MY TURN: Racism and sexism - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

WMC-TV General Manager Lee Meredith

MY TURN: Racism and sexism

WMC-TV General Manager Lee Meredith WMC-TV General Manager Lee Meredith

"Needs to be black. Needs to be a man." That’s the way Memphis City School Board member Kenneth Whalum continues to describe his ideal candidate for a new superintendent to lead the school system.

It's hard to know where to begin here, but since Rev. Whalum is on the board that will approve this appointment, I’ll start with the fact that there are federal laws that prohibit employment decisions based on stereotypes or assumptions about the abilities of people of a certain sex or race.

Memphis City Schools need a great new leader, but who will want to come when they hear comments like this coming from one of the board members? If the new leader of Memphis City Schools does happen to be a black man, how diminished is his stature in this new position because that’s the criteria that at least one of the board members set as an "ideal" qualification?

Rev. Whalum is wrong in making this assertion. If he really wants to help the school system, he needs to know that sometimes it’s better to have an unexpressed thought.

That’s my turn. Now it’s your turn. To comment on this segment or anything else, email or call 800-465-1210.

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