"It is a sad day in our city." Those were the words used by black community leaders in Longview today. They were speaking out about the racial slurs in Karen Hailey's e-mails.
More than a dozen black ministers and community leaders filed into the Mt. Olive Baptist Church late this afternoon. Among them, Sydney Willis and Daryl Williams, two city council members Hailey refers to in her writings.
After an hour and a half of meeting privately, the group emerged with a brief statement. They denounced Hailey's racial slurs but stopped short of calling for her resignation.
"We have come to this point and allowed city officials to make racial slurs concerning the elected officials that are from our district. I think that something must be done," says the pastor of Red Oak Baptist church H. C Rockmore.
"We will not sit quiet and idly by as this racial volcano is on the verge of erupting," says Gregg county commissioner Danny Craig.
The black community leaders will request the e-mails of all city council members. They also say they want to know why it took seven months for the e-mails to be released.