WKYT Exclusive | Versailles leaders discuss Shaun King's critical comments

VERSAILLES, Ky. (WKYT) - There are close to 9,000 people who call Versailles home. It's a rural town that sits in Woodford County.

But there's one person who hails from Versailles as his hometown that's drawing negative attention to the town.

"We had a good time," recalled Mayor Brian Traugott. "We had a mutual love of hair bands."

Traugott said he grew up with activist Shaun King, the man now embroiled in a controversial international discussion about race. King's comments about what happened to him in Versailles have rocked the small town he once called home.

"That's the first time I guess, Versailles, or Woodford, has been involved in a non-traditional attack via the media," Traugott said.

Traugott doesn't talk to King now, but said they were close in elementary and middle school, Traugott would even spend the night at King's house. "We had some fun back in the day." At Woodford County High School, Traugott said the two weren't as close but still friends. "We had a good relationship. It certainly wasn't bad."

Traugott didn't want to comment on King's race, which is the subject that started the numerous stories questioning King's black heritage. King is an activist for the Black Lives Matter movement. "Irrelevant to me then, and irrelevant to me today," Traugott said.

In King's writings, he referred to an assault spurred by racism while in high school. Traugott said he remembered the assault, but had no recollection that it had to do with King's race.

Yet Reverend Floyd Greene remembers differently. Greene said he remembers racial tension during King's time in high school. "At that time, biracial kids were not as accepted as they are now, 20 years later. So I'm sure he probably had questions from both races trying to find his own identity," Greene said. He's been the pastor for The First Baptist Church of Versailles for 29 years. He said King would visit the church from time to time.

Greene said, "I think the problem is bigger than Versailles." Greene said he's not surprised there is a microscope on King. "Anytime a person starts speaking with a prophetic voice, he's inviting trouble."

WKYT reached out to King for comment on this story, but did not get a response.



 
Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station. powered by Disqus