of Keith Henry from a list of four finalists ‘because he is black, and the city isn’t ready for this.'”

It’s not immediately clear if this conversation took place during a private meeting with the other member of the City Council, and the identity of the other person is not specifically stated, but Shaw says City Councilwoman Hope Weeks confirmed that Kenerly made the statement.

Was Weeks the person Kenerly told, or was she someone who heard about the statement second-hand? We don’t know, but once it got out, Kenerly denied it all in a written statement, saying “I do not recall making the statement attributed to me regarding any applicant for the City Administrator position, and I deny that I made any statement that suggests prejudice.”

“When you see Blacks and Whites together, it makes my blood boil.” Hoschton, Georgia City Councilman Jim Cleveland Photo from Facebook page.

This kind of bias and prejudice is especially troublesome in government, since the tax dollars of everyone– both black and white– are what funds the political apparatus. For the past 30 years I have consistently argued that there should be no taxation without economic participation.

The fact that bias exists in the halls of Hoschton government is clear. Another city councilman had no problem expressing his views on the larger subject of black-white fraternizing, saying race mixing goes against Christianity.

“I’m a Christian and my Christian beliefs are you don’t do interracial marriage,” Councilman Jim Cleveland told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “That’s the way I was brought up and that’s the way I believe.”

“I have black friends, I hired black people,” Cleveland continued. “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.”

I can’t help but wonder what church he attends.