Press Statement — TO THE SUPERINTENDENT OF ALMONT SCHOOL DISTRICT: BRINGING CHARGES AGAINST THREE BLACK PLAYERS IS NOT THE ANSWER. FIXING THE PROBLEM IS A BETTER SOLUTION!

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Statement by Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony, President, Detroit Branch NAACP

DETROIT – The recent response to the Denby and Almont High School District 5 finals by the Superintendent of the Almont School District is most disappointing. It appears the Superintendent is placing the entire responsibility on the backs of the Denby players. This shows a lack of understanding, sensitivity and creative balance to resolve not only this dispute but to use this incident as a teaching moment. The experience of black youth at this football game in which they were spat upon, called the n-word, pushed and excoriated by adults supporting the Almont team must weigh heavily on any decision made. This is particularly important as it relates to discipline or accountability for any individual involved. Where is the evidence of the Sheriff’s Department, the Oakland County Prosecutor’s office, or the Almont School District that this incident was stimulated, motivated and perpetuated by only three black players from Denby High School?

Now is the time for grown folks to act like grown folks. There should be a coming together of both districts to address this unfortunate incident in a manner that precludes any further outrage. The Michigan High School Athletics Association must ensure greater diversity, training and accountability on the field, during the game, and at the conclusion. There has been no coming together of the individuals involved in this incident. It is natural, although it may not be desirable, for young people to respond in this way to defend themselves or to stand up for their rights as demonstrated and reflected at the recent game. We do not support violence or verbal abuse by any individual or groups. However, we call upon the Superintendent of Almont, the Oakland County Sheriff’s Department, along with the Prosecutor’s office, the Detroit Public School Community District and any others involved to sit down around a common table to resolve this issue. Charging students who clearly were standing up for themselves and protecting their rights should not be condemned but should be understood. This is clearly a case where some have reacted on all sides in the midst of such hostility which involves not only black players but white players and white fans.

Click here — Bringing Charges Against Three Black Players Is Not The Answer — to read the statement in its entirety.

Press Statement — Keep Your Spit and Garbage to Yourself

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Statement by Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony, President, Detroit Branch NAACP

DETROIT – The recent attacks on the Denby High School football players during and after the game with some of the Almont High School fans and parents has no place on or off the field. On November 23, 2019, during the Division 5 state semifinal football game, racial slurs, cursing, spitting, and even some punching and pushing occurred. These actions were launched against the black football players from Denby High, a Detroit Public School. Investigations are now being conducted by both school districts. This behavior was according to some, due to the black players taking a knee during the national anthem. This caused some white parents and fans among the Almont supporters to get upset and to start verbal abuse. Perhaps we all need to be reminded that taking a knee is not illegal, un-american, un-patriotic, and certainly not violent. It is quite frankly legitimate and allowable as expressive conduct, and lawful behavior that offers a political opinion. Many suggest it is the constitutional equivalent of free speech. As a matter of fact according to the Supreme Court of the United States in Street vs. New York 1969, “The constitutionality guaranteed freedom to be intellectually diverse or even contrary and the right to differ as to things that touched the heart of the existing order, encompass the freedom to express publicly ones opinion about our flag including those opinions which are defiant or contentious.”

Click here — Keep Your Spit and Your Garbage to Yourself — to read the statement in it’s entirety.

Press Statement — Governor William G. Milliken, A Gentle But Strong Political Leader

Statement by Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony, President, Detroit Branch NAACP

DETROIT (October 21, 2019) – “To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven,” Ecclesiastes 3:1. No, I am not necessarily trying to go biblical, but I am trying to recall a more harmonious time of the political. Former Governor William Milliken served our state and the nation in a season that possessed not just the harsh and cold indifference of winter, where hearts and minds were frozen. He also served as a bit of sunshine. He had the ability to warm the heart and to cause a spring like birth of a different political discourse. He brought new life into an old game. As a teenager, when Governor Milliken took office, I didn’t always understand the nature of the political games. Yet, as an activist student I understood who was for our community and who was against it. Governor Milliken always impressed me as someone who was for the people and the city of Detroit.

It is indeed worth noting that two political giants have passed within one week of the other. Congressman Elijah E. Cummings of Baltimore and Governor William Milliken of Michigan. One was a Democrat and the other was a Republican. One was the son of South Carolina sharecroppers (Cummings) whose parents were poor and according to him “not well educated but yet still brilliant.” The other was the son of northern Michiganders (Milliken) whose parents were wealthy. His father was a mayor and state senator from Traverse City. His mother was a member of the school board. She was the first elected woman to serve public office there. Both Milliken and Cummings reached beyond themselves to work with and to deliver for all of the people. It was not just about party. It was really about principle.

Click here — Press Statement — Governor William G. Milliken, A Gentle But Strong Political Leader — to read the statement in its entirety.

Press Statement — The Laborers Are Worthy of Their Hire

The following press statement was issued by Detroit Branch NAACP President Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony.

DETROIT – On June 1, 2009, President Barack Obama said, “I also recognize the importance of a viable auto industry to the well being of families and communities across our industrial Midwest and across the United States. In the midst of a deep recession and financial crisis the collapse of these companies would have been devastating for countless Americans and done enormous damage to our economy beyond the auto industry. It was also clear that if GM and Chrysler remade and retooled themselves for the 21st century, it would be good for American workers, good for American manufacturing, and good for America’s economy.”

In short, the president indicated, “Our goal is to get GM back on its feet, take a hands-off approach and get out quickly.” As a result, this commitment, following an initial investment of $15 billion dollars and an additional investment of $30 billion dollars in General Motors, an investment that entitled American taxpayers to the ownership of 60% of the new GM. This was done because of the tremendous sacrifices made by American workers and their families across this nation. Well, General Motors today is back on its feet as of August 1, 2019. CNBC indicates the company reported revenues of $36.1 billion. Shares of GM rose more than 7% over that last 12 months and are up more than 21% since the beginning of the year. The original estimation of revenues was $35.98 billion vs. an achieved $36.1 billion. This is an indication of a company that is doing well and is in a position to  support, encourage and invest in the workers who have enabled it to achieve these goals.

Click here, The Laborers Are Worthy of Their Hire, to read the press statement in its entirety.

Get On The Bus With Us!


The Detroit Branch NAACP will have a bus headed to Lansing for the Michigan State Conference NAACP and Michigan Legislative Black Caucus Statewide Legislative Summit.  

The bus will depart the Detroit Branch NAACP office at 7 a.m. on Tuesday June 11 and return at 6 p.m. If you would like to ride the bus please email your contact information to info@detroitnaacp.org.  

Just $10 secures your seat on the bus.  Please click here to reserve your seat today.