*Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan is being called a racist after posting a pic on Facebook that a civil rights group claims depicts black children as lawn jockeys.
Sam Riddle, political director of the Michigan Chapter of the National Action Network is demanding that Mayor Duggan take down the pic that shows two smartly-dressed black children on either side of his campaign yard sign. Riddle says the imagery is a reminder of racist Jim Crow symbols.
“Come on, mayor!” Riddle said, in an interview with WWJ’s Vickie Thomas. “We’re in a city, Detroit, which now has a 40 percent unemployment rate, we’re in a city, Detroit, where 80 percent of the children live in abject poverty, and this Mayor Duggan is depicting our children as lawn jockeys pushing his yard signs.
“The people of Detroit, and certainly the children of Detroit, deserve much more than this racist caricature of children that are in pain in America’s blackest and poorest children.”
In a media release calling for removal of the post, Michigan NAN President Rev. Charles Williams II said that these are racially sensitive times in Detroit given the debacle with the Dan Gilbert Bedrock photo “of a whites only Detroit.”
“The insensitivity of Dan Gilbert was bad enough; now Mayor Duggan’s campaign has fallen into the same racist trap dehumanizing our children even as we lament the 50th anniversary of The Detroit Rebellion of 1967,” said Williams, noting that, in his opinion, times in Detroit are worse now than they were 50 years ago.
Detroit Mayor’s Office Chief of Staff Alexis Wiley said the photo was taken in front of the children’s home and not at the mayor’s request, adding that what’s disgusting is NAN targeting these young kids. (The kids’ mother, who works for city, took the photo and it was used with her permission).
Riddle said the group takes no issue with the children, only with the way “they’re being used” by the Duggan campaign.