A squabble at a council meeting in a Georgia city has caught the attention of the NAACP after a white councilman told his black counterpart that he should be working in a cotton field.
The exchange took place in a recent Warner Robins City Council meeting near Macon, Georgia, said Larry Holmes, president of the NAACP in Houston County.
"They need to learn to respect each other, and they need to stop all the name calling," Holmes said.
"Ever since this new council was elected, there has been different problems. For one thing, they just can't seem to function there in a more pleasant and peaceful manner."
The controversial "cotton field" exchange happened at the meeting at the Warner Robins City Council earlier in October, said CNN affiliate WMAZ-TV in Macon.
The heated argument captured on tape was between council members John Williams, who is white, and Daron Lee, who is black, the affiliate reported.
During the exchange, Lee said he was tired of being interrupted and was upset about how he was treated at an earlier meeting.
"I was disrespected last Monday. I'm getting about tired of you all, talking to me any kind of way. I'm not working in a cotton field," Lee said.
Williams paused for a second and then replied, "You should be."
Lee then walked out of the meeting but later returned, the TV station reported.
The racial talk continued during the public comment period of the meeting. One resident suggested that the City Council should get diversity training.
Lee told the affiliate later it was not the first time that he has heard racially insensitive remarks at a meeting.
"He smiles in your face and makes racial remarks," Lee said. "I am pretty much used to it by now. I had it last meeting. It is a poor representation of the council."
Williams explained his remarks to the affiliate.
"I worked in the cotton field," Williams said. "I drove a cotton basket many miles. It is not a racial remark at all. [Lee] makes everything racial."
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has written a letter to the City Council that Williams should resign, Holmes said.
"We're just saying if they can't work together that maybe someone needs to resign," Holmes said. Source( Collapse )SourceDon't read the comments at either source.