A city council candidate in Michigan has shocked a public forum after saying she wants to keep her community white ‘as much as possible’.
Jean Cramer, one of five candidates running for three city council seats in November, made the comment Thursday in response to a question about diversity in Marysville, a city in St. Clair County, Michigan.
Demographics data from the 2010 Census indicated that 97.5 per cent of Marysville’s 9,900 population was white at the time.
Recent demographic data, based off the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, says that the city’s now 9,700 population is 94.75 per cent white now, according to World Population Review.
When the forum moderator asked candidates if Marysville should do more to attract foreign-born residents, who are boosting populations in some Great Lakes states, Cramer responded: ‘Keep Marysville a white community as much as possible.’
After the forum, when asked if she cared to clarify her statement, Cramer told the Port Huron Times Herald that: ‘Husband and wife need to be the same race. Same thing with kids. That’s how it’s been from the beginning of, how can I say, when God created the heaven and the earth. He created Adam and Eve at the same time.’
She added that ‘as far as me being against blacks, no I’m not’.
Other candidates at the forum were deeply troubled by Cramer’s statement about keeping the city ‘a white community as much as possible’.
‘Just checking the calendar here and making sure it’s still 2019,’ candidate Mike Deising said after Cramer spoke.
Council member Paul Wessel said anyone who makes it to Marysville should be allowed to live there.
Mayor Pro Tem Kathy Hayman revealed during the forum that the meeting was taking place in a room named for her late father Joseph Johns – a Syrian who owned a local business and was an elected official for 55 years.
‘I don’t even know that I can talk yet, I’m so upset and shocked,’ Hayman told Cramer, adding, ‘So basically, what you’ve said is that my father and his family had no business to be in this community.’
‘My son-in-law is a black man and I have bi-racial grandchildren,’ Hayman said. ‘And I take this very personally what you’ve said, and I know that there’s nothing I can say that’s going to change your mind. … We just need to have more kindness — that’s it.’
In response to Hayman’s statements about her biracial family, Cramer told the Port Huron Times Herald that ‘What Kathy Hayman doesn’t know is that her family is in the wrong.’
Recent demographic data indicates that 2.76 per cent of Marysville’s population is mixed race.
Mayor Dan Damman said in a statement after the forum that Cramer’s ‘racist comments’ were ‘as vile as they were jaw-dropping”
‘Mrs Cramer’s disturbing and disgusting ideology is flatly rejected by me, our entire City Council, all of city administration, and our employees,’ Damman said in the statement.
Cramer is said to have moved to Marysville within the last 10 years and never previously served on the city’s council before.
Cramer told the Port Huron Herald Times in early August that she is interested in representing the concerns of the ‘good size population’ of senior citizens in the community.
In 2016, Marysville’s median household income was estimated to be about $61,400, with median home values being about $133,200. An estimated 9.2 per cent of the city’s residents were said to be living in poverty.
Comparatively, nearby Detroit’s 2016 estimated median household income was said to be $28,099, while home values were $43,500. An estimated 35.7 per cent of the city’s population is said to be living in poverty.