‘If he don’t step out, kick him out’: Community calling for change after racist remarks allegedly made by sheriff
WHITEVILLE, NC (WWAY) — It was standing room only at the Brunswick Waccamaw Missionary Baptist Association building on Tuesday night as the Columbus County NAACP hosted a meeting to discuss the racially-charged remarks allegedly made by Sheriff Jody Greene.
The meeting began with prayer, then Pastor Andy Anderson welcomed people in attendance to share their thoughts about the remarks. Some of those remarks are as follows.
- “I felt humiliated. I felt embarrassed to be living in Columbus County, but now I feel much better to know that Columbus County has the support of the people here.”
- “I was very, very disappointed, very disappointed, that a leader could do that to us.”
- “I’m in mourning because there’s a lot of people whose hopes have been dashed and they are now dead. I do hope somebody will resurrect them. I ain’t gonna say who you’ve got to go vote for, but I know I’m going to the polls with the name that rhymes with the word.”
The Columbus County NAACP called the meeting after first hearing of the alleged remarks. Just hours before the meeting, Judge Douglas Sasser ordered Jody Greene to be immediately suspended from the office of sheriff. The order came down after District Attorney Jon David filed a motion in court to remove Greene because of an alleged racist and profane tirade from 2019 that was caught on tape.
According to the court filing, Sheriff Jody Greene’s 2019 comments included the following:
“I’m sick of these Black b*******. I’m gonna clean house and be done with it. And we’ll start from there….. I’m tired of them f****** with me. It ain’t happening no more. No g****** more….. I’m still m************ sheriff, and I’ll go up and fire every g****** [inaudible]. F*** them Black b*******. They think I’m scared? They’re stupid.”
North Carolina NAACP President Deborah Dicks Maxwell says she was disappointed and angry after hearing the remarks.
“Not madness at the person who did it, but the fact that we allow someone to take such a high position who shows such bias in their comments which does overflow into the workplace,” Maxwell said. “Suspension is good. Resignation or termination is better.”
However, Maxwell and others believe more steps need to be taken to ensure something like this never happens again. Columbus County NAACP President Curtis Hill says that’s why they’re calling for a thorough investigation into the sheriff’s office.
“We [can] use this as a moment, even though it’s a sad moment for our county, we can use it to catapult it to real change going forward,” Hill said.
For many concerned citizens of Columbus County, that change will start at the polls.
“If he don’t step out, kick him out,” Pastor Anderson said to the crowd. The comment was met with thunderous applause from those at the meeting.
A hearing will be held at the Columbus County Courthouse on October 24th at 10:00 am to make the final determination if Greene’s suspension will be lifted or permanent.