Georgia city councilman opposed to interracial marriage whose ‘blood would boil’ when he saw a mixed race couple resigns to avoid facing voters in a recall election in town mired in racism allegations
A Georgia city councilman was forced to resigned yesterday amid accusations of racism over his strong opposition to interracial marriage.
Jim Cleveland, who is a Hoschton City Councilman, spoke out against interracial marriage earlier this year due to his ‘Christian beliefs’.
The ex-councilman even said seeing a mixed-race couple on TV made his ‘blood boil’ and that God did not want different races to ‘commingle’.
He told ABC News: ‘I was raised in a Southern Baptist church and I have been taught to believe, and it makes a lot of sense to me, that God created all these different races and if he had wanted them all commingled into one race, he would have done it himself.’
Cleveland also came under fire when he defended Mayor Theresa Kenerly after she refused to accept the resume from a black candidate who tried to apply for the role of city administrator in Hoschton.
Kenerly reportedly told other council members Hoschton was not ready to have an African American as a city leader.
After deciding to step down, Cleveland said he chose to resign to avoid facing voters election at the tart of next year and did not want to give his political opponents the pleasure of saying they voted him out in a recall.
He told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: ‘I’m not going to give them the pleasure of saying they recalled Mr Cleveland.’
In documents released in May by the city, Councilwoman Hope Weeks wrote that the mayor told her they had a strong candidate for the city administrator job ‘but he was black and we don’t have a big black population and she just didn’t think Hoschton was ready for that’.
Ahead of a town hall in May saw residents of Hoschton protest and call for both politicians to resign.
Cleveland, who described himself as a close friend of the mayor, said she did not pass on hiring the candidate due to his race.
He added: ‘They are calling me a racist and I don’t consider myself a racist and I’ll tell you why. I have very good friends that are are black.
‘I have Spanish, Asians, all kind of members in my church, and none of them consider me a racist.’
Cleveland, a former AT&T manager who has been on the council for about a decade,also suggested that the mayor was ‘looking out for’ the candidate because their city is ‘not Atlanta’.
He was also filmed in an exchange that was posted on Twitter in Nay,appearing to again show him state he ‘did not believe’ in interracial marriage.
According to the most recent US Census data, more than 93 per cent of the city’s population is white and just over 4 per cent is black.