Before we get into the juicier aspects of Ms. Byrd's story, can we just say congratulations?
And not just to Ms. Byrd herself, but to the citizens of Parma - rhymes with "karma" - Missouri who (I'm guessing) got fed enough to remove their old mayor of 37 years. Congrats to each and every one of you who got out there and voted - couple that with Nigeria's recent historic election, you've got me feeling inspired.
Looks like Ferguson ain't the only one getting a leadership overhaul. For those of you who haven't been paying attention to what's going on out in Parma, we need to get you caught up:
She was barely even sworn in yet! They took off before she even stepped foot into the office!!!
In the town of Parma, Missouri (population 713 and reportedly declining), five of the six members of the town’s police department resigned, as did several city officials, just before the town’s first black woman mayor took office last week. Mayor Tyrus Byrd won a recent election by 37 votes against the previous mayor, Randall Ramsey, who had served for a total of 37 years, and apparently the previous administration was just really, really loyal to Randall.Okay, see there...that right there? That has "we need to invite the DOJ to investigate" written ALL over it. In fact, we need to start a petition about that ish.
Former Mayor Ramsey told local TV that the officers’ resignations, as well as those of the city attorney, clerk, and the supervisor of the waste water treatment plant, were motivated by “safety concerns.” Exactly what those safety concerns were, however, remain a mystery to Mayor Byrd, since she has not actually seen the resignation letters. It appears they were stored on the city’s computers, which were helpfully wiped clean by the outgoing City Hall office staff. Wasn’t that helpful of them, to let her start with a completely clean office like that?
Because of the missing records, Byrd said that she couldn’t comment on the resignations until she had more information. We bet that the former city officials will be more than happy to fill her in, should they ever return her phone calls. It could happen! Also, we haven’t done any research into this, but isn’t there some slight likelihood that maybe wiping city computers of personnel records just might be a crime of some sort? Somebody ought to maybe look into that!
~ Wonkette, "We Are Sure Entire Missouri Town Had Good Non-Racist Reason For Quitting When Black Lady Elected Mayor"
Ever since the DOJ's report on Ferguson, it seems to me that police departments across America are scrambling to avoid a similar fate by any means necessary. Riots? Shit...they can handle that. They can handle anything better than having Feds mercilessly rip through their closets and air all their dirty laundry to the entire planet.
If you're like me, you pay attention to international news, and thanks to Google Translate, I can read about American fuckery in Chinese, German, Swedish, Spanish, French - you name it - and those online news sources have been having a field day. Because when American towns in Nowhere, Missouri are making headlines in international papers, you know shit has gotten real.
There's not much info about Ms. Byrd online. Ain't a whole lot of pictures; couldn't tell you what platform she ran on or what speeches she made but I'm pretty sure this is more than just about her race - this is about her. If had it been some clueless brown bimbo becoming Mayor, I doubt they would've resigned. But Parma elected her. Something about Tyrus Byrd was apparently so terrifying that these fools literally fled before her..
Commenters have pointed out that these people were quitting their jobs - giving up actual income - in this economy, so you already know it was serious. After all, wiping the computers before they left is a crime. Commenters have pointed out that those computers and the data they stored were paid for by taxpayers; ergo, the data was city property and thereby public record. Since Byrd is a former city clerk herself, and she keeps saying her first order of business is to "clean up the city", I think she knows what went down, or at least has a pretty good idea.
Either way, congratulations, sister. Good job.