Gov. Ivey’s hometown reacts to blackface controversy

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — The fallout continues after Gov. Kay Ivey apologized for her role in a skit involving blackface when she was a student at Auburn University in the 1960s.

Some have called for her resignation while others have supported her for owning up to past mistakes, but what are the people in her hometown saying?

Camden, a city with a population of a little over 2,000 people, is a place where everyone knows each other and news of Ivey’s participation in blackface has people talking. According to the 2010 Census, Camden’s population was 57% black and nearly 42% white.

“All of use makes mistakes and she apologized for it, because she’s not the only one that did that,” said Joseph Wright. 

On Thursday, Ivey released a video offering an apology.

“I offer my heartfelt apology for my participation in something from 52 years ago,” Ivey said. 

“She’s apologized, so what happens now is it’s up to the people to decide if the want to accept it or not,” said Oscar Jolley. 

Others, like Les Lambert, weren’t interested in talking about the governor’s involvement in blackface, but more of what has she done lately for Camden. Approximately 25.3% of Camden’s population lives in poverty. In Wilcox County, the area is in the state’s “Black Belt,” which includes some of the poorest counties in the country.

“We don’t have enough businesses coming in paying real good salaries, if we had more of that it would be good for this area,” said Les Lambert. 

That message was echoed by other people living in Camden.

“We’re number one in the state in unemployment, the biggest thing we need here is jobs and job creation,” Jolley said.

While some people in the governor’s hometown are not phased by the controversy , others like the NAACP have called on her to resign. 

“No, her apology is not enough and we think she should resign,” Alabama NAACP Presient Bernard Simelton told CBS 42 Thursday.

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