Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Top officials and police officers quit after a black woman was elected mayor for the first time.

Courtesy of Neal Colgrass

Shhh: You might hear a pin drop in the city hall of Parma, Missouri, where top officials and police officers quit after a black woman was elected mayor for the first time, KFVS reports via the Huffington Post. Former city clerk Tyrus Byrd was sworn in as mayor last week, after beating 37-year incumbent Randall Ramsey by a 38 votes, 122-84. But Byrd is without a clerk, city attorney, or water treatment supervisor, who promptly walked off the job; five of Parma's six cops did as well, claiming "safety concerns." Byrd has no comment on the walkouts, but says she hasn't been able to find resignation letters reportedly left behind, the Daily News reports.

On the bright side, Byrd says she's getting assistance from residents and other communities to help keep the town on track, WSMV reports. And Parma residents are weighing in: "I think it's pretty dirty they all quit without giving her a chance," says Martha Miller, a white resident. "But I don't think they hurt the town any by quitting, because who needs six police for 740 people." Black resident Terrell Thatch sees it a little differently: "They say we have six cops on the payroll," he says. "How can we have six cops, and go days without cops patrolling? You know, and we've got these recent break-ins." According to Wikipedia, the 2010 census found Parma to be about 67% white, 29% black, and 2.8% Latino. (See how officials in Ferguson, Missouri joked about black abortions.

How does a Black police officer working undercover in Colorado Springs become a card carrying member of the Ku Klux Klan? And do it so convincingly that he is asked to lead the local KKK chapter? Ron Stallworth's new book tells a story that would be fascinating as fiction but is made all the more exciting because it is true. Black Klansman is a worthwhile and important read. I enjoyed it immensely and recommend it highly.

Laura Minor

Manager, Bauman Rare Books

Las Vegas, Nevada

Robert Vaughan