NAACP responds to Brotemarkle incident at Hickman High

Wednesday, December 10, 2008 | 4:05 p.m. CST; updated 6:48 a.m. CST, Thursday, December 11, 2008

COLUMBIA — A letter from the NAACP is the latest voice in the community debate about the actions of Columbia police resource officer Mark Brotemarkle at Hickman High School.

Mary Ratliff, president of both the Columbia unit and the Missouri State Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, sent a letter to the Columbia Police Department, Columbia Public Schools and the U.S. Department of Justice after three complaints lodged against Brotemarkle were determined unfounded in an internal police department investigation. 

On Oct. 17, a Hickman High School student posted a video on YouTube of Brotemarkle breaking up a fight on Oct. 15 between two girls and spinning a student, Diamond Thrower, to the ground.

It was later discovered that Thrower was not involved in the fight, and three complaints were lodged against Brotemarkle. The police conducted an investigation about the complaints and determined on Dec. 4 they were unfounded.

Ratliff's letter objects to the police findings, calls Brotemarkle's actions "objectionable" and restates the NAACP's position that he should be reassigned.

The letter says that the Police Department's findings have "left a sour taste in the mouths of those who had hoped the new administration would do better toward healing than the last administration.”

Ratliff, who said in an interview that she was informed of the incident by a community member, met with the Police Department and school superintendents while the investigation was being conducted. She said she was upset with the Police Department’s decision to keep Brotemarkle in the same position during the investigation.

Interim Police Chief Tom Dresner, who received the letter, said, “I think her reaction is as I might have predicted. We’re not seeing eye to eye on everything. We’ll try to continue to have as open and productive a dialogue as we can.”

In an interview, Ratliff pointed to one reason for her letter: “I still contend that folks don’t like to talk about the race issue.”

“Had (Thrower) been a young white female, the community would have been up in arms, demanding not just that Brotemarkle be reassigned, but dismissed.”

Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Education Wanda Brown and Interim Superintendent James Ritter declined to comment on the letter. Both said they found no need to express their opinions since Ratliff was expressing hers.

Ratliff said she is being consulted by Bill Whiccomb in the human relations department of the U.S. Department of Justice regarding further action.

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Amber Hanneken December 10, 2008 | 7:42 p.m.

Ugh. Seriously? I saw the video. The officer was reacting to a chaotic situation. I couldn't blame him for what he did, it looked to me like she was part of the fight. Why would you throw yourself into a fight if you're not there for trouble?

Why aren't the teachers and parents up-in-arms about the fact that there is so much violence going on in school? Those kids should be there to learn, not get into physical brawls in the hallways with other students and teachers in harms way.
Shouldn't we be making an uproar about these out-of-control kids that make it so that police officers even have to be in our public schools in the first place?

“Had (Thrower) been a young white female, the community would have been up in arms, demanding not just that Brotemarkle be reassigned, but dismissed.”

Give me a break! Once again the NAACP ignores the real issues for the non-existent ones.

(Report Comment)
Paul Weber December 10, 2008 | 8:00 p.m.

Although I am not invested in this event at all, I must say that from a sociological standpoint, Ratliff raises a good point. This dramatic case,, is a microcosm of the hypothetical posed by Ratliff. Girl X, a nine-year-old from Cabrini Green, was abducted, raped and poisoned, but the national fascination surrounded the murder of JonBenet Ramsey and her kooky parents. As TIME reports, the outrage about Girl X was delayed and short-lived. We've seen this time and again with cases like that of Elizabeth Smart. It seems like the pretty white girl always draws more attention. This isn't CPD's fault, but an interesting point raised by the NAACP.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand December 10, 2008 | 8:37 p.m.

Not always. For example, the Precious Doe case garnered a lot more local and national attention than Ali Kemp's murder.

(Report Comment)
Bob Mitchell December 10, 2008 | 9:29 p.m.

Well, let's see here. I for one viewed the video of the fight, and I think that the officer did a pretty good job of stepping in to break up the fight. Although the girls was thrown, the point here really is that when your kid places him or her self in an adult position of thinking that they can do whatever they want to beak the laws, then you deserve to get your butt arrested and or physically manhandled at the same time. Hickman has always had problems every since I can remember, and it's sad that parents for the most part has encouraged some of the fights in the school, by not doing their jobs as parents. If parents would be more involved in their kids activity and school work, maybe things would be a lot better.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro December 10, 2008 | 10:22 p.m.

