Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Hammond Councilman Lemar Marshall weighs-in on noose issue

Posted: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 | Views: 4212

Hammond Councilman Lemar Marshall weighs-in on noose issue
At Tuesday night's Tangipahoa School Board meeting, many leaders, especially from the black community, called for Board Member Mike Whitlow to resign. Whitlow is under fire for re-posting on Facebook a story that included an image of a noose.

From Hammond City Councilman Lemar Marshall:

"This has been a very disturbing day for me. I have been trying to find my words all day about the noose incident that was posted on Facebook by Mike Whitlow, one of our school board members. My first thought was…what were you thinking? So I spent hours trying to understand what just happened. It just goes to show you how quickly things happen and you can find yourself in a huge predicament by what you say and do. I have been in several meetings with Mike and quite naturally, I felt I knew him. He was president of the School Board when I was president of the City Council. We have been working on projects together all last year to advance public education in Hammond and Tangipahoa Parish. So when this incident was texted to me, I could not believe what I was reading.

"I tried to understand what would make a person use a symbol of hate like a noose. To me a noose would quickly put me in the mindset of lynching, KKK, Jim Crow and slavery. I couldn’t imagine any other reason you would reference a noose. So why would he use that symbol? Regardless of why you use a symbol that (to many) screams racism, you attach yourself to that meaning.

"Leaders can become vulnerable when their character has been compromised. Sometimes you have to retreat or step aside for the good of the community. Knowingly creating distractions will only impede the momentum. None of us should think that we are bigger than the cause we are advocating for. If our goal is to make things better for the children and our community then we can’t get in the way of the progress."