Black Georgia city commissioner degraded with N-word at meeting

City Commissioner Rodney McCord of Griffin, Georgia (Image Source: City of Griffin and rolling out)

If you have never lived in Georgia, there are a few things you should know about the culture. You will come across the occasional racist town, racist person and racist policy that still exist in 2018 America. For example, there is Camilla, Georgia, where the city still has a segregated cemetery and the newly elected Black Mayor Rufus Davis was not given keys to city hall and Black and White children attend separate schools. Then there is the city of Griffin, Georgia, that decided at a meeting this week to proclaim April Confederate History Month. But what made this meeting interesting is when a former city commissioner decided to drop n-word bombs directed at a Black official.

The Washington Post released a video that is both infuriating and sickening at the level of ignorance taking place. During the meeting, a former White commissioner named Larry Johnson decided to personally direct his comments at a Black commissioner named Rodney McCord, who is one of two Black members of the majority white council. Johnson started off in a friendly southern drawl and then reminded McCord of how the city of Griffin was split up. The exchange went as follows:

Johnson: “I told you at that time that there were white folks, and there were black folks when I was growing up. There was white trash — my family — and there was [n-word] town. I lived next to n-word town.”

McCord: “You lived next to what town?”

Johnson:“[N-word] town, son. I’m telling you, son, now that changed. I’m no longer white trash …”

McCord: “Hold on a second!”

When McCord protested he was not comfortable with that word being used in the official city meeting, the head of the commission, Douglas Holdberg, told McCord in effect he needed to be silent by stating, “Mr. McCord, please let him get to the point so we can move on.”

An outraged McCord let loose and said, “He can get to his point, but I’m not going to sit here … Maybe y’all are comfortable with it, I don’t know. I’m not going to sit here and let this man use that type of language. And if nobody else is offended, then I am. Now if y’all want to clap and think that that’s okay for this gentleman to stand, in 2018, and get here at the board of city commission meeting — 2018 — the Civil War is over and he is using the n-word not once, not twice — three times! And he just continues to say it with not one word about who it offends.”

Johnson was allowed to finish is statements and added, “My skin is white, my neck is red, and I was born in Southern bed. Nothing wrong with that. I hope that doesn’t offend anybody.” He then stated the Civil War was not fought over slavery and sat down.

Mo Barnes
Mo Barnes

Maurice "Mo" Barnes is a graduate of Morehouse College and Political Scientist based in Atlanta. Mo is also a Blues musician. He has been writing for Rolling Out since 2014. Whether it means walking through a bloody police shooting to help a family find justice or showing the multifaceted talent of the Black Diaspora I write the news.

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