(The following is an opinion piece by David Roane, a longtime Middletown resident, veteran and member of the Charter Revision Commission. His opinions are his own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of other members of the Charter Revision Commission or other Middletown Eye authors or editors.)
Tuesday, October 26, 2021
COMMENTARY BY DAVID ROANE - MODERN-DAY LYNCHING?
Lynchings were violent public acts that white people used to terrorize and control the labor and regulate the behavior of Black people into submission, and into an inferior racial caste position.
A typical lynching would involve criminal accusations, often dubious, against a black American, and remains one of the most durable tropes of white supremacy. The legacy of such brutal, racist murders is still largely going on in this the 21st century.
Instead of finding a tree and hanging Black (men, women, and even our black children) people, we are being gunned down by racist police and/or killed off by taking our jobs away from us solely because we are not doing or saying what the whites want us to do or say. In other words, “If we are not or act like a “Sambo," we will be lynched.
Today, I write to you as a Black man … There is no other way to write to you, given recent events.
I spent the night, like a moth drawn to a flame, reading repeatedly about the brutal lies and accusations against our city’s first Black Superintendent by the white supremacy, Middletown Republican party (and those even in the Democratic party) and community. It is a “legalized lynching."
I am struck by the callousness and the casual dehumanization of Dr. Conners solely because he is a Black Man. Secondly, Union Local 6457 president reported to City Council, in their claim said, “members of the central office senior management” yet, only one name is a Black Man, Dr. Conner! Why? Is the real reason they want to keep the charter revision from passing? When passed thereby giving more responsibility to the Superintendent? If you ask them, they will say it’s because they do not want to split the union. No, they do not want a black man with all that power.
In dealing with allegations of “harassment, intimidation and retaliation”, which is a repeat of when this city hired its first Black principle. Do you remember Dr. Richard Thompson? Whites made up the same lies about him in their attempts to get rid of him for the same reason, he was a Black Man. Along with these allegations, intimidations and retaliations, 15 anonymous, former employees, sent statements to council members.
I submit to you that these former and current employees are still working. These employees did not want changes; did not like not being promoted, coupled with the breaking-up and stopping jobs from going to their white family relations and friends, etc. Furthermore, they couldn’t stand having a Black Male tell them what they could and/or could not do and, when they could speak and could not speak.
The present Mayor issued a joint statement with Council Majority Leader and Council Minority Leader urging an investigation be conducted. Yet when the same kind of allegations were made about the former Mayor of this city, our Council was quiet because he was a “White Male."
In keeping it real, the same goes for our City Human Relation Office was quiet again when the same kind of claims were being made by city employees about the past Mayor. He was a white person and the HR boss.
Now we have a Hispanic (again the first) Superintendent filling in for Dr. Conner. Pay attention, he will be next. For this same white supremacy is already talking negatively about him, saying they fired him in Massachusetts, by buying out his contract to get rid of him. Asking why did superintendent bring him here? If he was a white man, there would be no questioning.
We must not and shall not let this racist faction of Middletown be victorious. We need to keep Dr. Conner as our school superintendent. And remember, in November, go out and vote “YES” for Charter revision.