Mayor Rufus Davis Locked Out And Talking About It

Davis and Adams

Mayor Rufus Davis of Camilla Georgia, has been locked in a battle with the city council. Headed by Ben Crump, attorney for Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and Tamir Rice, the mayor is seeking to bring national attention to the segregationist attitude and racial divisions in the small community of 5000. According to Davis, “the city is 70 percent African American, but there are no black police officers. There are only three black employees out of about 35 in City Hall, and one of them is the janitor. The highest-ranking black man on the city payroll is a meter reader. About 99 percent of white students in the town attend a small private school that I believe has maybe three or four black students in athletics now. ” He also says a redistricting scheme makes sure 3 of the six seats on the council are held by whites. But that’s not what got his dander up. The mayor says they refuse to give him the keys to city hall. The mayors office is in city hall. According to Bennett Adams, who has been the city manager for six and a half years, said that it is city policy for none of the council members to have keys to City Hall, adding that the mayor does have keys to his own office within the building, which he received shortly after being elected. He has also rejected Davis’ accusations of prejudice in local government, saying that seven out of Camilla City Hall’s 35 employees are black. Davis has said he has approached the black city council members, but they all voted with their white council members not to give Davis a key. I guess the city manager is the only one who has a key to city hall. The city manager has also put forth a new charter that would strip the mayor of appointment powers and give it to the city manager, in essence making sure the city management stays in white hands. To the mayor the big picture is more than the chaos consuming the political landscape in Camilla. He sees a divisiveness between the black electorate and the black elected officials. In an intimate look at small southern city politics he writes, “Thank you everyone for your support and for taking part in a much needed, ongoing discussion. Please allow me to address something that comes up fairly often regarding mistreatment of me as a Mayor. There is lot on my 2 year history as Mayor at WFXL 31 online. Search Camilla Mayor, Camilla Recall, Camilla City Council or various combinations. As far as my tenure as Mayor, I was refused keys to City Hall; the council boycotted my first meeting; the Council ended public meetings; citizens sought to recall the members that did so for various other violations; and I have been constantly undermined in every imaginable way. This happens to Black Mayors very often around the State and I hope to lead a discussion regarding this very soon. I must point out, however, that my protest (outlined in my press release) addresses discrimination and segregation against the ordinary, everyday people, elderly and children. People in my community have sustained, and continue to sustain, severe and irreparable social, economic, and psychological injury based on the outrageous system of discrimination and segregation that exists here. As a result of my civil protest, several story lines, all of which are true and meritable, have developed. This includes mistreatment of me as a Black Mayor; mistreatment of many Black Mayors in Georgia, generally; and the one that I am protesting which is invidious segregation and discrimination as it relates to the people. I am calling out the injustice and the culprits that are responsible which include both Black and White local segregationist. There are many White citizens everywhere that find this appalling and there are “some” Blacks everywhere (as on my City council) that find this perfectly acceptable. The Blacks do not represent the communities of which they are a part as they have been conditioned otherwise. See also Clarence Thomas, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Omarosa, Ben Carson, Sherrif David Clarke, the list goes on. In my own city they are being voted out, called out and protested against by use of all peaceful means possible. They will not bulge. Typically and historically, oppressive systems around the world have always had members of the oppressed class act as agents for the oppressing class. It’s the same here in Camilla, Georgia and the statistics on my community highlighted in my cover photo are unfathomable. Segregation and discrimination here must end today, tomorrow and forever. Please share what is going on here as well as the type of mindset and environmental factors that enable statistics and outcomes this reprehensible.”

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