Ms. Ratcliff of "The National Assciation for the Advancement of Colored People" thinks people don't like to talk about "the race issue." I laugh at "blacks" who think that people don't like to talk about the race issue. People don't, however, like blacks using the "antiquated race card" to blame everything that happens to them on the non-black community. I love talking about the "race issue" as it reveals the people who support the negative behaviors encouraged by the "Black Gangsta' Rap" culture, and "black" parents who look the other way. These people blame others, and not themselves, for the consequences they face.
Exactly what is Ms. Ratcliff trying to advance? When a "white officer" does his job there will always be misaligned "spokespeople" for the "black community" who will become opportunists and perpetuate that "black people are being picked on" and that "whitey" is out to get them.
This is the 21st. century, folks, and maybe "The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People" should get with the program and finally change the name of their own organization. (That would be a meaningful reality check and maybe bring some progress to her out-dated organization.)
After reading this aricle, Mary Ratcliff left a sour taste in my mouth. I used Listerine. I suggest that she does the same.

(Report Comment)
Nathan Stephens December 11, 2008 | 8:55 a.m.

Mr. Shapiro, you have on several occasions raised some very interesting points regarding this incident and some other issues in the Black community. In this blog, you have indicated that you love talking about racial issues and you seem to feel that the "race card" is antiquated. I would love to have you as a guest speaker at a forum here at the Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center here at the University of Missouri. This is the end of the semester but we could easily schedule a forum on the "dead issue of the race card " for the Spring '09 semester. This invitation is extended not only to you but to all who are willing to discuss these issues and especially those who post on this blog including Ayn Rand and Charles Dudley Jr.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro December 11, 2008 | 9:23 a.m.

Last year I participated in a "roundtable" discussion hosted by Black Students. It was held in one of the rooms in the student union building. Only myself and one other "adult" white person showed up. The students and I were on the "same page" on most of the issues. We listened to and assessed the validity of the items we disagreed about. I too have read your postings. We have very different opinions on physical violence and racial challenges. I would be happy to be included in a "roundtable" discussion on "playing the race card." I will keep an eye out for the announcement of such a discussion.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr December 11, 2008 | 9:40 a.m.

Nathan Stephens why don't you take this to the absolute higher step you can and invite Bill Cosby as well. If you are going to hold the forum at M.U. I am sure he would love to address your concerns on this very issue. Bill Cosby is quite concerned you know.

Oh wait African Americans as a whole shunned him when he tried to talk to them before so what makes you actually think that any African American is going to actually listen to some poor old white guy from the other side of the tracks on this issue since they would not even listen to somebody of their own heritage.

In case you missed it here it is once again:

Also check out the other video clips he has done as well on this very subject:

Once again if African Americans will not even listen to one of their very own I highly doubt this dumb white guy could get anything moved unilaterally in a bi-partisan manner across the table either.

Wasn't it Martin Luther King himself who proclaimed "All men are created equal"? Well then maybe or obviously the African American community did not nor wanted to listen to him either.

In fact you insult me by even asking me to speak at a forum of this type. The race card is overly used by those who will not stand up and move forward. That is a fact.

Good Day.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro December 11, 2008 | 10:15 a.m.

Chuck: My guess is that some people are either "too black" to understand "the Cos man" ot they just think that he's "too white."
But these same people will believe that Mary Ratliff is always right, by virtue of the organization she represents.

(Report Comment)
Traci Wilson-Kleekamp December 11, 2008 | 11:40 a.m.

I can't tell who is the bigger dinosaur. Hank Waters for his paternalistic, patronizing nostalgia for "voluntary segregation" or Mary Ratliff's injection of race -- while ignoring the problem of escalating violence at our schools.

Three things --
1) The video does not tell the entire story -- it is a snippet of the event
2) Not a single adult was able to get that situation under control; which had been in progress before the office got there. IMHO, he did his best to get a bad situation stable.
3) It is unfortunate that the wrong girl was snatched out of the way -- but I don't believe "race" contributed to that decision. A quick (but incorrect) assessment of who was doing what in the midst of chaos was the problem. Even if the officer had tagged the correct student -- would be still be splitting hairs over the "level of force" used.

Lastly, Ratliff should be asking the bigger question of why there are these fights on campus, guns etc., -- and how come the situation could not be quelled by ANY other adults in the area.

I don't care if the cop was purple and green -- he should be respected. And it is nearly impossible to Monday Morning Quarterback a chaotic situation that we did not see entirely.

