Friday, April 11, 2008

Color over competence

I've said for years that Memphis is a 'whole 'nother planet' and I'm regularly amazed that it continues to top itself in the unbelievable. This from the Tri-State Defender via Mike Antonnuci's Education Intelligence Blog:

Reginald Fentress wants to succeed Yvonne B. Acey as president of the Memphis Education Association, and he is not willing to wait. However, the Memphis Education Association board of directors has said he must.

The board voted April 1 not to include Fentress’ name, or that of any other African-American candidate, on the ballot for the 2008-10 presidential term. Since Acey is African American, Fentress was ruled ineligible to run for the office because the next MEA president must be white.

According to bylaws formed when all-white and all-black teacher associations joined in the mid-1970s: “The position of president shall alternate from white to ethnic minority.”
Of course, I don't know if either candidate is competent but surely this 'taking turns' plan is suitable only for elementary school children and not adults who should be leading by example. Is the lesson for Memphis' children that being competent and working hard matters less than what color you are?

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