This is Rufus Davis, the duly elected mayor of Camilla, Georgia. It's a small town, of just over 5,000 people, roughly 60 miles north of Tallahassee, Florida.
According to Davis, 70 percent of the town is African American. And yet there is not one African American on the police force, nor on the city council. In fact, according to him, there are only three African Americans in city government altogether. He claims that 50 years after the Civil Rights Act was signed, the schools are still de facto segregated. And even the city cemetary is segregated, with the white part being better maintained than the African American section.
This is the shape of the alleged “segregation” in Camilla, Davis wrote in the release:
- African Americans cannot be buried next to white people in the city-owned cemetery
- All City Hall employees are white, except three, including the custodian
- Over 97 percent of African Americans who apply for jobs inside City Hall have been rejected
- The town employs no African American police officers
- 99 percent of all white students attend the historically all-white private school in town
- 99 percent of all African American students attend the public schools in town
- The city is hyper-gerrymandered
Since his election, Davis, who is black, says his role in the town’s government has shriveled to the point of being merely a figurehead, presiding over meetings and sitting on boards, while the town’s white city manager consolidates power and “all but eliminates the voice of the voters,” according to the release.
So Davis has been boycotting city council meetings. And the city council's response? They refuse to give him the keys to his office.
An ongoing feud between Davis and Camilla’s city council served as the backdrop for all of this, as city council voted not to give Davis keys to his own office. According to Davis, the city council has too much power and consistently votes against the best interests of the city’s black population.
“If the white council members had the authority to reinstitute slavery, one of them would probably make the motion and the other would second it,” Davis told Richey in his radio interview.
Welcome to post-racial America.