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UPS, Lexington Catholic and Lexington’s Culture in 2016

Posted May 9, 2016

Adrian Wallace, Vice President, NAACP-Lexington

Adrian Wallace, Vice President, NAACP-Lexington

Five million.
The cost of discrimination; the amount of money awarded to eight Black men in Lexington, Kentucky when a jury found that they had been the victims of discrimination and upon their rightful reporting of such, suffered retaliation, while employed by the United Parcel Service (UPS).
Thankfully, the group of concerned Lexington citizens chosen as jurors made a decision on the right side of history. It is at times hard to believe the injustice and outright lack of respect for human life and dignity that still pervades our society in 2016.
This lawsuit was not about money, but the evil that plagues us all in the form of racial bias.
While it may be acceptable in certain circles whereby freedoms exist to expound the filth of racially charged hate-filled verbiage in the privacy of individual’s homes, this verdict by twelve
members of our community establishes that you cannot do so in the marketplace, nor in our schools.
This principle must be upheld whether our institutions of education are public or private. And most importantly, when we have educational institutions which exist solely to raise up young men and women imbued with religious morals and a philosophy that espouses we are all children of one Creator, equally loved and possessing equal dignity, surely, such institutions don’t want to be known as breeding grounds for racist, sexist or other bigoted thought and action.
As the Vice President of the Lexington NAACP, I am calling for the removal of the leaders of Lexington Catholic High School because they have perpetuated this exact form of hate.
I am also advocating for the removal of the Confederate statues so blatantly disrespecting not just the Black community, but our entire community at the old courthouse. These are symbols of the ideology succinctly imparted in 1861 by Alexander Stephens in his cornerstone speech that “Our new government (the Confederacy) is founded upon [this] idea; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition.” This is what I see and what my children must endure as we walk down Main Street of this great city that I call “My Old Kentucky Home.”
My brothers and sisters and fellow Lexingtonians, I beseech you, take heed from this judgment of our peers in the UPS lawsuit. Consider the ramifications of the toxic culture that has been propagated at Lexington Catholic High School. Do we truly believe that “United We Stand, Divided We Fall?”
Removing leaders is not the “cure” for Lexington Catholic but it’s certainly an essential step in transforming the school’s current cultural climate.
I am also not insisting that we “erase” history by relocating the Confederate statues from downtown; however, these symbols were strategically placed as memoriam for sympathizers and a reminder to those dehumanized.
For the sake of our Commonwealth, we must not honor the darkest hour in American history.

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