WARREN, MIch. (WJBK) - New audio recordings turn up the heat on Warren Mayor Jim Fouts.
The files were released this morning just minutes before the mayor took the stage to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, quoting Doctor King's famous "I have a dream" speech.
Warren Mayor Jim Fouts on what should be a celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King's legacy - instead defending himself against the latest degrading audio recording released Monday by the Motor City Muckraker website.
WEB UPDATE: Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan believes if the recordings are true, Fouts "should resign." Duggan weighed in on the controversy after this story was originally filed.
Recordings that sound like Mayor Fouts demeaning African-Americans and older women.
On the recording, the person said:
"You know blacks do look like chimpanzees. I was watching this black woman with her daughter and they look like two chimps."
"I remember this one kid in my class I told you some years ago. He said we have a party store. He says my dad had rules. I said what are they? Only two n****** at a time."
"Think I want to "expletive" date a 60-year-old hag? (Expletive) that (expletive). I'm not interested in any old ugly hag. I think after a certain age they're all dried up, washed up, burned down."
This comes just weeks after another audio recording that appears to be Fouts belittling and insulting the mentally disabled - calling them dysfunctional - and not even human.
On Monday Fouts addressed the latest recordings during his speech - invoking the words of Dr. Martin Luther King.
"I like the phrase we shall overcome - I and we together, shall overcome all of these phony tapes," Fouts said at the event.
Fouts blamed his political adversaries for what he calls phony tapes.
"I don't care how many tapes Mark Hackel or whomever makes," Fouts said at the event. "I will not be deterred and I will overcome."
Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel and Fouts have been in a battle over alleged illegal dumping at Freedom Hill - Hackel says he has nothing to do with these latest recordings and Motor City Muckraker's publisher stands by his unnamed source for the latest audio.
Rev. W.J. Rideout confronted him after the ceremony.
"Do you think we're black chimpanzees," Rideout said. "The blood of Martin Luther King is on your hands."
FOX 2: "Mayor Fouts - what is your response?"
"It's an engineered tape," he said.
Rideout: "You are a white supremacist, resign, resign."
A call to resign - one that Fouts has resisted so far.
"We're facing racism all over America, for him to act like its okay to call us chimpanzees, it brings tears to my eyes," Rideout said. "To call disabled people retarded and crazy, it hurts. To say what he says about old people, well Fouts you look like you have one foot in the grave.
"And here today, he needs to resign. This is not justice for the latest honorable Martin Luther King, Jr."
UPDATE: Jim Fouts wrote a response on his Facebook page.
"Just attended what should have been a joyous occasion for our 4th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. ceremony. Instead Mark Hackel and friends attempted to hijack this ceremony by releasing more vile, vitriolic, phony tapes against me. This was timed so that they came out just before our noon ceremony.
This distracted from my major announcement of the appointment of Greg Murray to be the new diversity coordinator. His first effort will be toward helping our special needs population regarding accessibility, employment and understanding. Transportation will also be a focus. And I have a stated goal of including the rights of the special needs community into the U.S. Civil Rights Act. They deserve to have their rights protected by federal legislation, that way the special needs individuals can achieve the status that all Americans have, which is full protection of all their rights!
This effort at negative tapes is designed to distract from my efforts of inclusion for all. The media as usual bombarded me with questions all at once and allowed an agitator to shout over me! This tactic dishonors the memory of Martin Luther King a man of peace.
Just as a reminder I made great efforts at inclusion including:
1) Appointment of the first African American Dept. head.
2) Appointment of the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth African American members to the Planning Commission.
3) Jocelyn Howard my appointment is currently the chairperson of the Planning Commission. She is an African American.
4) Currently a majority of the Planning Commission are non-white. This includes a Moslem that I appointed.
5) I appointed the first African American Fire Commissioner and I believe the only African American Fire Commissioner in Macomb County.
6) I sponsored an annual Dr. Martin Luther Day ceremony at Warren City Hall.
7) I also sponsored having a large photo of Martin Luther King at the entrance of the Civic Center Library.
8) Today I appointed Greg Murray to be the first diversity coordinator in Macomb County and Warren. He is also African-American.
9) I changed the image from "Fortress Warren" promoted by the previous administration to a more inclusive Warren.
10) We also have more employees at city hall that are African-American.
11) I came up with the idea of diversity coordinator last summer with the idea of having a more diverse workforce in Warren.
Finally just like the previous tape this is a phony manufactured tape to distract from my outstanding record as Mayor.
Not only was I stampeded on by the media but they also trampled on the musical instruments of the Renaissance High School Quintet and may have done some damage. This was a media stampede trampling over musical instruments! Shame on them and shame on Mark Hackel for this transparent attempt at character assassination."