It's not a stretch to say that the Southeast United States has a pretty well-known reputation. If you ask anyone from above the Mason Dixon line (or west of the Mississippi) what people are like in the South, you'll most likely get a pretty standard assortment of cliches. Southerners don't care for shoes, they love NASCAR, and they're pretty opposed to anything that you might classify as "progressive." Well, a small town in South Carolina has bucked that trend with such ferocity, you might be forced to rethink the way you see small town America.
Latta, S.C. has a population of around 1,400 people. The town's economy relies heavily on tobacco and is made up of a variety of farmers and, you know, rural types. The town made headlines earlier this year when their mayor, Earl Bullard, dismissed the town's lesbian police chief, Chrystal Moore, with zero notice. Mayor Bullard claimed this dismissal was due to Moore's insubordinate behavior, even though, up to that point, Chief Moore had received no conduct warnings of any kind.
This maneuver didn't sit well with some of the residents of the town, and within days, the residents of Latta, South Carolina sprang into action. Spurred by the widespread disapproval of Moore's firing, town councilman Jarrett Taylor secretly taped Mayor Bullard when he infamously stated: "I'd much rather have somebody who drank and drank too much taking care of my child than I had somebody whose lifestyle is questionable around children, because that ain't the damn way it's supposed to be."
Well, the people of Latta, S.C. didn't feel the same way as their mayor. An impromptu vote was called, wherein nearly 70 percent of voters chose to back their chief. Within days of Moore's release, the town council had restored her as chief and restricted Bullard's powers to practically zero. After all, when it hit the fan, the residents of Latta were more interested in having a competent civil servant at the helm than they were in whom that civil servant chooses to go home to each night.
Though she has won a substantial victory for civil rights, Chief Moore is still in tremendous debt as a result of her unjust firing. A drive to collect those funds has been started on GoFundMe.org. As for Mayor Bullard, he still has his job (technically), but things aren't looking too hot for the guy.