The city of Midland, Alabama, recently had a mayoral election that has now stirred a racial controversy because of a Facebook post. Outgoing Mayor Patsy Skipper, who was never elected to her position in Midland, lost her position to a Black woman. Skipper became interim mayor when her husband became sick and could no longer continue his duties as mayor’ the city council voted 3 to 1 to allow her to take over her husband’s duties without the consent of the city’s voters. The city has a population of close to 3K with Blacks compromising about 23.3 percent.
This past Tuesday, Midland voted Skipper out of office and elected JoAnn Bennett Grimsley as the city’s first Black mayor. During the vote count, a friend asked Skipper on Facebook, “Patsy this is Don how is the election going?”; the response from Skipper reads, “I lost. The n-gger won.”
A screenshot of the post went viral in the city of Midland and was soon shared across the country before the post was taken down. Now Skipper, an anti-Obama republican, has a response to this overtly racist post. According to Skipper, “My Facebook has been messed up for several weeks and I haven’t been using it … I think I’ve been hacked.” A convenient excuse for Skipper since Facebook will not confirm whether her account was in fact hacked.
Her opponent, JoAnn Bennett Grimsley, worked for 27 years as Midland’s city clerk, water clerk and court magistrate. Despite her long service in the community, Skipper’s husband, Virgil Skipper, refused to reappoint her to her job as clerk in 2012. Grimsley will take office as Mayor of Midland in 2017 in an ironic stroke of victory. Skipper finished second in a three-way race for mayor. In unofficial results, JoAnn Bennett Grimsley won with 233 votes, Skipper received 148 votes and Lamar Spence received 59 votes. There have been no comments from Mayor-elect Grimsley on Skipper’s racist Facebook comment.