Mitt Romney’s Words on the MLK Holiday/Dr. Jerrie L. Bascome McGill | January 26, 2008

I received this in an email today and was struck by the character insight Dr McGGill provides into Republican Presidential candidate Willard “Mitt” Romney.



Her essay:

Teach kids they ought to get married before they have babies!”

These were the words spoken by Republican candidate for President, Mitt Romney, after he had posed smilingly with a group of African American children and was asked to make a comment. To publicly speak his thoughts in this way on any day gives all of us a clear indicator of his skewed beliefs about a people. But to publicly pronounce his belief that promiscuity is factual within African American youth on the day the nation paused to honor a world renown African American visionary is absolutely egregious.

There is no day of the year that a public figure should model his or her prejudices so blatantly for the world to see. Those kinds of statements suggest that racism, though not as openly objectionable as in the past, has morphed into something perhaps uglier than people remember. At least when biased beliefs were practiced without regard, folk knew the direction and intentionality of the words or the actions of their opposers.


Statements of prejudice and discrimination coming from someone who is supposed to be the candidate of the people should cause people everywhere to stop and reflect. Such reflection should target the “candidate”, as well as the candidate’s handlers and supporters. Statements such as these suggest a total lack of sensitivity to the challenges and issues that confound social justice planners and leaders. Statements such as these suggest a failure to acquire any degree of knowledge, insight or foresight about the experiential impacts of life in the variable worlds of minority people.


Why not use a day of honor to challenge “them” to believe “they” have multiple opportunities to change the course of their lives because of the life and strivings of the person being honored? Why not use a day of honor to paint word pictures that might change a young person’s vision of him or herself? Why not use a day of honor to encourage all children and young people to strive for a world where equity in options for achievement can become a reality?



This particular candidate has given the entire world a glimpse of his true values, beliefs, attitudes and expectations. If we want to continue to pursue the current plan for the nation’s future we’ll grant this candidate respect and accord for his promise. If we really want to see this nation strive to realign itself with a vision of democracy we’ll look elsewhere with a great sense of urgency.

Jerrie L. Bascome McGill

Dr McGill is the former Superintendent of the Dayton Public Schools.


1 Comment »

  1. I ask myself, had Romney chosen to “commemorate”
    MLK-Day with students from Grosse Point, or Bloomfield Hills(his own “stomping grounds”),
    what would his response have been to a request for advice to the young people?
    An unconscionable, offensive and ugly insult? I think not!

    Ironic, is it not that George Romney was “hounded out” of “his” Presidental race, on the
    occasion of returning from a Viet Nam “fact-finding” tour; subsequent to which he
    announced publicly that the Military had tried to manipulate & cover-up. He used the
    term “brain-washed!” That was instant fodder for the media. As I recall, George was
    accused of a variety of “sins & misdemeanors,” including being a weak-sister for
    suggesting that any red-blooded, patriotic American male COULD be “brain-washed!”

    George told the truth! The “boy’s” gaffe appears to have caused not a ripple.

    Comment by patrsnb — January 29, 2008 @ 1:17 am

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