Some Say Commissioner Henri Brooks Caught In Racist Rant

(Shelby County) Shelby County Commissioner Henri Books is at the center of a firestorm again over comments she made comparing Hispanics to African Americans.

The discussion took place during Monday’s county commission meeting and was about whether a roofing company was discriminating against blacks because the majority of its employees are Hispanic.

Pablo Pereya with the Hispanic Republic Alliance was at the meeting to discuss something else, but took the opportunity to speak up when he heard this debate.

“I see you guys smirking and laughing, like I’m not a minority,” Pereya said, addressing the commissioners. “I know what it’s like to be a minority. I grew up in Memphis, and I can tell you being a Hispanic in Memphis is definitely the minority of the minority.”

Commissioner Brooks fired back at Pereya, saying the struggles of Hispanics and African Americans are not the same in this country.

“Don’t ever let that come out of your mouth again, because you know what? That only hurts your case,” she told Pereya. “Don’t compare the two. They’re not comparable.”

Pereya spoke with WREG about the meeting, “I was really shocked that that type of terminology was coming from a community leader.”

Comparing Hispanics to African Americans, Brooks also told Pereya, “You asked to come here. You asked to come here. We did not.”

Later, Brooks called out her fellow commissioner Chris Thomas for disagreeing with her.

Thomas, for one, said he believes those comments were racist and disrespectful.

“Excuse me you over there mouthing something…” she said across the room to Thomas. “You with the sheet, the white sheet on?”

“I took that as her saying I’m part of the KKK just because I disagreed with something she said,” Thomas told WREG.

On the phone Brooks told WREG Thomas is grandstanding, and that she said what she meant at the meeting.

She also said she considers this to be old news and she is done talking about it.

Brooks is known for questioning black participation in any Shelby County project.

She also is well known for her time as a state representative when she would refuse to recite the pledge of allegiance.

Pereya said while he is disheartened by Brooks comments, be believes most would disagree with her.

“She may have her perspectives, but that is not what the majority of our community believes.”

145 comments

  • gary

    I believe that woman has a wig on that is made either out of a white womans hair or a hispanic woman’s hair.

  • Gary

    Racism is alive and well in Memphis, Tn. as usual, right Henri Brooks. When Blacks don’t get their way it is racism, pure and simple. The fact is that the Black community gets anything and everything they want just using that one word. If a white person had said what you said in that meeting they would have been chastized and probably fired…. Grow up Henri

  • Memphiscitizens

    I’ve never heard so much appalling racism as I’ve heard throughout this post. I was first appalled by the commissioners statements and then again by the people of the city of Memphis and their comments
    You do not sound more intelligent by saying “all” Hispanics are hard working and “all” blacks are lazy. I did not grown up here in Memphis but, have lived in the mid south for the last 22 years and Memphis is the most hate breeding place I’ve ever been.
    My fiancee has lived here almost his entire life and has hired workers of all ethnic backgrounds and still does. He does not pay any of them $4.75 or even minimum wage. They are paid according to the experience and hard work they put in.
    If this city as a whole, not as an individual race, would join together we could all build our city back to it’s beautiful stature of what it once was. The Most Beautiful City in the Nation! If everyone realized the simple truth; there is not one of us that has ever owned anyone. I am ashamed that so many people refuse to accept that we are all to blame. It’s not the fault of Hispanic community or the Black community. It’s not even the White communities fault. We are all truly to blame.
    My simple advice to all, the middle child of nine children, raised in a beautiful city in which I loved, in a two room shack, If we stand together once and for all, not as a people separated by color but as a nation that has been attacked on so many levels by so levels by so many people from so far away.
    Like 911 when the attacks came no one could see the other persons color when they were saving one another, cry on a strangers shoulder, carrying loved ones out of the debris.
    At some point you can’t hold me accountable for the crimes, the heartache, and the hatred that I would not have any part and was not alive to be involved in such horrible acts against any people, not blacks, whites, orientals, Hispanics, or any other nationality. So please note that we all have the right to make a difference.

  • Lost Hope

    Brooks needs to be put to sleep with all the other stray dogs on the City Council. People like her, especially in a leadership role will never allow Memphis to be more than a second rate city.

