African-American Community Leaders: Radio Host Made Worse Comments Than Commissioner Brooks

(Memphis) Just when you thought things couldn’t get any crazier over controversial comments made by Shelby County Commissioner Henri Brooks, a radio host gets thrown in the mix.

Friday, a group of African-American leaders came together to support Brooks, but it turned into a shouting match.

“You are supposed to be a man of God. You are supposed to tell the truth,” said Memphis radio host Andrew Clarksenior. “You said I said things about African Americans!”

The group made up of ministers, Southern Christian Leadership Conference members and Rainbow PUSH leaders accused Clarksenior of saying things about African Americans that were racist and tragic.

They said Clarksenior compared African Americans to animals, and they were the reason behind community blight, but Clarksenior said his statement was taken out of context.

When WREG asked if they thought Brooks comments were any different, Rainbow PUSH President LaSimba Gray said, “That’s her style. If a person is in a ring, you really can’t tell them how to fight. They have to fight on their own.”

Earlier this week, Brooks got into a heated argument with a Hispanic business owner accusing him of discriminating against African Americans because most of his employees are Hispanic.

“It is not about you as a minority. It is about black folk in Shelby County trying to get employment,” said Brooks.

The group said civil right activists have different ways of getting their point across.

“When I even gave analogies of Dr. King and his style compared to Malcom X,” said Dwight Montgomery, SCLS Memphis president.

They said Brooks’ argument is justified while Clarksenior’s is not.

They are asking Clarksenior leave his job and apologize, but they are not asking for Brooks to resign.


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