Detroit Branch NAACP President Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony issued the following press statement regarding the passing of Judge Damon Keith
DETROIT (April 28, 2019) – The civil rights community has lost a giant among those who have consistently fought to hold fast to the rein of justice and equity for all people. This is particularly true in the cause of Black Freedom and social justice. Judge Damon Keith for a half century has led in this cause. An icon in the civil rights community, he has rendered uncompromising decisions from punishing illegal government wiretapping, and the racial motivation of building a wall of segregation around the City of Pontiac.
He would certainly be a thorn in the judicial side of this current administration and its treacherous policies of family separation and deportation. He was an early opponent in the judicial process to expose secret deportations and government abuse of its authority. Judge Keith will long be remembered for his work off the bench with the NAACP. He was an early organizer and supporter of the largest sit-down Dinner in the nation, the Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner of the Detroit Branch.
He was a great supporter an advocate for the City of Detroit and for African American political empowerment. Judge Keith represents an era of bold and courageous judicial principles. These principles helped guide precedents for those too cautious to be just and sometimes too afraid to stand alone! In the words of Congresswoman Maxine Waters, “I have the gavel and I am not afraid to use it!” Judge Keith used the judicial gavel to open doors and knock down barriers.
Judge Keith will long be remembered as a true follower and believer in the works and direction of the great attorney an civil rights lawyer Charles Hamilton Houston, who said, “A lawyer is either a social engineer or he is a parasite on society.” Thank you Judge Keith for being a social engineer. We have a spoiler alert! Look out heaven, here comes the Judge!!
The Detroit Branch NAACP is the largest branch in the Association. For more information, please call (313) 871-2087.