Warner Robins City Council meetings: never a dull moment

A white councilman in Warner Robins told a black councilman that he should be working in a cotton field. In the middle of a council meeting. With the cameras rolling. Unacceptable in any time or place. Roll the tape!

More here from CNN. Cotton e-mails in to note it’s just the plain ‘ol Fabric Of Our Lives™ and doesn’t want to get involved in this situation.

H/T to Thomas Wheatley at Creating Loafing who H/Ts to Wonkette

37 comments

  1. Gerald says:

    Some context is required here.

    The black councilman baited the white councilman into making this comment by saying “You are disrespecting me. You are treating me like I should be picking cotton. Do you think that I should be picking cotton?” The white councilman replied “Yes, you should be picking cotton.” As it turns out, the white councilman grew up working hard on a farm – picking cotton – and doesn’t see anything shameful or racial about it. It was the black councilman who egged him on and applied a racial dimension to it.

    Of course, the national media is neglecting this context, making it appear to be a racist white man from the south going after some innocent black man (who is a Democrat/activist with all that implies). The truth is that this white councilman is very likely less racist than Pete Randall has shown himself to be on Peach Pundit, and both Pete Randall and this black city councilman (who seems to be a real piece of work) would both benefit a great deal from picking cotton for a living, and getting paid less than illegal immigrants get for it to boot.

    • log224 says:

      Gerald, you got some of the context right. However this was not the first, or even the second time that a white council member used disparaging words against this black council member, and not the first time that John Williams used that kind of language.

      John Williams has a history of doing–umm–spontaneously irrational things, including a couple of instances of pointing or waving guns, showing up at police crime scenes, showing up unannounced at homes of citizens who have contacted him by email, you get the picture here.

      Daron Lee has a history of race-baiting remarks, accusations of racism or bigotry in city departments, where none has been proven, and overall creating an environment of racial tension. He, however, is an intelligent man, well spoken, and represents his constituents well.

      I have no illusion that Daron Lee didn’t know he was baiting John Williams when he said “cotton fields” but he also knew that Williams had no ground to stand on being the “hard working farmer.” Both are in the wrong, and the problem lies with the (non-existent) leadership of the city, who should and could have put a stop to this months ago.

    • Steve says:

      The black councilman baited the white councilman into making this comment by saying “You are disrespecting me. You are treating me like I should be picking cotton. Do you think that I should be picking cotton?”

      That’s “bait”?

      • log224 says:

        The actual statement was “you can’t just talk to me like I am working in a cotton field” not followed by a question “do you think…” then there was a pause and Williams replied “You should be.” Definitely a race-bait statement along with the expected racist reply.

  2. Jeff Scott says:

    Warner Robins is just as bad as Macon at this point. There’s no real media in Middle Georgia to make any of those clowns watch themselves. No accountability leads to bad government. Just look at Warner Robins and Macon.

    • Ryan says:

      It is really a sad state now that WR has no real leadership. The council is too focused on screwing the person next to them and taking power from the mayor. While I was not a great supporter of Mayor Walker, looking back now I see just how successful he really was at keeping his city councils under control and at least putting on a clean face before the general public.

      The biggest problem in the city is that the council is composed of people who honestly are unqualified to run the business of such a great city. Because of these egotistical power hungry dysfunctional council members, all the progess that was made in the last decade and a half is quickly about to disappear. Without some serious leadership, WR is headed in the same direction that city to the north was traveling not 5 years ago.

  3. fishtail says:

    I wonder who John Williams is supporting for Governor? My guess is that good ol’ white boy Nathan Deal.

    • macho says:

      Depends, as a south GA Voter, it’s who Barnes has been aggressively targeting with his hokey “good ole boy” ads. So maybe Roy has finally convinced him to switch with his schizophrenic campaign strategy of loving Obama in Fulton and Dekalb, but hating Obama in South GA. Roy’s probably making a personal call to him right now.

    • Careful, fishtail.

      Williams is certainly not active in the GOP. My guess is that he’s a Democrat or in his case, the Dust Under My Bed Acts Suspicious & Subversive party.

      Is Lee blameless? No, but Williams is scary strange.

    • eschristian says:

      I agree – I guess all that “hope and change” really did change race relations just like Rush Limbaugh said it would – in reverse not going forward!!! I am in my early 30’s and have never seen race relations this bad in my lifetime. I was blessed to come along at a time when I could be friends with anyone I wanted to – no matter what color they were – I lived MLK, Jr’s dream but unfortunately thanks to Mr “Dreams from my Father” has hyped up race so bad we are now living O’s dream & USA’s nightmare r/t race (+ economics/class warfare etc… aka Marxist Utopia)!!!

