I am writing on behalf of the Columbia unit of the NAACP to express our amazement at the insensitivity of this city in the appointment of the Redistricting Committee that failed to include any African-Americans. Every January we claim to celebrate diversity while failing to take into consideration any direct input on committees and issues that face Columbia.
I am forwarding a copy of our dissatisfaction to the mayor, the City Council and to the NAACP legal general counselor to determine what action we can take to rectify this injustice. We know the process used to make the appointments and understand that if someone will not step forward and insist that African-Americans are included, it will not happen.
Redistricting is too important to our future to just allow this kind of exclusion to continue. We have very qualified persons, some of whom could and should have been included to represent the views of African-Americans.
We, just a few months ago, experienced the same exclusion by the Columbia Public Schools administration in deciding a different curriculum for our children. The administration at least acknowledged it should have been more inclusive and promised to do so in the future.
Mary A. Ratliff is the president of the local unit of the NAACP and president of the NAACP Missouri State Conference.