Fired Ferguson official insists she’s not racist — she just thinks racist jokes are hilarious
A former court clerk in Ferguson, Missouri, defended the racist messages that got her fired.
Mary Ann Twitty was fired in early March after a Department of Justice report showed that she had shared racist emails with two police officers, Capt. Rick Henke and Sgt. William Mudd, who each resigned.
One message forwarded by Twitty in April 2011 showed former President Ronald Reagan feeding a baby monkey, along with the caption: “Rare photo of Ronald Reagan babysitting Barack Obama in early 1962.”
Another email she forwarded to the two officers was a viral story titled, “Leroy’s last child support payment,” littered with crude stereotypes about black grammar and family life.
“Sure, they look racist,” Twitty admitted to KTVI-TV. “Even when I looked at them, I was thinking, ‘God, that is racist’ – but they were jokes. I meant no harm to anyone, to anybody or whoever sent them to me – I don’t even know – and who I sent them out, the police officers, you know. They went out to more than two people, I’m sure of it. No, I didn’t send them out because I’m racist, because I’m not.”
Twitty said she shared the emails simply because she thought they were funny.
“Humor-wise, yes — not because it was racist or biased, no — just funny joke-wise,” Twitty said. “I feel bad because that’s not — I don’t want people to look at me and say, ‘She sent those racist jokes out because she’s racist or biased.’ I am not.”
Twitty argued that she hired two black candidates earlier this year to work for her on the city court.
“They were more qualified for the job that the four white girls,” she said. “I just want to run my court, and I ran it good.”
The former city employee said she believes she was treated unfairly, saying that she didn’t do anything different than what other government workers did in Ferguson.
“It took me awhile to get over the feeling of being raped and being thrown under that bus,” Twitty said. “I’m human, I meant nothing bad by it.”
The DOJ report accused Twitty, the court clerk for 19 years, of establishing an unfair revenue scheme through punitive fines that were enforced by the city’s police department.
“That’s not true,” Twitty claimed. “I set no fines, I just abided by them.”
She believes she was a “sacrificial lamb” in the fallout from the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown and the resulting months of protests.
“They ruined my life for the sake of what was going on in Ferguson,” Twitty said. “I think it’s sickening.”
Twitty said she was upset that her reputation had been damaged in the wake of the DOJ report and her subsequent firing.
“Don’t look at me like I’m a bad person,” she said. “I’m not, and a lot of people know that I’m not.”
Watch the interview posted online by KTVI-TV: