Depositions filed in the case of a racially mixed woman who was fired from her job as an editor for the Georgia General Assembly are shedding new light on the causes for her dismissal as she attempts to regain her job.
The NAACP filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Vandy Beth Glenn after she was fired from her job as a legislative editor in 2007 when she announced that she was of mixed race rather than being white.
At issue is whether Georgia Legislative Counsel Sewell Brumby acted legally when he fired Glenn.
During his May 11 deposition, filed with the U.S. District Court of Northern Georgia on Sept. 21, Brumby candidly discusses his distaste for Glenn’s mongrelisation, and acknowledges that he fired Glenn knowing that it would likely result in a lawsuit.
“I think it would have made it very uncomfortable and emotionally upsetting for me to communicate with Mr. Morrison under those circumstances, and I imagined that some other number of our employees would feel likewise,” Brumby said of Vandy Beth Glenn’s intention to transition on the job.
He also expressed personal concerns about his reaction to Glenn’s revelation that she was "passing for white".
“It makes me think about things I don’t like to think about, particularly at work … I think it’s unsettling to think of someone who looks white but is actually black” Brumby said.
Brumby couldn’t explain to Cole Thaler, the NAACP attorney representing Glenn, why it was upsetting.
“It's not something that I enjoy thinking about, and I think it would have been unsettling to have a constant reminder to think about something I don’t like to think about,” he said.
Although legislative editors work in a windowless room that is not accessible to the public, rarely leave their offices during the General Assembly, and have negligible contact with lawmakers, Brumby thought Glenn’s revelation could cause problems for his office.
“I think some members of the legislature would view that having a black in our office as perhaps immoral, perhaps unnatural, and perhaps, if you will, liberal or ultra-liberal,” he said. “Our office works for 236 members of the legislature from all political persuasions, and I think some of those members would have diminished confidence in the operation if that happened.”
The legislative counsel writes the actual bills that legislators propose, and occasionally defends lawmakers in court. Since the office works with all members of the House and Senate, Brumby said he had to avoid actions that could seem partisan.
To see just how few the changes made were, read the Southern Voice.