      Sad day for us all – I feel that many of these race problems are two-sided by the two individuals not listening to or respecting each other but are also hyped up by the tension trickling down from the White House – remember if you don’t vote for O’s candidates and you vote for the TEA Party candidates it’s like slavery I believe O said!!!

      I will continue to pray that USA returns to a place on race prior to the 2008 election – and yes before anyone says it I know racism existed before then but if you can honestly say that you feel that race relations have not gone backwards since 2007-2008 then you are not being true to yourself!!!

      • polisavvy says:

        Your mom and I remember race relations in the mid-60’s and early 70’s. To be quite frank, it’s worse now than I can remember it being back then — a whole lot worse.

        • Charlie says:

          I’m going to disagree with you both here.

          In the political/rhetorical sense, I can see how you have that impression/conclusion.

          In everyday life (that real world most of us sometimes forget is there), relations are nothing like what they were in the 60’s and 70’s. I can’t remember the last time I heard someone say “some of them are real nice people” and actually think they were being tolerant or even progressive. Most folks don’t assume their peers at work who don’t have light skin are only there because of a quota system. And we’re all quite comfortable now eating in the same restaurants and drinking from the same water fountains.

          There’s still a lot for us to work on, but there’s no way I can say that the 2010’s are anything like what I can remember from the 70’s.

          • polisavvy says:

            Well, I need to disagree with you a little about the race relations where “e’s” mom and I grew up. We were in a situation where integration was a big deal; but, the big deal was with our parents — not us. The actual students had no issues with integrating the black high school with the white high school because there were already some blacks in our high school to begin with. We raised our children to be the same as us — tolerant of all races. Plus, I grew up on a military base so I didn’t recognize the difference between white children and black children — we were all just children.

            I’m definitely not implying that work doesn’t need to be done — it most definitely does, in many different areas.
            I see your point. I think where some people are beginning to feel the way that I do about race relations today heading backwards, is because when the President makes remarks that can be construed as racial (i.e., the Beer Summit), and you still have people like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson running around screaming race all the time, it kind of gives the impression that everybody is racist — regardless of the color of the person’s skin. In my opinion, there are just as many racist black people as there are racist white people. I wish people would just see people and not the color of their skin. Tolerance is something that appears to be fading with the wind.

            • eschristian says:

              @polisavvy VERY WELL SAID!!!

              “In my opinion, there are just as many racist black people as there are racist white people. I wish people would just see people and not the color of their skin. Tolerance is something that appears to be fading with the wind.”

          • eschristian says:

            I agree that thank goodness most people we work with are (& all that I work with) are just as you said above & you don’t hear random racist comments like you said above in the past (thank God) however, as far as, any debate about anything – it could be about the sky being blue, if there is any political affiliation at all then the right & TEA party are racist according to the left & any debate really even non-political it is more likely that race will be brought into it more than anytime in my lifetime. Can’t people just debate issues and even argue if they want to without bringing race into it? I think all would do well to remember what MLK, Jr said – don’t judge someone by the color of their skin but the content of their character.

            • polisavvy says:

              Amen. Tell it like it is, sister. A case in point, poor Juan Williams. Though I don’t always agree with him, I still respected what he says. He simply said something that each and every one of us have probably thought, and, because it was viewed as not being PC (which I am completely sick and tired of), he was canned by NPR. We, unfortunately, have gotten to the point where we can’t say anything without offending someone or being accused racist.

          • Steve says:

            Ehh, I’m with Charlie and Buzz on this one. Put talk radio and Fox infotainment aside, and focus just a moment on day-to-day normal life in the real world. If you honestly believe that race relations in everyday life today are worse than they were in 70’s and 80’s culture… either you were living on a different planet back then, or you’re on a different planet today. Most of the stuff below Charlie’s comment simply sounds like irritation with President Obama.

            You know, Pete Randall catches a lot of flak for being “racist”… but he seldom if ever says anything racist. He just gets that reputation because he seems focused on black people, to a degree that’s out of proportion with what makes sense in reality. He gets pumped up on the subject in a way that strikes others as weird (@myself VERY WELL SAID!!!).

