Diversity in the town of Marionville, Missouri (population 2,250), is national news thanks to Mayor Dan Clevenger, who used the murder of three people in Kansas at the hands of Frazier Glenn Miller, a noted KKK leader and old friend, as an opportunity to express that he “kind of agreed with [Miller] on some things.” Clevenger, speaking to a local television station, added, “There [are] some things that are going on in this country that are destroying us. We’ve got a false economy and it’s — some of those corporations are run by Jews because the names are there.” He has since resigned, but not until after a spirited town meeting that put the beliefs of small-town America right out there.
“I have seen a lot more hatred from some of you people than I have seen out of Dan Clevenger,” said one supporter of the mayor, according to an amazing report from the local News-Leader. “I thought we had free speech in America.” An opponent, addressing the backlash the town has faced as a result of Clevenger’s post-mass-shooting comments, countered, “We have been slimed, like in Ghostbusters.”
It’s difficult to even know who was arguing which side, as everyone took the forum as a chance to express racial and religious anxieties. For instance, this woman:
“I personally know and love a Jew,” she said. “I have a grandson who is Jewish.”
After saying that, she added that the investment firm of Goldman Sachs in New York City has played a large role in damaging the U.S. economy.
Oh, you want something even more uncomfortable?
At one point, a young man said that he had lived in Marionville a year and had never seen a single black person.
This prompted Dan Noyes, 53, to leave and return with his son-in-law, Damian Harris, 34, who lives in the city and is black.
Maybe he should run for mayor?