Thursday, June 27, 2013

What exactly did Kim Ratliff say?

It's beyond debate that Mecklenburg County commissioners Vice Chairman Kim Ratliff made an inappropriate comment. But what exactly was it? After days of news stories, that's not entirely clear.

Ratliff talked to WBTV last week and again this week about the commissioners' search for a new county manager to replace the ousted Harry Jones. WBTV reported that Ratliff said the new manager should be "a non white male." That led citizens to complain that, among other things, Ratliff was openly saying she didn't want a woman to be the next county manager.

But the video in which Ratliff said that is not on WBTV's website. In the video currently up on WBTV's website, the station starts with Ratliff in the middle of an answer. She says: "... someone outside of that, whether it's a black female or a Hispanic female or a Hispanic male, but just someone who is not a white male."

"Not a white male" and "a non white male" are not necessarily the same thing. The first disparages white males, but welcomes all other applicants, including females. The second was taken by many residents to mean Ratliff wanted a minority male to be county manager, and females need not apply.

WBTV's Coleen Harry tells me Ratliff said both. But the "non white male" quote in the original story prompted reactions that could have been avoided by hearing Ratliff's more complete answer, which was made in the same interview.

In follow-up interviews with WBTV's Harry, Ratliff said she would like the new county manager to be a woman. That's less inconsistent with her first interview than it originally seemed to some.

Regardless, Ratliff made a significant and offensive mistake by saying the new county manager should be "someone who is not a white male." We'd love to be a fly on the wall when County Attorney Marvin Bethune tells commissioners in closed session this coming Tuesday what legal ramifications there may be, if any, from Ratliff's remarks.

-- Taylor Batten


John said...

The bottom line here, is that whether or not her comment was sexist... it was certainly racist. Her insistence that she has nothing to apologize for merely indicates that she is in denial about her own racial prejudices. She should go.

John said...

Oh, and expect Fannie to be heard from soon! Get the excuses ready!

CharlotteObserver said...

Oh good, this clears it up.

Andy said...

Imagine that...a media outlet quoting only part of someone's sentence.

CharlotteObserver said...

I Googled WBTV's Webiste, as you stated in this opinion piece, and did not find it.

And unless it is a misspelling you made, then is it where the true stories are, and not the watered down version like all media does here in Charlotte?

Charles said...

Maybe the President can take a break from drone bombing and cellphone spying and organize a fried chicken & butter summit with Kim Ratliff and Paula Deen.

Wiley Coyote said...

Ratliff IS a racist.

The Observer just refuses to acknowledge that fact. Oh you printed a generic story naming people of note who went, but there have been no racist diatribes from the Observer condemning those people for going - especially from Miss Fannie.

Taylor, why don't you admit she attended Farrakhan's rally here in Charlotte along with Leake, Mayfield and Cogdell?

Mike and Johna said...
sign the petition and have her removed

BiBr said...

Ratliff is a racist and yet the CO treats her gently - almost trying to find excuses for her. Let Bill James (or any other conservative) say something similar and Taylor Batten along with Fannie Flono would be demanding their head on a platter.

Mark Fletcher said...

I just want to say that I hope the Observer keeps a strong focus on Kim Ratliff and anyone in leadership that makes racial remarks. While I don't believe someone should be ridiculed today for making a statement 25 years ago,(although there is plenty of that) we need leaders who are smart and focused, not ignorant and self serving . Ms. Ratliff should be fired without hesitation........please do not to hide this story, The Charlotte Observer seems to have lost it's fire, get it back .

Thank you

Dorothy Zarza said...

How double standard is this? Paula Deen has been fired, put on the carpet.. Because she is white. Well HELLO, why is it OK for this Black woman or ANY BLACK person allowed to make these statements.
This is the problem w/the Black people today (at least the majority) it is OK for them to say what they want but condemn us and call us Racists for something we say.What is her statement called?
Time to get a LIFE and lets become adults and respect each other, what's good for you is good for me.
Enough w/RACISTS over, lets get a life. If we accused and condemned every Blck person who said statements and or comments about the Whites there could be a revolution here. Grow up.. It is what it is, NOT ALWAYS RACISTS.