            Some of these comments tap into that same vibe. Folks, it’s been about a quarter century since Jesse Jackson has been a figure of real power. From the 90’s onward, he’s held pretty much the same spot on the left that the John Birch Society holds on the right. Not much influence under the tent… but a lightning rod for outsiders wanting to get worked up over the tent. Al Sharpton is a bit more current at least, but his power base at its present peak is only a small fraction of Jesse’s in the 1980’s.

            If you’re talking about race relations in 2010, and the first thing out of your gate is Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton… you’re being Pete Randall-ish. You’re focused on something to a degree totally out of proportion to what makes sense in reality.

            I suppose that race relations might be “worse” today if you view it only through the prism of talk radio and cable news, because there are more media outlets playing 24/7 to those base emotions today than there were in 1980. But relations being worse in terms of everyday life in the real world? Come ON.

            • polisavvy says:

              Steve, you did not live where I lived so you can’t understand what I’m saying. The students got along. The parents had the problems. I was a student at that time. We student didn’t see color as much then as people seem to see color around here now. So, from my observation, there seems to be a problem more here now than then. Unless you’ve walked in my moccasins, you have no idea what my life as a teenager was. I called it like I saw it, and call it as I see it now.

            • polisavvy says:

              As an aside, I am not spoon fed by any particular media outlet. I am 56 years old and plenty old enough to see things as they are and figure out things on my own without the outside influence of anyone. So, your whole “you must only watch Fox” doesn’t work with me.

  4. macho says:

    Galloway wrote out the dialog that provided some context:

    http://blogs.ajc.com/political-insider-jim-galloway/2010/10/22/your-morning-jolt-trouble-brewing-on-sonny-perdues-turf/

    But, even in context, the comment was incredibly racist. Give me a break. Then the white dude says later, “I worked in a cotton field. I drug a basket many a mile. It’s not a racial remark at all.” It’s no different than saying, “When I told him all he eats is fried chicken and watermelon, I meant that as a compliment, I grew up eating fried chicken and watermelon, and they are two of my favorite foods.”

    Sometimes you just got to call it like it is and quit making excuses for people.

  5. Bucky Plyler says:

    I think that everybody who posts on PP should work in cotton fields. We would probably all be better off….particularly Charlie. He takes off work to go fishing & then comes back a Democrat !!

    On race relations…both of these guys in the video have got a ways to go.

  6. slyram says:

    Old folks-Red, Black and White- get a certain amount of leeway on PC stuff. That was my mentality during the whole Rev. Wright thing also. What was smooth about Warner Robins leadership’s handling of this drama was the joint statement about WR being a welcoming community for nice people who might want to bring some nice economic development to their nice area (Tifton is bring on squashing drama with a quickness also.)

  7. Doug Grammer says:

    Lee brought up race. He should not have done so. Williams sunk to his level. He should not have done so.

    • Hi Doug,

      John Williams was already at that level. I don’t know how much you’re able to keep up with stuff down this way, but:

      It’s apparent Williams is looking for his own reality TV series. I live two counties over from Williams and I’m embarrassed to be that close.

      Williams has had at least a couple of run-ins with Warner Robins police. Many of his problems with the police and with fellow council members seems to be personality driven.

        • Hi Doug,

          Yeah, there’s the case of the “stolen” cell phone that Williams accused some supposedly homeless woman of taking – and then some adolescent friends of his just happened to find it. He was later arrested.

          [Williams] was charged with filing a false statement in writing, a felony; filing a false report of a crime; tampering with evidence; and contributing to the delinquency of minors. The latter three charges are misdemeanors.

          Here’s the entire story: http://warnerrobinspatriot.com/view/full_story/8029487/article-WR-Councilman-John-Williams-arrested

          The, there’s this story in the Daily Sun:

          Report: Williams points gun at tenant

          A tenant of Warner Robins City Councilman John Williams accused Williams of pointing a gun at him Monday night, according to a police report.
          No charges were filed, with police advising both the tenant and the councilman how each could pursue the matter in Houston County Magistrate Court, the Warner Robins police report stated.

          Williams says he doesn’t remember what happened during the incident.

          Read more at: http://www.macon.com/2010/09/29/1281949/report-williams-points-gun-at.html#ixzz13P0cS4Nh

          There’s even mores stuff. Like I said, he’s gunning (pun intended) for a Reality TV Show.

  8. CobbGOPer says:

    Meh. Just another example of how race relations in this state outside the Perimeter haven’t really advanced much since 1964. And even inside the Perimeter it ain’t so great.

    • B Balz says:

      In the South it’s as simple as Black and White, unlike the North where everybody hates everybody else.

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