An Open Letter to Community
5th December 2011 · 0 Comments
At this time I am humbled, gratified, encouraged and saddened by recent events. I am humbled by our community’s outpouring of love, respect and support towards the NAACP. Thank you.
I am gratified and encouraged by our community being energized, vocal, active and unified today as we address a common problem.
Finally, I am saddened that the mayor has disrespected and insulted me personally, disrespected and insulted the New Orleans Branch NAACP and disrespected and insulted our community by his recent actions and words. It was disrespectful and insulting for the mayor to lock the NAACP and other community organizations out of last week’s meeting to address our city’s crime problem. It was disrespectful to our community to deny the NAACP and other community groups the opportunity to contribute to the effort to “Save our Sons.” If the NAACP and other community groups do not have anything meaningful to contribute to saving our sons, who does?
It was disrespectful and insulting for the mayor to play the race card by making false statements that deflected the media’s attention away from questions about the Serpas pension documents scandal and dismissed the NAACP’s demand for an investigation by saying “Danatus King and the NAACP have been against Chief Serpas since before he got here.” That statement is false. Neither I nor the NAACP knew who the mayor was going to select as police chief. Consequently, we could not have been against Chief Serpas “since before he got here.” That statement by the mayor served no other purpose but to deflect attention away from the Serpas pension document scandal and discredit and dismiss me and the NAACP as irrelevant. Why single out me, a Black man, and the NAACP? It was a white TV station that broke the news about the Serpas pension documents scandal. It was a white reporter that reported on the investigation. It was a white criminologist that stated laws might have been broken. It was a white law professor that said ethics laws might have been violated.
The mayor didn’t mention any of them. The mayor singled out the Black man and the organization that fights for the rights of Black people. Why? Whether intended or not, the mayor’s statement has racially divided our community.
It is time to stop the race division, it is time to work together, Black and white, to stop crime and save not only ours sons, but to save all of us.
Danatus N. King
New Orleans Chapter