Local politicians under fire over controversial comments about race

JACKSON COUNTY, Ga. — There's a rally planned for Wednesday night in a small north Georgia town where the mayor is taking some heat.

Some council members in the City of Hoschton say she wouldn't consider an African-American man for a city job because of his race.

Now, there is growing pressure for the mayor to resign.

“We all can’t be judged by ignorance. Those were ignorant statements,” said Fania Glenn, who is a first-generation American living in Hoschton.

Glenn said her mother was born in Panama and faced racism growing up in Hoschton, yet she loves what she calls an amazingly Christian community.

“They’re trying to destroy a community by thoughtless, careless people who say things that should have ended 60 years ago,” Glenn told Elliot.


Some Hoschton City Council members say Mayor Theresa Kenerly admitted to them that she pulled the resume of a city administrator candidate because he’s blackand she was worried the town wasn’t ready for a black city administrator.

Another City Council member was quoted as saying he didn’t approve of interracial marriage.

Elliot tried to contact Kenerly and other City Council members Thursday, but none responded to him.

In a statement, Kenerly denied making those comments.

“When I saw what she said, it wasn’t shocking,” said Hallie Fowler, who grew up in Hoschton.

While not approving of what the mayor said, Fowler also said some of what she said might be true.

“She is right. The city of Hoschton is more whites, and I don’t think what she said was meant to be racist. I think it was meant to look out for the city of Hoschton, but, you know, we can try new things,” Fowler said.

Elliot asked Glenn if she thinks the mayor should resign.

“I do. Ignorance breeds hatred. It does. We cannot have that in our society,” Glenn said.

A rally planned by some local churches is scheduled to start around 8 p.m.