First Black Mayor Of Upper Marlboro Resigns Amidst Racist Bullying
A Maryland mayor is stepping down from her position after saying she’s been the victim of racists attacks and bullying.
According to NBC 4, Mayor Tonga Turner of Upper Marlboro is resigning and residents claim it wasn’t until she made her announcement that the alarming incidents came to light.
“I am writing to inform you that effective Friday, June 21, 2019, I will no longer be serving as mayor and president of the board of commissioners for the town of Upper Marlboro,” Turner wrote in a letter, which cited progress in having secured $800,000 in grants, legislation that advanced economic development and the creation of “an outreach team that is focused on diversity and inclusion.”
“It is no secret that the Town of Upper Marlboro has been plagued with a dark history and past, but my hope is that in the past two years under my leadership, each of you has seen the great promise for our future.”
Turner is Upper Marlboro’s first Black mayor, and she said the bullying began as soon as she first took office, according to people at a Monday town hall meeting. Folks say the incidents included everything from her tires being slashed to a former town commissioner sketching swastikas DURING A TOWN HALL MEETING.
“She explained a lot about receiving threatening emails and being called certain words from her constituents,” Upper Marlboro resident Angel Saules explained. “Her tires have been slashed, from what I understand. And then kind of like the kicker and I think what made it be a part of the meeting is that someone who attends very regularly had been sketching swastika signs.”
Another Upper Marlboro resident, Monica Wilson, took a photo after noticing a guy at Monday’s meeting drawing swastikas in a yellow legal pad. Multiple sources confirmed the man was a former town commissioner.
“And I look over and see him scribbling swastikas over and over again,” Wilson said. “He flips the pages, continues to scribble additional swastikas.”
“There have been some things that have happened during her year and a half as mayor that she did talk about at the town meeting last night,” town spokesman Ray Feldmann explained. “There have been some incidents that she’s had to deal with, but those were not incidents that had anything to do with her resignation.”
Feldmann said that while the racism has been challenging, Turner gave up her mayoral position to spend more time with family. But he also acknowledged the mayor’s progressive views received some pushback.
“She is about not accepting the status quo, shaking things up, and that has not been acceptable to a lot of people,” Feldmann said.
Interestingly enough, Upper Marlboro is apart of Prince George’s County, Maryland, which is predominately Black. Of course, White folks still occupy space in Upper Marlboro’s town of 657 people, and it seems the town’s history of once being predominantly White is showing its ugly face.
Smh. Who knows what else Ms. Turner had to deal with.
You can check out her resignation speech for yourself below.