Citizens for Diversity and Inclusion Protest

By: Rachel Alig Email
By: Rachel Alig Email

"South side, north side, however side you want to call yourself from, as long as you look like me, you are going to be racially profiled." Those were the intense words of Reverend Milton Johnson during the protest against Mayor Barry's appointments at Dumont Plaza. Johnson is the Chairman for the organization, Citizens for Diversity and Inclusion, which held the protest.

Racial profiling is the fear the organization has because of recent actions by Mayor Cheri Barry. The group is dissatisfied with new appointments Mayor Barry has made, specifically the police chief, Lee Shelbourn.

"What are the qualifications that our honorable mayor looked at in seeking this chief?" questioned Johnson.

To answer that question, Citizens for Diversity and Inclusion said he isn't qualified. They believe it was all a political game.

"We asked the question, 'was he a relative of hers?'. We asked the question, 'was he a relative of her husbands?'" Johnson wondered out loud about the relationship between Mayor Barry and Shelbourn.

While Mr. Shelbourn is not a relative of Mayor Barry or her husband, the group still feels it's a case of friends helping friends. However, they're not pointing to any specific individuals. Members of the group said they are sick of being overlooked for political gain.

Reverend Gerald Hudson said people of all races and backgrounds need to be represented throughout the city.

"We want to see our faces on all levels of government. You ought to be able to look over that counter and see more than one person of color," said Hudson.

The committee for Diversity and Inclusion said they believe Mayor Barry's new appointments including chief of police, Lee Shelbourne, go against her campaign promise of diversity and inclusion. They said the new appointments are bad for the entire community.

"Are you going to stand by and watch your youth be racially profiled? Your schools to continue to be unsafe? Drugs being rampant upon the city? It is your choice, so make a difference," praised Johnson.

The organization said it will continue to protest what they believe to be wrong actions of the mayor. That this is not the end.

