September 22, 2020

Tupelo mayor rebukes black city worker over online post implying senator is racist

TUPELO (AP) — A black Tupelo, Mississippi, worker has been rebuked by the city’s mayor for implying in an online post that a recently-elected U.S. senator is racist.

Mayor Jason Shelton, who is white, warned Community Outreach Coordinator Marcus Gary to “refrain from inflammatory rhetoric.” The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports Gary posted on Facebook last week questioning the support of racism.

The post said Gary couldn’t support someone who would sit in the front row of a public hanging. That directly referenced Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, who said in November that she would sit in the front row of a public hanging if invited.

The mayor emailed the details of Gary’s rebuke to the city council Monday, saying Gary was “counseled” on his role as a city representative. Gary’s post has been deleted.