Mrs. Ratliff may be well-intentioned -- but the issue by far in my opinion is not about race. The white elephant in the middle of the room (while all these people are scratching their heads and trying to figure it out) is WHO IS IN CHARGE?

In closing, we should be focused on demanding excellence of our children -- by providing a first rate education so they are prepared to be leaders of the future. As our national political example has demonstrated -- leaders of the future sure can't afford to use physical violence or verbal attacks to progress in the professional world.

Focusing on Office Brotemarkle's error distracts us from demanding respectful behavior from our kids.

We can't pay attention less and expect more.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr December 11, 2008 | 11:46 a.m.

Traci Wilson-Kleekamp instead of performance by the children why not demand performance out of the parents first and foremost.

ray shapiro how can one be too black or too white if as Martin Luther King himself said "All men are created equal".

(Report Comment)
Traci Wilson-Kleekamp December 11, 2008 | 12:00 p.m.

I agree 100%! Absolutely.. yes.. let's hold the parents accountable first and foremost..absolutely this is what I mean when I say we should demand educational excellence!

How do we get parents on board to support educational excellence.. well now that's another matter.

Comments like being too black are too white.. are dinosauric. It is meaningless.

We must move past such backwards and pointless analogies and name calling.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro December 11, 2008 | 12:12 p.m.

Charles Dudley Jr.
I am not questioning the wisdom of MLK. In a "sense" all men are created equal. We are all "human beings." We are also different in our opinions, beliefs and behavior.
I was making reference to the tendancy of people to "choose sides." Some people over-identify themselves with the "gangsta' rap" culture or over use the concept of "racial discrimination" as the reason for their unhappiness or percieved mis-treatment. They fail to look at their own contribution to the problem.
Hence, the road we take on this "Hickman fight story" and the grandstanding of the NAACP's Mary Ratliff.
As far as "listening to Bill Cosby" I stand by my comment that there are "blacks" who may feel that Cosby has "sold out" to "white" ideas. In my opinion, these people are lost in their own antiquated/now limiting cultural beliefs and behaviors. Unless they are willing to "be responsible and accountable" for their own progress/advancement they will continue to "blame" others for their "plight."

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr December 11, 2008 | 12:17 p.m.

>>> As far as "listening to Bill Cosby" I stand by my comment that there are "blacks" who may feel that Cosby has "sold out" to "white" ideas. In my opinion, these people are lost in their own antiquated/now limiting cultural beliefs and behaviors. Unless they are willing to "be responsible and accountable" for their own progress/advancement they will continue to "blame" others for their "plight." <<<

This I agree with you 100% down the line.

Agree Traci Wilson-Kleekamp but we must "keep it real" as well to get the points across to those who might be sitting on the fence.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro December 11, 2008 | 2:23 p.m.

Hey Nathan:
I just got an e-mail that there will be a President-elect Obama sanctioned meeting at the Columbia Public Library this evening, 12/11 at 6pm in the "Friends Room." Topic: "Change Today." I hope to see a good turnout from the black community as well as every other group. It was a surprise to see very few blacks attend the two Joe Biden gatherings in our area during the election. I know Obama got elected from both black and white voters, but why do you think mostly white folk advocate for real, positive, meaningful change?

(Report Comment)
Cortes Lewis December 11, 2008 | 6:25 p.m.

Hello All,

It's amazing reading these responses as it pertains to the situation at Hickman High School. What's even more heart wrenching is the fact the Columbia, Missouri is still stuck...the power struggle between Blacks and Whites in this city has gotten worse. But I guess that's to be expected, it's the trend of these America's in which we live. So guess what...get over is what it is and its going to be what its going to be...this is the world in which we have created and the only way we can change it is through prayer, repentance, and forgiveness!

Now I challenge all you leaders that have expressed your concerns of this problem to stop looking at the color of our youth's skin and realize that they are in serious need of earlier intervention, diversion, and prevention programs.

Also I challenge you to come into the 21st century reality that parental supervision is no longer apart of the family structure. We have to move beyond what we see in our communities and step out of the box of tradition and engage our youth!!!! Instead of talking about them have you ever tired to talk to them...guess what they are real people with real issues that need real attention and solutions. And furthermore a youth is described by age, not race or ethnicity!

Well it's been a pleasure blogging with all...take care and Happy Holidays!!!

Peace and Blessings

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr December 11, 2008 | 9:13 p.m.

Cortes Lewis I agree with alot of your statement and gratz on a nice presentation.

