- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 27, 2013

A Mecklenburg County, N.C., commissioner has received massive backlash after she implied that white males need not apply for the county manager position.

Kim Ratliff, the board’s Democratic vice chairwoman, who is black, told WBTV that she’d prefer commissioners choose someone who is “a nonwhite male who can have good working relations with all people.”

On Wednesday, Ms. Ratliff told the Charlotte Observer that her remarks were “taken out of context.”

“I was saying I want all types of people to apply, not just white men. And black men,” she said. “We know they are going to apply. I want women to take a shot at it. We have a lot of women in leadership roles across the country. But a lot of times when positions come open, women are apprehensive about stepping up.”

“I will support the next county manager, whoever it is,” she added.

Since her divisive comments, dozens of residents have voiced their outrage, even calling on the commissioner to resign.

“Your original comment toward white men in Mecklenburg County was racist and unacceptable,” Jennifer Taite posted on Ms. Ratliff’s Facebook page. “… Shockingly, you still stand by your comment!”

Board Chairwoman Pat Cotham, a Democrat, told the Charlotte Observer that she’s received at least 60 emails from residents regarding the matter.

“Her statement was very inappropriate; so blatant,” Ms. Cotham said. “In this day and age, to have someone say that was just shocking and very unfortunate.”

The board plans to discuss the legal ramifications of the commissioner’s statements with County Attorney Marvin Bethune in closed session on Tuesday, the Charlotte Observer reported.