By Scotty Reid
Charlotte, NC – According to local media reports, more than 100 people participated in a protest organized by the local NAACP that took place at Charlotte’s Government Center. The protest was a response to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Board’s decision to hold a snow make up day on the national holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday.
The chapter issued this statement on their website:
The NAACP on behalf of the African American and minority community is appalled and thoroughly incensed at Peter Gormans decision to use the MLK holiday as a snow make up day. Once again Dr. Gorman has shown total disdain and disrespect for a very significant part of this community. He continues to demonstrate a blatant deliberate disconnect with the African American Community.
This issue of using Dr. King's birthday as a snow day was visited in the spring of 2010 at a board meeting and the community showed unanimous support to choose a day other than the King holiday. There are other work days and Saturdays (which is done in many other counties) that could very easily accommodate CMS's needs.
Martin Luther King is the only African American in the history of this country being granted a national holiday in his honor because of the horrible and cruel sacrifices African Americans have made in the building of this democracy and in-lieu of the extraordinary personal and humanitarian sacrifices made by Dr. King and others.
The leader of the NAACP Charlotte Mecklenburg County branch, Kojo Nantambu speaking to the local media during the protest went as far as to call the entire city of Charlotte racist. Charlotte has a black mayor, Anthony Fox who is a Democrat and a black police chief. Mayor Foxx said it was “regrettable” that the snow make-up day was scheduled on Dr. King’s national holiday but that “given the challenges so many young people are facing it's hard for me to make the argument that if class is in session they shouldn't go."
Rev. Kojo Nantambu said that the local NAACP is in talks with Jesse Jackson to come to the city to address the issue and hopes that the NAACP national chapter will support them in their efforts to persuade the Democratic National Party not to hold their 2012 convention in the city. Mayor Foxx who has been working to bring the convention to Charlotte has yet to respond to Nantambu’s boycott threat.