  • cathy

    I didn’t view the videos ppl have posted . Fact of the matter this lady holds a political seat on a county commizioner board . Her words are hate filled , her conduct unacceptable . She disgraced those she represents and in NO WAY speaks for all Memphians . Sallys, white sheets and telling someone their plight is blown out of proportion ?? How does she know what it’s like to be any other ethnic group but her own ??? President Lincoln freed slaves how many years ago ??? Who of any of us lived in that time ??? NONE !! Our forefathers lived in that time . What we live in now is someone always trying get to cash in on history and believe it’s still this way today . No , it is not . There are good hard working ppl in all ethnic groups and there are homeless in all groups . We all bleed red . Those who choose to live in the past as she does with her hate filled disgraceful and shaming mouth who will never go forward in life to improve a thing because they prefer to build hate amongst all ethnic groups . I hope she vacates her seat and if not the decent ppl of Memphis force her out . Shameful behavior !!

  • ANGELA B

    I agree with jay if this would have been someone white this would have made the world wide news I really believe that Most of the black politicians in Memphis don’t want black folk and white folks to get along and that is so sad for our city

  • whitesavagesareevil

    Martin aykins you arr a liar Wedubois was forced out of the usa due to white racism and black apologist and died in Ghana so save the lies

  • BlackFolkBeRacist

    The absolute utter stupidity of the Clity Council and black folk in general amazes me. Black folk and Mexicans. One is a race, the other is a nationality. That racist Brooks uses her skin color to make up for her inferior intelliigence, as many black folk do. You see the black folk dont see themselves as Americans, they see themselvesl as AFRICAN-americans with the emphasisi on AFRICAN. .
    They dont govern based on what is best for America, or Memphis,, they govern based on what is best for black folk. I wish I was that Hispanic when she told me what cannot come out of my mouth. NO ONE, I repeat NO ONE, is going to stop what I say or how I say it. There is no law against being a racist as Nazi Brooks has proven with her racist rant.
    Not only is she racist, she is even ignorant of history. Idiot has no idea that slaves were held by 5% of the population, but in todays world 100% are guilty. No idea that their beloved Abe was head of the American Colonization Society in Illinois, whose sole goal was to get the blacks out of this country because Abe said they would never be socially or politically equal. Abe succeeded in removing thousands to Liberia and to South America. The black fold didnt want to leave this nation. Google what the black folk have done in Liberia.
    Henri is putting into words how the black folk think and vote. Black folk govern Memphis and have been doing so for over 20 years. Look at Memphis to see the black folk agenda and ideaology at work, rampant crime, schools a failure, and financial armagedon. Of course you can look at any city black folk govern and isnt it amazing they all have the same problems, Philadelphia, Detroit, Atlanta, Cleveland, and all other black folk cities the same. Memphis is now made up of black folk and guilt ridden white folk who are ashamed of their race. I will take Henri’s agenda for my race, it is about white folk, and white folk have been slaves to this culture for well over 50 years and time for these black folk to take credit for what they have accomplished which is complete failure. An immoral, ignorant, violent race of people who not only cannot but will not assimilate into the American fabric because they hate the skin color they were born with.

  • John Williams

    What can be done to remove this racist from office? If this had been a Caucasian, a national uproar would ensue. I personally am going to find out how we can remove this kind of hate from leadership in our city. This is so ridiculous & the most racist thing I’ve heard coming from someone who is supposed to be a leader in the community. Sickening & appalling. I will be starting a petition on FB later today. I will post the name of the page later.

    • Christine

      I totally agree that if this had been a Caucasian or any other race who made those kind of comments, they would have been crucified in the media and forced to apologize and resign from office. It is time for us to stand up to this kind of race hatred; reverse racism is in full force in Memphis and I’m so sick it makes me want to vomit. I think if Dr. Martin Luther King were alive he would have been ashamed,as that is not the message he was trying to impart. This has got to stop!. These kind of haters should be forced out of office and then maybe there will be some major improvement in the problems we are having in this city. This cannot continue to be “pushed under the rug” because people are scared to speak out against it. Please post a link to your petition and I will sign it and ask everyone I know to sign it.

  • Jackie

    People with the attitude of Ms Brooks are racist and inflammatory. This type of attitude and comments is what keeps the issue of Race in the forefront. No one that make comments such as Ms Brooks should ever be in a Leadership role because she is not a leader but one that creates division.

