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26 August 2008

Meanwhile, back in Georgia, J. Alvin Wilbanks Refuses To Apologize

Most of the political world have their eyes trained on Denver, Colorado and the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

However, back home in Georgia, there's a manufactured controversy brewing in Gwinnett County as the local NAACP chapter hurled some harsh words at Gwinnett schools superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks after he refused to apologize for some perceived racially insensitive comments.

On Wednesday, August 20th, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported that Wilbanks asked his executive director of the department of academic support, "Do they have any blacks in Idaho?" [Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution, "Comment leads to call for superintendent’s ouster", August 20, 2008]

Wilbanks' question had some parents demanding his resignation and the Gwinnett County NAACP president saying that Wilbanks' words "dishonors Gwinnett County Public Schools."

Now, almost a week after this artificial argument over a question of Idaho's demographics began, the Gwinnett County NAACP is calling their county's school supeintendent "condescending" for his refusal to apologize for asking a question.

Gwinnett NAACP branch president Jorge "JP" Portalatin said Wilbanks has refused to apologize for comments he made about the disproportionate discipline of minority students in Gwinnett.

"Mr. Wilbanks refuses to acknowledge that his comments were offensive,” Portalatin said Monday in a statement. "His behavior today was condescending and he was clearly not open to constructive feedback. … The inability to see from others perspective and apologize is unacceptable in a leader."
[Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution, "No apology from Gwinnett superintendent", August 25, 2008]

You know, the NAACP raising a ruckus over a question of how many blacks are in the state of Idaho (approximately 5,456 according to the 2000 Census) does nothing to advance colored people.

Quite frankly, it makes a lot of folks (myself included), roll their eyes, sigh and say, "There they go again."

There are bigger fish to fry than worrying about a question asked by the Gwinnett County Schools superintendent.