Local Realtor and recently defeated Republican congressional candidate Everett Corley lashed out in a Facebook post on Wednesday, calling African-American University of Louisville Professor Ricky Jones a “damn dirty black bastard.” The comment was posted in the wake of a judge’s ruling to lift an emergency injunction that had prevented the removal of a Confederate monument on U of L’s campus, which Corley wants to remain standing.
Corley works for Eline Realty Co. in Louisville, which has been flooded with negative comments on social media about employing the man who made the derogatory remarks about Jones. Corley — who has decried the removal of the statue as “erasing history” — later changed “damn dirty black bastard” to “that sob” on the post, before eventually erasing the entire post. Corley tells IL that before deleting the post in question, he had written “No excuses, I apologize.”
Jones has long been one of the leading forces calling for the removal of the statue honoring soldiers who fought to secede from America and uphold slavery. When the city and UofL announced their intention to remove the statue from campus, Corley called for keeping it in place and filed a restraining order that led to a temporary injunction blocking its removal. On the day the intention to remove the statue was announced, Insider Louisville spotted Corley singing “Dixie” near the statue.
Friday morning, Eline Realty publicly responded to the criticism, posting the following comment on their Facebook page:
“We at Eline Realty Co. have been selling and working with people for over 100 years. We treat all people with the respect and dignity that they deserve as being a fellow human. We have Realtors that are in all walks of life, they all have opinions and they are not necessarily the opinion of the company.”
IL spoke with Eline Realty President Sidney Eline Jr. over the phone after this posting and asked if his company shared Corley’s opinion that Dr. Jones was a “damn dirty black bastard.” Eline immediately hung up after the question was asked.
Eline Realty Vice President Sidney Eline III also has sparred with critics this week, sending an email to one individual in which he told the critic to mind his own business, and then decried “the liberals and the extremist (sic) taking over (Louisville) and trying to remove history. Go and study!”
IL emailed Eline questions on Friday asking if his company shares the opinions of Corley on Jones and the monument, if Corley is still employed, and if so, if he would have been fired if he had called Jones the n-word — all of which he declined to answer.
“Sir, I do not know you nor do I have anything to tell you about this matter other than what we posted on Facebook earlier today,” replied Eline III.
Shortly after IL called Eline Realty, Corley emailed IL, saying “An idiot would know I was speaking for myself. But nice try I’m trying to fire me (sic). Does your publication routinely try to ruin people’s lives for a mistake they’ve apologized for?”
Though Corley deleted the post about Jones, he still has a post calling Jones a racist, book burner and “black Rasputin.” He also compares himself to the iconic protester in Tiananmen Square who stood in front of the tank of the Chinese army.
Corley received 7,857 votes in last week’s Republican congressional primary for the Third District, finishing 8 percent behind the winner, Harold Bratcher.
The Confederate monument may not be moved until the judge’s final written ruling, after which the city and UofL will evaluate their options on disassembling, restoring and relocating the monument.
Dr. Jones praised the court’s ruling to lift the injunction, writing on Facebook: “To my Confederate frenemies – ‘You lose . . . again.’ See you next go round.”
On Corley and Eline Realty’s response to criticism, Jones gave IL the following statement:
“Mr. Corley’s comments and his employers’ support of them are further proof of what I’ve said all along. This isn’t about a statue for these Neo-Confederate types.
The continuous argument that moving ONE statue is erasing history is a non-starter. Kentucky has more Confederate monuments than any other non-Confederate state. Also has county names, streets, etc. It’s rife with Confederate references yet these people are this upset about moving ONE statue?
As I’ve said, this is not about the statue for them. It’s about supremacy. I kinda like the new nickname though.”