Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire, standing next to a quilt at the Detroit Bead Museum on the city's west side in September 2008. (Photo: Omorose), a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Parents, Students Demonstrate Against Racism in Wyandotte Schools
Despite denials, city residents say officials remain unresponsive
By Abayomi Azikiwe
Editor, Pan-African News Wire
A picket line went up in front of the Wyandotte Public Schools headquarters right outside the city of Detroit on August 30. The demonstration was in response to a series of allegations regarding blatant racial discrimination, intimidation and violence carried out against students and their parents.
The action was called by Team for Justice in conjunction with the Michigan Emergency Committee Against War & Injustice (MECAWI). Joe Hudson, who has a 13-year daughter in the district, is the spokesperson for the civil rights organization Team for Justice.
He said that African American students and their white friends have been harassed and stalked by a contractual service employee at the Wilson Middle School.
Even after two personal protection orders were taken out to restrain the behavior of the employee, the same activity continued without any effort by the school district to remove the person from the students.
Hudson has been attacked before in Wyandotte. After he complained to police about the harassment of him and his daughter, a white man who lived next to his home continued to walk pass the house shouting racial slurs.
“He would say you people should not be living here,” Hudson recalled. Wyandotte is a majority white community. Eventually the man was arrested but the attempts to intimidate the family continue.
Keith Tims, a colleague and friend of Hudson, who also has a 13-year-old at Wilson, said during the demonstration that he has witnessed firsthand the racism and violence against people who are residents of Wyandotte. Tims, a UAW member, expressed his appreciation to MECAWI for supporting Team for Justice which is seeking to expose and eradicate racism in Wyandotte.
Hudson told the demonstration that if the situation with the school had not been resolved by the next board meeting on September 18, that he would put a call out for Wyandotte residents and others to attend.