Black Chamber of Commerce member addressed Bloomington Mayor’s racial comments at council meeting

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At Tuesday night’s Bloomington City Council meeting a member of the Illinois Black Chamber of Commerce addressed Mayor Tari Renner during public comment concerning racial comments he allegedly made in May.

The comments, recorded by a Bloomington resident during an open house, focused on supreme court justice Clarence Thomas.

In the video, Mayor Tari Renner said: ” Just because you have someone who checks the boxes, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to be diverse. My personal favorite, that might not be Angela’s personal favorite, would be Clarence Thomas. He sure does not behave like someone who is African-American from my perspective.”

Cornell Darden Jr. is a board member for the Illinois Black Chamber of Commerce and while he said he did not come to shame the mayor, he wanted him to understand that an elected official should not show such a bias.

“Clarence Thomas has been a role model of mine growing up and to say that somehow he’s not authentically black or to even suggest something like that, what does that even mean I don’t know why the mayor feels that he is a person that can make such a designation.” saod Darden Jr.

Renner said his comments were misconstrued. He said he was only refereeing to the voting record of Thomas and he feels he is being singled out by a “very extreme right wing blogger.”


Kaitlin Pearson

Kaitlin Pearson

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