Mayoral Candidate Says Her City Should Be 'Kept As White As Possible'

Jean Cramer says she has no plans to back out of the mayoral race in her Michigan, USA town despite backlash following her comments on diversity in the community.

Cramer and other candidates were seated in a public election forum in Marysville on Thursday local time, and asked how they viewed their town's cultural diversity.

The question was, “Do you believe the diversity of our community needs to be looked at, and if so, should we be more aggressive in attracting foreign-born citizens?”

"Keep Marysville a white community as much as possible. White. Seriously. In other words, no foreign-born, no foreign people," Cramer responded, which left the room "in shock", according to The Times Herald reporter Jackie Smith.

Marysville has a population of roughly 10,000 people, of which 90 percent are white. The city is an hour's drive from Detroit, which is 83 percent black.

After the forum Cramer, 67, told Smith she couldn't be racist because "a black woman at a local establishment who serves or waits on her is her favourite". She also added she didn't believe in interracial marriage.

Cramer was interviewed again the following day, where she doubled down on her statements.

"People don't necessarily have to get married, and, if they love somebody, love them single. There's nothing wrong with that," she said in regards to interracial marriage.

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

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After Cramer's statement during the forum, Mayor Pro Tem Kathy Hayman offered an emotional response.

“I don’t even know that I can talk yet, I’m so upset and shocked. My father was a hundred percent Syrian. So basically, what you’ve said is that my father and his family had no business to be in this community," Hayman said.

Jean Cramer (left) watches on as Mayor Pro Tem Kathy Hayman (centre) speaks. Image:

“My son-in-law is a black man and I have bi-racial grandchildren. And I take this very personally what you’ve said, and I know that there’s nothing I can say that’s going to change your mind. We just need to have more kindness -- that’s it.”

"What Kathy Hayman doesn’t know is that her family is in the wrong,” Cramer later told The Times Herald. “(A) husband and wife need to be the same race. Same thing with kids. That’s how it’s been from the beginning of, how can I say, when God created the heaven and the earth."

Cramer continues to declare herself a City Council candidate for Marysville's November 2019 election.