I will also add unto your statement that the only reason that there seems to be a race issue still in not only Columbia Missouri but all over this country is only due to the fact that alot of the African American Community "excludes" themselves and not the other way around as alot of people are claiming.

I also want to add that this is ingrained into alot of the African American children through old stereotyping by the parents of these African American children themselves and through media outlets such as gangster rap,MTV,movies and more.

With all of those influences being injected into and integrating into the youth of the African American community as a whole progress and total inclusion of all of society will never truly take place and in fact it will all surpass to keep driving that proverbial wedge deeper between societies cultures.

Prove me wrong.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro December 11, 2008 | 11:17 p.m.

This evening I attended a "Time for Change" Obama sanctioned volunteer mobilization meeting at the Columbia Public Library. Their were about 35 people in attendance, young/older, college students and average Columbians. The meeting facilitators were from the 9th St. Obama campaign headquarters, (a team of 4 young, idealistic, well meaning young Dems). Except for not presenting the attendees with a copy of the meeting's agenda, the meeting went pretty well.

There was a Tribune reporter present, taking notes.

I hope that he noted that the group of 35 attendees were mobilizing to do volunteer work that would directly help Columbia's black youths, Columbia's black families and other "disenfranchised groups."
I volunteered to work on the "Community Liaison" committee, as it was the smallest group. (Just three, counting me.)

I had to bring up an observation which bothered me and which I wanted to "change."

While Obama was elected by many "black" and "white" voters, I only saw a handful of "blacks" attend the Joe Biden rallies in Columbia and in Jefferson City. This evening, out of 35 volunteer workers, there were only 4 black attendees. Two were from the Obama campaign, one was a nice local woman and the other an intelligent college student. All the other attendees were right out of our community's liberal mix.

After I expressed my concern for "low black attendance" I was introduced to one of the meeting facilitators, who also works for the NAACP. I asked him about the absence of a significant black turnout and he basically agreed that it was a disappointment. He is also more realistic and intelligent about this Brotemarkle/'race card nonsence.

I will do my best as a volunteer in this community, but I will not continue indefinitely if I don't start seeing the "black community" integrating themselves in Obama sanctioned activities such as these, which will benefit their people more than mine.

It doesn't cost a penny to come to the library for a meeting.

I will not be a patsy.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr December 12, 2008 | 5:11 a.m.

t g great post and I can agree with you on alot of your points but the facts remain that the "race card" is so over played,out played and so 60's that it is just not what needs to be kept being pulled up every time something happens to any African American. If people have not moved beyond the ends of their pointed noses on this one issue then obviously they never will and thus they leave themselves and others clinging to out dated ways of thought in our progressive society we live in today.

Let me ask you one question? Since we are now out of the late 60's and early 70's why hasn't the NAACP changed their name to be more inclusive of all races,creeds,colors and all citizens? After all we are a very progressive nation are we not? Why so exclusive a name when the NAACP demands to be "all inclusive"?

They make themselves and others who follow them the "disenfranchised" and not the other way around as they want everybody to believe. That is a fact my brother from another mother. :)

As was plainly posted here by ray shapiro this is the 21'st century so stop living in the past and get into the here and now.

If anybody in this country is feeling left out of the loop it is only because they will not stand up with everybody else and speak on all of the issues as "one voice" in a non bipartisan manner.

It is called reaching across the table and I do strongly feel that more people need to reach out that hand and instead of requiring or feeling a need for entitlement to a hand out they should be offering everybody around them rich or poor,whatever race,creed or gender a hand up instead.

As Obama said in his acceptance speech "We as a people will get there together" so are you in or are you going to continue to sit on the curb side or the porch in your proverbial sack cloth and ashes??

I am sure somebody can agree with some of my statements above.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro December 12, 2008 | 1:47 p.m.

Mary Ratliff, president of both the Columbia unit and the Missouri State Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People did not speak for every black person and she did not speak only for herself. She spoke on behalf of the NAACP. I think she has done the NAACP more of a disservice by picking this incident as her current "fight against racism."
Joe Biden spoke at two nearby locations during the election. He mentioned "Obama's" name many times. He campaigned openly for Obama, as much as for himself and the democratic party. These were not "white-only" rallies. "Your people" made them into that by not making a physical presence. Such was the same at last night's community volunteer mobilization meeting. This is the "Show Me" state. When blacks start working with whites to make things better, I'll no longer see this as black and white.
Protesting an officer breaking up a violent school fight and then being dragged over the coals for doing his job, being cleared by an investigation and then not getting an apology from the NAACP for his ability to minimize escalation of an incident among these kids by efficiently, quickly and properly shutting it down is just plain wrong.
As I said, I'm willing to attend a roundtable discussion and will keep an eye open for it's announcement. Where were your people, last night?

