The Detroit Branch NAACP President Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony issued the following press statement during a press conference held on Tuesday, October 23.
DETROIT (October 23, 2018) – Good Morning. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. made it plain when he said over 50 years ago, “I have come to see more and more that one of the more decisive steps that the Negro can take is that little walk to the voting booth. That is an important step. We got to gain the ballot and through that gain political power.” It is for this reason that we have come together to openly declare and encourage every Detroiter, every citizen in Wayne County or Michigan, regardless of political persuasion, to come back to the voting booth. We encourage everyone to Take Your Soles to the Polls.
The Detroit Branch NAACP is pleased to be working with the AARP, faith-based organizations, community groups, the city of Detroit, and Wayne County in the effort to increase and motivate the voter turnout for the general elections on November 6. All of us have the responsibility to vote. Each individual must consider these three questions.
From now through election day we will be engaged in a program specifically to help mobilize our community to exercise their voter franchise. This election is too critical for the future of our children as well as those adults and seniors who desire to improve the quality of their lives. Some persons may have already voted in the early or absentee voting process. We encourage everyone to vote early, stay in line, and do not let the weather determine whether or not you will vote.
Click here to read the statement Press Statement — Detroit Branch NAACP Gears Up for November 2018 General Election in it’s entirety.
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The following press statement was issued by Detroit Branch NAACP President Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony regarding the comments made by Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson.
DETROIT (August 9, 2018) – The recent comments of Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson concerning the effort of CEO’s in Detroit and the region to come together to advance the cause of Southeast Michigan were unwarranted, unnecessary, and most racist. The City of Detroit, along with Southeast Michigan is in a great period of outreach and expansion for business and community. This should inspire all of us. CEO’s who have never joined together in the quest to bring economic development to this region are now working together for the benefit of our communities. The comments of L. Brooks Patterson indicating, “Oh hell no. I’d rather join the Klan” come at a very critical time. The racial divide within our nation is stark and deep. If we are to progress as people who believe in diversity and sharing the resources for all people, this racial wall must be torn down.
Mr. Brooks did issue an apology indicating, “Sometimes when I’m passionate about a topic, I choose sharp words and purposely engage in hyperbole to get my point across.” Someone should inform Mr. Patterson that sticks and stones may break your bones, but words that reek of racism can break your spirit and your will. An apology is appropriate, but more than just an apology is having the will and a plan to do better. We do not need walls of division between suburb and city. We need bridges between every city and area in our region. These are the kind of words that remind me of George Wallace standing in the doorway at the University of Alabama in 1963 in which he said to black students trying to enter, “Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.”
Click here Press Statement – Our Region Needs Cooperation Not Denigration to read the statement in its entirety.
Detroit Branch NAACP President issued the following press statement regarding the suspension and investigation of a Detroit Police Department officer beating of a mentally ill woman.
DETROIT (August 2, 2018) – Once again, we find ourselves forced to denounce another inappropriate action on the part of a member of our police department. The recent beating of a mentally ill woman while held in custody at Detroit Receiving Hospital is unacceptable, inappropriate, and inexcusable. Part of the oath that a police officer takes includes this section: “I will uphold fundamental human rights and afford equal respect to all people according to law.” Police officers are held to a higher standard and must be accountable for their actions which could lead to injury and death.
This very tragic incident reminds us again of the need for training, accountability, and monitoring of members of law enforcement. Police Chief James Craig was correct in immediately indicating at today’s press conference, a “grave concern and being troubled by the video displaying the incident.” The suspension of the police officer is indeed appropriate. An 18-year veteran should know better and is expected to do better. While we do not excuse and condone disrespect or abuse by citizens on police officers, it is understood that such occasions of possible conflict will occur. It is in these circumstances where training kicks in. In such situations, sound judgement must be demonstrated. Police officers carry tasers, handcuffs, and communication devices. They go through physical and mental training. As the Detroit Police Department must deal with at least 500 calls per month regarding the mentally ill, this was not an unusual situation. Certainly, three or four officers should be able to detain a naked, mentally challenged woman. The officer in question has had mental health and community policing and advocacy training.
Click here to read the statement in its entirety Press Statement – Police Abuse of Any Citizen Must Not Be Tolerated.