Michigan City Council Candidate Ends Campaign After Racist Remarks

The Michigan city council candidate who garnered nationwide criticism for saying she wanted to keep her community white has withdrawn from the race.

Jean Cramer from Marysville, Michigan dropped out of the city council race on August 26 after she said she wanted to keep the city “a white community as much as possible,” during a candidate forum. She made the racist remarks after the candidates were asked how the city could attract foreign-born residents to their community.

Cramer then expanded on her comment: “White. Seriously. In other words, no foreign-born, no foreign people.”

In an interview with Port Huron Times Herald, Cramer, 67, said she did not have plans to drop out of the race and revealed her opposition to interracial marriage.

"Husband and wife need to be the same race. Same thing with kids," Cramer told the outlet. "That's how it's been from the beginning of, how can I say, when God created the heaven and the earth."

In a follow-up interview, Cramer said she understood if her comments were taken as offensive by interracial couples, saying she opposes interracial marriage “because those people don’t know the other side of it,” she told the Port Huron Times Herald on August 23. “For whatever reason, I’ve heard, they love each other, whatever, but there’s also such a thing as remaining single. People don’t necessarily have to get married, and, if they love somebody, love them single. There’s nothing wrong with that.”

The 67-year-old cited the Bible to back up her beliefs and said she is not a racist.

“As far as I know, as long as we’ve been here, Marysville has been a white community, a white city,” she said. “If we have seen a black person here and there, whatever, we’re not bothered by it. I’m not bothered by it.”

The town of Marysville, home to 9,700 residents, is 90 percent white, the Associated Press reported. Marysville Mayor Dan Damman told CBS News that he received Cramer’s letter about withdrawing from the race on August 26. The letter obtained by the news station read: "I am writing this to withdraw as a city council candidate for the City of Marysville election, November 5, 2019." The letter did not offer an explanation for why she is pulling out of the race. Damman said this was Cramer’s first time running for city council.

"I am very thankful that Mrs. Cramer has withdrawn from the city council race," Damman told the news station. "Public sentiment from our residents was swift and bold as they rejected her ideology. It is my sincere hope that she withdrew because she recognized that her belief system and ideology have no place in public service; not in Marysville, not anywhere."

In May, a district attorney in Tennessee ignored demands to step down after he made racist comments on Facebook about the Muslim faith, calling it “evil, violent, and against God’s truth.” Coffee County District Attorney Craig Northcott’s comments were first reported and made public by blog site TNHoller. In the Facebook conversation with Coffee County Young Republicans Chair Daniel Berry, Berry asked if it was ever okay to stereotype an entire group of people.

“Their belief system is evil, violent, and against God’s truth… they are taught to commit many atrocities in the name of their ‘God’ including pedophilia, beating of their wives, female genital mutilation, and ‘honor’ killings… they are evil because they profess a commitment to an evil belief system,” Northcott wrote in the post.

“They are no less evil because they don’t act on their belief system if they refuse to disavow that system,” he added. “It is no different than being part of the KKK, Aryan Nation, etc. If you support those viewpoints, you are rightly and readily condemned in our society.”

“However, it is now politically incorrect to take a stand against Islam that has the same core of hate. I do not hate the individual but will not be cowered into pretending that their belief system is legitimate or one of peace.”

Berry challenged Northcott’s statements and said Republicans should not be attacking Muslims. Northcott disagreed with Berry and later said there are “no constitutional rights. There are God-given rights protected by the Constitution. If you don’t believe in the one true God, there is nothing to protect. No one other than God has given us any rights.”

About the Author

Maria Perez is a breaking news writer for The North Star. She has an M.A. in Urban Reporting from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. She has been published in the various venues, including Newsweek, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, City Limits, and local newspapers like The Wave and The Home Reporter.