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand December 12, 2008 | 2:31 p.m.

There was an article in the Missourian or Tribune that said the attorney representing Thrower and her parents dropped them. Does that mean the attorney believed they couldn't win a civil case? I wonder if Bill Whitcomb at the DoJ will tell Ratliff that it's equally pointless to pursue this.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro December 12, 2008 | 2:39 p.m.

I'd like to take this opportunity to post an observation of how the NAACP's spokesperson is behind the times, especially in light of who our next president will be.
Many people voted for Obama for many different reasons. There are those who voted him in based on "promises of entitlement." There are also those who voted for him with an understanding of what "voluntarism, community organizing, being a good neighbor, civics and giving back to the community" actually means.

Unfortunately, it's my observation that the "black community-at large" has never been cultivated to volunteer and organize for the good of all, (blacks and non-black). Their focus has always been to think of their "own" first.

Many "whites" saw past Obama's racial background. Many "blacks" voted for him. Where are the "blacks" now, what are they doing and who are they doing it for?

If this election was to be a catalyst for any good, I'd hope that it would help "integrate" voluntarism, church congregations, school/teacher-parent relations and mobilize people to help each other as Americans and not as their own "fragmented special interest groups."

People still think, "what's in it for me?" excludes being philinthropic with our skills, abilities and resources to help others. "What's in it for me?" excludes feeling good about participating in something just for the learning experience and because it's the right thing to do. "What's in it for me?" excludes feeling connected to something bigger than ourselves.

Culturally, we have a long way to go.

When the Twin Towers were destroyed and "W" told us to go out and shop, as Obama stated, it was a missed opportunity to "unite and mobilize" the American spirit and ingenuity to "come together and fix stuff."

I hope we don't need another 9-11 to give our new president that chance. We have that chance, now.

Sometimes, when you volunteer, you need to leave your own personal agenda outside the door.
If Mary Ratliff is a paid staff person for the NAACP, I would suggest that her "employer" ask for her resignation. If she's a volunteer, have her lick stamps.

Maybe this Christmas more blacks need to go to a "white" church and vica versa.

Maybe that would serve to "advance" some of us. It might even help Mary see the light.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro December 12, 2008 | 2:54 p.m.

Ayn Rand:
I don't know the answer to your question. It may depend on who's Mary Ratliff's role model.
But then again, he wasn't the one who won the presidential election. Was he?

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr December 12, 2008 | 3:00 p.m.

At this time I want to make a personal invitation to Nathan Stephens and also to t.g. to come and join up with the Barack Obama Community Support Group that is presently forming at this time here in Columbia to continue Barack Obama's message of community service first and foremost.

The core members of this group are the some of the same core members who ran the campaign office on 9th street this last election.

I invite both of you mentioned above to become Community Liaison Officers helping to gain even more support across this entire community and county in a non bipartisan manner looking for the total inclusion for the benefit of all.

To contact me you can go to my profile here and look for the link to either of my blogs and there attain my email address if you accept my invitation.

If you do not wish to contact me then you can contact Derek Nelson <> who is one of the core people of the organization mentioned above for further information.

We would welcome you into this valuable Community Support Group and I hope we see you there. It does not matter what political party you are with as this is about "Change We Need".

The same invitation is open to any interested person who is wanting to help make honest changes not only in Columbia and Boone County but also at the national level as well. Just contact Derek at the above email for complete and total details. Hope to see you come on board.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz December 12, 2008 | 3:30 p.m.

Ray, jumping from Mary Ratliff's actions, the handful of black citizens who protested Officer Brotemarkle in front of the CPD building, and extrapolating from a small percentage of black attendees at two events, to then blaming the entire black community seems a bit extreme to me.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr December 12, 2008 | 4:09 p.m.

I wonder if Mary Ratliff got this same email I did today and how she feels:

>>> The Columbia Police Department is pleased to announce our involvement in the development of a Crisis Intervention Team for the Columbia/Boone County Area. Crisis Intervention Teams, (CIT), are a community collaboration between law enforcement, mental health providers, mental health courts, and advocacy groups. They are designed to better equip police officers to interact with individuals experiencing a psychiatric crisis by providing specialized training, and creating a plan to better match individuals in crisis with mental health providers. CIT is a nationwide effort the Columbia Police Department has been researching for some time. The collaboration between law enforcement and other stakeholders will insure that those individuals needing assistance in our community are better served.

