Jeremy Spencer used to work for Georgia’s Department of Education. But after racially charged Facebook posts he made came to light, Better Georgia supporters put pressure on the state superintendent to fire him and it worked.
In 2016, it came to light that Spencer held some extremely bigoted beliefs.
His Facebook was littered with posts that demean Muslims, imply that non-white students are not able to achieve academic success at the same level as white students and poke fun at gays and lesbians.
Spencer also apparently thought it was totally fine when someone responded to an anti-Barack Obama post he shared by posting a picture of a lynching. That comment remained up for months.
Spencer worked as the associate superintendent of virtual instruction for the state Department of Education, appointed to the role in 2015 by State Superintendent Richard Woods, after serving as a teacher in southeast Georgia. The bigoted beliefs he promoted were gross and inappropriate for someone serving as a leader and policymaker in education.
Jeremy Spencer is not to be confused with his twin brother, Republican state Rep. Jason Spencer, who last year filed a bill that would have effectively banned women from wearing burqas and niqabs while on public property, including roads and parks. Rep. Spencer also threatened a black former colleague in defense of Confederate memorials earlier this year. Clearly, there are some celebrated family values these brothers share.
When Spencer’s posts came to light, Superintendent Woods originally demurred on the issue, saying it would take at least two weeks to conduct an investigation. But after a Better Georgia petition signed by thousands of Georgians and a lot of pushback, Woods did the right thing and swiftly fired Spencer.
Thanks to the pressure Better Georgia readers and advocates applied, a racist, bigoted person was no longer allowed to serve as a top education official in one of the most diverse states in the nation.
Blatant racism has crept out of the shadows and entered the national stage under the current president. Despite how commonplace boldly racist comments and behaviors from elected officials have become, it is still possible to hold policymakers accountable for the disturbing comments they make.