  • Jim

    She is a pure racist. Hatrid in her heart for non blacks, you can see it in her eyes and hear it in her comments. As long as you have people like this in office you never see brighter days. Typical (today) Memphis politics. You get rid of Harrington and the Fords and another one steps in. There is no shortage of blacks with a chip on there shoulder.This is why Memphis is going to end up just like Detroit. Wait and see!She has no business in public office.

  • james mote

    she part of whats wrong with memphis. when will the black people ,become american ? instead of black american . i think its time that we see that our historical ancestry , had to endure what they did, so we could get to where we’re at today.brooks should be thankful for what they went through.dead soldier’s come back in coffin’s the flags are always covered with the stars and strips.we dont know it that person was black or whatever. grow us mrs brooks become an american !!!!

  • Elsie Rodgers

    Seems like it is ok to be a racist if you are black in Memphis. So tired of this kind of tirade.

  • William H

    Henri Brooks’ rants are insane and racist. However, it raises a good question: What will it take, in concrete and specific terms, for blacks to stop dredging up slavery every time they don’t get their way politically?

    I suspect that blacks will never specify the terms and conditions to drop slavery because it is a clever political tool. Whenever they scream “slavery” and “racist,” the world ralllies around them in support. It quickly silences all other viewpoints.

    Brooks’ rants against Pereya and Thomas were pure hate speech. She should be removed from office. But she won’t even be reprimanded, because black racism rules Memphis with an iron fist.

  • whitesRdevilsanhypicrites

    PicklerAintRight
    May 17, 2014 at 10:27 pm
    “All those efforts to privatize are clearly an effort to desegregate schools and I think that’s an abomination,” said Pickler.
    Mr Pickler most likely made this statement from his mostly white segregated neighborhood, while sending his children to mostly white segregated Houston School. Hypocrite.
    IF Mr Pickler believes in integration why isnt he living in Midtown or Whitehaven? He is an investment advisor so he surely knows he can get much more house for his investment in Memphis. Hypocrite donating his money to the less fortunate to clear his conscience. If you are gonna talk the talk then walk the walk Mr Pickler.
    When busing was implemented the suburban population exploded as did the school budgets and property taxes. Hundreds of billions down the toilet to implement that insanity with neghborhoods destroyed. What do we have to show for it these 60 years later? A school system in shambles and race relations at an all time low.
    Kenneth Whalum gave an honest answer in this article which is more than I can say for Mr Pickler. It is the Picklers of society that want your family and children to integrate while he resides in the safety of the burbs.
    When the Picklers of this nation realize just because you pass a law doesnt mean the people are going to live by it or agree with it the better off we all will be. You will never make Muslims and Jews live together. You will never make the religious approve of homosexuality and abortion. You will never make the socialist/communist agree with capitalists. At the barrel of a gun you make may someone do what you say but even then you will never control what they think. And even at the barrel of a gun there are many who would rather die on their feet than live on their knees.

  • Bassplayer

    @whites: haha,,you lost all credibility when you agreed with this Opheila Ford CLONE,,you are just as ignorant and racist as she is,,,which makes you NON-IMPORTANT….

  • Bassplayer

    Hmmm,,you’re one of those snake handlin’ brain washed racists that believe everybody except your race is worthless,,,Black Supremacist.

  • whoyoukiddin

    Hmmm! Maybe you haven’t been paying much attention to what is going on in this country lately. You seem not to understand that our president is allowing people across our borders and they are getting everything you are getting. This is whether they come across legally or illegally. What Henri Brooks said was racist whether you believe or not and let me inform you of one other thing. When it comes to the wars go back and remember Vietnam. No one (including whites) were welcomed back home. If you don’t like our country then leave.

  • Terrie

    And YOU Christine, you answered my first question by admitting you’re talking from hearsay only! Which means you’re brain-washed to believe the very worst so you’ll keep standing in line w/your hand out!
    You weren’t alive during this alleged slavery times. Ask your uncle why he allowed being allegedly a slave? Ask him why it’s taken 100 years to finally say ‘I’m a man.’ Look around at your uncle’s life. Help him to not drown in his self-pity.

  • Dr. JohnS

    I realize you did not choose to come here if you will realize that your ancestors were sold to Europeans by the tribal chiefs of Africa. But we are here and you are here – we have a choice, either we can build a better city together or you can leave. I decided to build a better city by respecting all persons no matter where they came from or how they got here.

