Michigan mayor quits following comments about appointing a black official

Beth Bashert said she would be ‘crucified’ if she voted against commissioner 

Louise Hall
Wednesday 24 June 2020 20:45
Mayor Beth Bashert apologised for her comments after the meeting and has now resigned
Mayor Beth Bashert apologised for her comments after the meeting and has now resigned

A mayor in Michigan has resigned over a controversial remark regarding a black city official that she made during a virtual council meeting.

Beth Bashert resigned her post as mayor of Ypsilanti on Tuesday after she said she would be “crucified” for not voting to reappoint city human relations commissioner Ka’Ron Gaines.

“Since I will be crucified if I vote against any black person on any commission, I’m going to vote yes,” Ms Bashert said during the meeting, according to The Detroit Free Press.

The mayor faced an immediate backlash and calls to resign over the comment.

“I am deeply sorry to have my service end on this note and in this way,” Ms Bachert posted in a statement on Facebook.

“Sadly, as a result of my actions, there is healing to do to ensure that all residents, including Black, Indigenous, and people of colour, enjoy full equity in Ypsilanti. That is what I want for our city I had hoped to participate in that healing process, going forward.”

City Clerk Andrew Hellenga confirmed that the city received and accepted Ms Bashert’s email resignation on Tuesday morning, MLive.com reported.

Ms Bashert’s colleagues spoke out after the meeting to say they were shocked by the remarks.

“I couldn’t believe she actually said that. I couldn’t imagine her thinking those thoughts,” council member Steve Wilcoxen told WJBK.

In her apology on Facebook she acknowledged the comment was racist and said that she hoped to repair her attitudes by “trying to confront racism in [herself].”

“I compounded the whole thing by digging in and getting defensive when questioned. All of those actions were racist,” Ms Bashert posted.

“As a white person, unfortunately, I am a racist person because I was raised in a racist culture and because I am an imperfect human being. I care deeply about confronting racism, yet that does not mean that I am not racist.

“I am deeply ashamed and saddened that I did this. I have spent the time since that meeting feeling remorse, shame, and anger at myself.”

“I am glad that she recognised that the role was not about her but about the community,” Councilwoman Nicole Brown told MLive.com.

“She did the right thing to start healing and moving our community forward. I’m thankful that she made the decision to resign.”

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