A candidate running for city council in Michigan told attendees at a forum Thursday night that she wants to keep the town’s demographics as “white” as possible.
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The Port Huron Times Herald reported that Jean Cramer, one of five candidates running for an open seat in Marysville, vowed to work to keep the town “a white community as much as possible” if she’s elected.
The remark was reportedly in response to a question from the moderator, who asked, “Do you believe the diversity of our community needs to be looked at, and if so, should we be more aggressive in attracting foreign-born citizens?”
Kathy Hayman, the town’s mayor pro tem, said she was “shocked and upset” by Cramer’s comment, adding that she has black family members.
“I don’t even know that I can talk yet, I’m so upset and shocked. My father was a hundred percent Syrian, and they owned the Lynwood Bar. It was a grocery store at that time. So basically, what you’ve said is that my father and his family had no business to be in this community,” Hayman said, according to the Times Herald.
“My son-in-law is a black man and I have biracial grandchildren,” she reportedly added. “And I take this very personally, what you’ve said, and I know that there’s nothing I can say that’s going to change your mind.”
In a statement to the Times Herald following the forum, Cramer denied being racist but said that she was against interracial marriage, calling Hayman’s family “wrong.”
“As long as, how can I put this? What Kathy Hayman doesn’t know is that her family is in the wrong,” she said. “[A] husband and wife need to be the same race. Same thing with kids. That’s how it’s been from the beginning of, how can I say, when God created the heaven and the earth. He created Adam and Eve at the same time. But as far as me being against blacks, no I’m not.”