The patrol officers that are selected for CIT would attend a 40 hour specialized training and would wear a pin on their uniform designating them as CIT officers. This has proven valuable in other communities as the subjects in crisis realize they are talking to an officer that have special training and may understand the issues a little better and may communicate a little better.

The Columbia Police Department will be partnering with Boone County Sheriff’s Department, the University of Missouri Police Department, the Boone County Mental Health Court, local mental health providers and advocacy groups to implement this team concept in the Columbia/Boone County Area. Our introductory meeting will be held on Monday December 15, 2008 at 1:00 – 2:30 PM at the Boone County Government Building, Commission Chambers. The media is welcome to join us at the meeting as we begin the collaboration process.


Lt. Dianne Bernhard 12/12/08 8:51 AM

Patrol Shift Commander, Columbia Police <<<

People are listening. Hope to see all concerned citizens there weather permitting.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro December 12, 2008 | 8:44 p.m.

John Shultz, Chairman of the Libertarian Party: I am not "blaming the entire black community," for anything. I'm just asking for those who are able to see, beyond race and special interest groups, that it may be in their own best self-interest, and in the interest to the community-at-large, to start doing some real work in the community which will benefit everyone. If you see that as some kind of threat, then maybe you need to examine the values of the party you are chairman of. How many blacks are there in the Libertarian Party? How many blacks are in the Democratic party? How many blacks are Republicans? And, what kind of mindset and involvement in the community do they ascribe to?
And if you think that I am making a "mountain out of a molehill" then please also give me some meaningful feedback on the following, (they're not my words, but I kind of agree with the sentiment):

[Libertarian hostility to People of Color is not generally rooted in any real racial hatred per se inherent in libertarianism itself. As a philosophy, it is probably race-neutral at core. Instead, Social Darwinists simply see Whites, Asians and natural elites as having won the race, and are entitled to all the fruits of victory, hence they embrace libertarianism as a way to lock in their elite dominance.

Also, White, Asian and Upper Caste Asian Supremacists see in libertarianism a vindication for their elite dominance over others. So racists are attracted to libertarianism and not the other way around.

It follows then that any Hispanic or Black libertarian in the US is a race traitor working with the White man to harm his people.]

I voted for the Obama/Biden ticket. Who'd you vote for?

(Report Comment)
John Schultz December 12, 2008 | 10:59 p.m.

I don't know where you pulled that quote from, but it's a bunch of goose poop and not indicative of any Libertarian I know.

I voted for Bob Barr (big surprise there) since his campaign stance are the closest to mine. Now what do you think about one of my black neighbors voting for him and not Obama, due to them not being impressed by the promises and platitudes of either Obama or McCain? Or should all black people have voted for Obama, even those who didn't like his positions or weren't Democrats?

I'll also point out that I've met black citizens in Columbia who are involved in the community, such as the visioning process from a couple years back, so I don't take much stock in that particular group's poor attendance at one meeting and one campaign event.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro December 13, 2008 | 10:47 a.m.

I too look forward to meeting and working with you and many others who will participate in the Columbia "Obama" Community Volunteer Coalition.
(Sometimes, I just feel the need to stir up the pot and see what rises to the top.)
We'll address the ones who choose to stay at the bottom after Christmas.
(Maybe the NAACP could hire you to replace Ms. Ratliff?)

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand December 13, 2008 | 2:18 p.m.

Ratliff is not a power broker in this town. From what I've seen over the decades, she has zero clout with the council, CPS administration, business leaders, etc. Does anybody take her seriously? Probably not. When all she can muster to protest Brotemarkle is a handful of people who are probably unemployed and thus have a lot of time on their hands anyway, it sends a clear message that she is a political nobody.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro December 13, 2008 | 4:27 p.m.

Did you say "decades!"
She's still allowed to write letters as the president of both the Columbia unit and the Missouri State Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
If the black community wants main-stream Columbia to take the NAACP seriously, they need to "install" a new spokesperson.
Someone that's willing to build bridges. Ya think?

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand December 13, 2008 | 5:01 p.m.

And what results do those letters get?

Waiting . . .

Waiting . . .

(Report Comment)

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