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County Commissioner slammed for anti-white comments


A Mecklenburg County commissioner is under fire for making statements with racial overtones that have some people calling for removal – or at least a reprimand.

This time, it’s not Bill James, the longtime Republican commissioner who’s been known to utter divisive remarks.

It’s Kim Ratliff, the board’s Democratic vice chairwoman, who told WBTV that she’d prefer commissioners not choose a “white male” to be the next county manager.

In the first story, aired Friday, Ratliff, who is black, said the county needs a manager who is “a nonwhite male who can have good working relations with all people.”

A second story, aired Monday, had Ratliff standing by her statement, though she said she may not have used the right choice of words.

On Wednesday, Ratliff told the Observer that her remarks were “taken out of context” and that her intentions weren’t to cut white men out of the application process.

“I was saying I want all types of people to apply, not just white men. And black men,” she said. “We know they are going to apply. I want women to take a shot at it. We have a lot of women in leadership roles across the country. But a lot of times when positions come open, women are apprehensive about stepping up.

“I will support the next county manager, whoever it is.” The controversy comes as Mecklenburg begins the search for a new county manager to replace longtime manager Harry Jones, who is black. The board fired Jones on May 7. Ratliff voted against the firing.