July 31, 2010

NAACP: Downtown Racine report released 'prematurely,' but raised important issues

An NAACP report suggesting African-Americans are not welcome in Downtown Racine was released "prematurely," but drew attention to inequities in the city, according to a statement from the organization released Saturday morning. 

The executive committee of the local branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People met Wednesday to discuss the controversial report titled, "A Report on the State of Racine's Downtown." The closed session meeting resulted in the following statement from branch President Michael Shields: 
As a branch of the oldest and largest civil rights organization in the nation, the Racine Branch recognizes that race and racism is a factor in the socio-economic status and advancement of people in Racine and in the United States. All though this report was released prematurely the report does draw attention to these inequalities within the City of Racine. The Branch will continue to work further to correct these racially bias issues by working with community leaders and organizations to improve the quality of life for the citizens of Racine. 
Privately, people in the organization say the branch intends to re-write the report incorporating more data, and then re-release it to the public. The hope is the report will start a conversation in the community about economic opportunities for African-Americans in Downtown Racine and throughout the city.