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  • by Mike Location: Meridian, Ms. on Oct 2, 2009 at 11:54 AM
    Austin because the mayor appointed Meridian first fire chief dosen't we don't like that this guy was appointed. They didn't like the way the chief was done. yes the mayor have her rights in who she wants working for her. She fired jeff homan and we know he probably came up with a way to stay employed. And the new police chief alot of people know his past he was good and he was bad in certain situation. Austin stay in touch with the news before getting on this site. you don't know what you are talking about. None of you who disses the group. if you werw black then you would understand. i don't agree with everything they do but they ain't afraid to step up and say whats on they mind.
  • by Anthony Location: Meridian on Oct 2, 2009 at 08:49 AM
    Blog was about how we feel about this group protesting.Now we talking about people being sorry and living on welfare. This group have every right to speak there mind. A lot of people don't want to see President Obama as our leader and latinos in high position. some people work 2 jobs including their spouse but still can't afford their healthcare. I don't mind paying my taxes if it will help just one honest person. We are Americans and we need to unite. If some one is frauding the system they need to pay the price. Maybe i don't know what i'm talking about. But some people really do need help. Stop saying that all blacks are guilty when you got white to on the system.
  • by Austin Location: Meridian on Oct 1, 2009 at 12:35 PM
    Julia- I totally agree with you. The times of working hard for what you have are gone it seems. Too many people looking to the govt to hand out everything they should be providing for themselves! The fact that our current healthcare system is THE BEST IN THE WORLD seems to pass over the heads of those that want to push through an agenda of socializing our healthcare system. I am tired of providing everything for those that would rather have multiple kids they can't financially afford just to be given free housing, free utilities, food stamps, free healthcare (via medicaid) and now even telephones! I cannot imagine why our govt thinks we still need to do more?! If I want to support a charity for those less fortunate, I do so of my own accord- not by some mandate from the govt. As for this group for "Diversity"- where exactly is the diversity within the group? and last time I checked, the fire chief the mayor selected is Black- does this group want everyone in office to be black only?
  • by ED Location: MERIDIAN on Sep 30, 2009 at 08:44 PM
    BO is about as honest as snake oil.. history has shown that.. who he was involved with and how he is now.. he is on more VT and has traveled more then any one in his office has ever done .. he bet Clinton on that.. as far as health care it is a privilege not a right to have this is something most need to learn I have traveled trust me I saw so much gov. control of peoples lives it made me sick.. NAFT was set up by Reagan was only to settle trade troubles .. under Clinton he opened the doors... you cant tax companies and the rich to pay for it all I am not sorry.. one that will not work will not do what it takes to make it in life I will not support.. this bottom up is a joke but then must be new age math.. 0 0= growth... fact if one is lazy and worthless until they change they will be that...
  • by Anthony Location: Meridian, Ms. on Sep 30, 2009 at 07:44 PM
    Julia, I read your old comment. Let me be a man and say i'm sorry, but i will not stand by and turn a death ear on comments on others who diss my race. Because not every black is sorry or live on government programs. But Julie i believe we should have some type of healthcare whether it's socialism or not. I make good but lets agree the healthcare we recieve now is not that great. What about the people whose making $2600.00 a year or less it's ridiculous. Blacks are not having too many abortion, just too many babies. So i'm looking at the white population on abortion. Jobs being sent over seas were started by the Clinton Adm., But the Republicans ran with it. "The illegals" The Republicans were using them for political gain, just like the Democrats are doing now. So whose wrong are right both sides are playing with our little lives. Every vote counts. But i believe Obama is sincere "Julia." You can't please everybody.
  • by ED Location: MERIDIAN on Sep 30, 2009 at 04:54 PM
    well bottom line to this group and i have searched for any legal listing and filed SOB's so this whole thing is one be question... think see an smaller version of acorn here
  • by Funny Location: Meridian on Sep 30, 2009 at 02:12 PM
    Terry, for your information I know quite a few people in the so called Diversity group and most do not have a real job or any real money. I am a well educated, well paid black woman who is tired of paying for you and your friends' ignorant behinds.
  • by Julie Location: Meridian on Sep 30, 2009 at 12:40 PM
    Wow, something I said must have really hit a nerve with you Anthony. I read what I said again I truly don't understand what could have upset you other than we don't see eye to eye. Some people just don't like to realize there might be truth in what others say and that's alright I've been there myself. You are also assuming these ideas that I might have about black people. I don't believe everyone of them is on welfare and never said that I did. Very smart and wealthy people and still have their own agenda and I believe that's part of what's going on with this group. They are focusing on something that's not really a problem and diverting attention away from other serious problems in this community.
  • by Anthony Location: Meridian,Ms. on Sep 30, 2009 at 11:07 AM
    Julie, You don't have a clue of what you say either. You must have read my old comment. I will say this if your family is not klan than shut up. I got on this blog to read these comments and i didn't like what i read. Not every black person in Meridian or the United States live on warefare or depends on the government benifits. We have a lot of smart blacks with an outstanding education, they just don't choose to be department heads. The reason why this group is protesting they recieved some vital information from someone. But like everyone else knows theres nothing that can be done about the mayors picks. Unless you find some serious dirt on that person. Documention, not he say and she say. Some people need government help and a lot are playing with the system. With all that said. Lets all find a life and stop worry about others. Because before this adm. took over we were already crying about taxes. Some who are crying are recieving some kind of asst. on the down low. Bye Julie!
  • by Julie Location: Meridian on Sep 30, 2009 at 07:40 AM
    Anthony-You have no idea what you are talking about. That is the problem and it's not about finances or race, it's about ignorance. I do not have one family member that was a part of the KKK or any other group like it and would be ashamed if I did. I don't judge on the color of ones skin but on their character as we all should. I don't understand for the life of me though why you and others like you are so BLIND! You are being used for others gain and agenda. And no I don't care for Mr. Obama and it's not his color it's what he stands for. I don't believe in socialism and I don't believe in abortion and I don't believe in socialized healthcare. I believe in hard work and earning your way. What ever happened to those things that most of our parents instilled in us? We have lost our morals, values and God has been taken out of everything we do. This is the real problem! Loretta, GET REAL! You don't know what you're saying. It's everyone problem white and black!
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