  • whoyoukiddin

    There are more blacks in office than whites. You need to look up the makeup of this city. Maybe this is why we are having this conversation because Henri Brooks is black and a racist on top of that. Everything she said was racist. By the way when she was born she had freedom!!!!!!

  • GrainOfSalt

    I feel the same way. A lot of the black community feels like we (as in the world) owe them something for the misfortunes of their ancestors. I have been in memphis 28 years and I have lived all over this city. I went to the black history museum as a child and I will not allow my children to ever step foot in that place. They will know of Dr.King and the great revolution he led but as far as pity- I will never let them carry the burden of they owe anybody anything because of something that happened to someone’s ancestor.

  • Audrey Grossman

    wow – your screen name kind of says it all. you wanna talk about racists? look in the mirror.
    so you think all whites smoke meth and molest kids, and Jews get hand-outs? wow. just. .. wow.

  • Christine

    The reason some hire illegals is so that they can pay them in cash. I don’t understand how they can afford all of those babies. My husband had a very paying job before he retired. Both my husband and I are college educated. When we started having kids I became a stay at home mom. Having children is very expensive. We had four boys and one girl. I don’t understand it. My husband provided for his family, just as his father did. My husband has eleven brothers and sisters and all of them did not have children until they were married. This proves that regardless of one’s race no one is raised the same. Also there are some black men out there who provide for their children even though they may not be married to the mother.

  • YouRaIdiot

    Latinos: solid work ethic, willing to start at a low-wage and work their way up to a higher wage.

    Blacks: no work ethic, unwilling to start at a low-wage and earn a higher wage, instead expect to be handed a promotion with a smile.

    Hmm…decisions…decisions….

  • dave

    Apparently you haven’t heard of Cesar Chavez and the work he did during the civil rights movement?

    Also, how bigoted of you to assume that this company’s employees have questionable status just because they are hispanic.

    Seems the real racists in shelby county are finally being exposed.

  • donaknowsitall

    Oh my goodness LaShonda, what comes out of your mouth is really pathetic. Just like you spelling. Bet you are a proud graduate of one of the local schools, hmmm.

  • Problematic

    WowI never knew that ALL blacks had no work ethic and ALL Hispanics have excellent work ethic. What about whites, please explain to the posters how superior they are to ALL minority’s in every way imaginable… U can’t leave whites out, that would be ra… aww nevermind

  • donaknowsitall

    Oh please already! The latino man in this article said he grew up in Memphis, he is more than likely here legally.

    Why is that when the Memphis community refers to Latinos they automaticlly think they are all here illegally. That is not so. Most of them here have green cards or working documents approved by the state department.

  • Christine

    Not all blacks lived in poverty in the segregated south. For your information there were some slave owners who had children with a slave, did not enslave their children. That is what happened on my mother’s mother side of the family. My family still own all of the land that he left to his children. When growing all of my different relatives were well educated and own their own homes and businesses. Even though my family could pass for white, they chose not to. They were very proud of their blackness. My mother’s father worked for the railroad and owned a lot of land. That land is still in our family. My father’s father owned a lot of land when he died. That land is aalso still in our family . Where I was raised blacks were taught that the more education you had, the better your life would be. I think about the community in which I lived, all of the businesses were black own. Even though the schools were segregated, I feel that I did not receive a inferior education. Also growing up in a segregated society I learned that some whites would not have anything to do with other whites that they thought were lazy. If my family were able to prosper during segregation there should not be a poor white person in America. Whites had over four hundred years of free labor, and are about to lose it all to their enemy China.

  • Joe Bo

    Doc you should research slavery, it has a long history. We think about slavery just in the last 4 hundred years, however this practice goes back to antiquity. During these times Europeans were inslaved as well. It eventually evolved into indentured servitude in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. It is true that Africans had a role in the slave trade. It is also true that the european model of inslaving Africans was unique to the world. Africans practiced slavery too, however, the people were never “de-humanized” and treated like animals. Slaves had some human rights, and had access to third party mediators if they were unjustly punished. More importantly, the children born to a slave didnot automatically belong to the slave master. Africans who assisted the europeans, had no concept of dehumanizing human beings. This is the european model of slavery, never before in history has a group of people treated people like animals.

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