Charles Tyson, elected South Harrison Township’s first black mayor in 2006, said yesterday that he had been worn down by racism in the Gloucester County farm community and would resign as deputy mayor effective today.
Growing up in the town of 2,700 people, he never felt the sting of intolerance, said Tyson, 67, whose term of office was to expire in December 2010.
Soon after news spread that he would be the Democratic candidate for mayor, his tires were slashed, his campaign signs were defaced, and he was subjected to threatening phone calls and e-mails laced with racial epithets.
I must have driven through Harrison Township several dozen times over the years; it’s about 45 minutes east of here. It’s so small I didn’t notice it.
The man got hate phone calls from all over the country for being black and mayor of Nowhere, New Jersey. One caller, a Virginian, is in jail pending trial.
They drove him to resign the mayoralty, but he stayed on as deputy mayor. Now they have driven him out of office entirely.
Just because he’s Not White.