Civil Rights Law At Center Of Commissioner’s Comments On Race

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(Memphis)A coalition of African-American leaders held a news conference Friday to show their support for Shelby County Commissioner Henri Brooks.

They said the focus should not be on the style Brooks used to state her remarks, but on Title VI, a federal law aimed at making sure minorities aren't discriminated against in winning government contracts.

During the county commission meeting Brooks said, "You can't leave Black folk out and comply with Title VI."

Brooks wanted to prevent a Memphis company from doing roofing work on the Peggy Edmiston County Building.

The job she said should go to a company that hired African Americans not just Hispanics.

She said, "It's about Black folk in Shelby County trying to get employment."

WREG obtained the Title VI survey companies wanting to do business with Shelby County government must fill out.

It asks specifics about the race of employees, white, non-white and other.

It doesn't ask for a break down of non-whites and others.

Commissioner Steve Mulroy who's also a University of Memphis law professor and former U.S. Justice Department lawyer says it doesn't have to.

The group of ministers that held the news conference today to state their support for Brooks and her comments admitted the words she chose, aren't words they would have used.

However, the say her message is on point about Blacks and contract jobs.

Shelby County doesn't break down what segment of minorities are getting its contract work. LaSimba Gray, Rainbow PUSH Coalition, says it should.

However, he said he realizes the word minority in Memphis includes more than just African Americans because demographics have changed.

"Sure it has and we applaud that. The point of it is we are not fighting other minorities. We are fighting for fairness for ourselves," said Gray.

Gray pointed to disparities in contracts awarded during the building of the Pyramid and FedEx Forum as proof minorities are often overlooked.

WREG found out no minority contractors bid on the roofing job at the county building in question.


  • Amy

    She always brings up race….why is this news? She’s an idiot, go to the commissioner’s meetings and listen for yourselves.

  • Left out

    Funny how everyone is leaving out the part where she stated “you wearing the white sheets”, oh that’s right, she can do that because she is black and it’s ok. This is exactly why race issues will continue. Blame everyone else for failure, blame history, blame government, blame baby daddy, but god forbid take one ounce of responsibility for yourself and your actions.

  • anonymous

    This country music fan (minus the tree) has stated in prior meetings that she can’t be racist because she is black.

    I can’t wait to dance on her grave.

    I also hope that Joy demolishes her in the election. Maybe then we will be free from her lunacy.

    • Johnissmokinonkingwillieswillie

      Whitesnowbeast I bet you cuz on al sharptons tootsie roll too. Karma will get u boy.

  • Anonymous

    Henri Brooks needs to read Title VI again. Then she’ll realize that it does not mention anything about the law only applying to African Americans. However, I won’t hold my breath.

    • Don

      Well, it appears now, the whites are the minority in Memphis, now second only to the blacks.
      (question) Why didn’t Brooks rant for them?
      (answer) Because she be black. That’s why.

  • FairnessForOurselves

    Fighting for fairness for ourselves. It is about black folk. It is about a govt that legislates based on skin color, rather than ability and cost. It is about a nation being destroyed from within.

    Even the ministers are racist when they speak of “fairness for ourselves”

    I need a roof. I call 3 companies to give me an estimate. One company is black, one hispanic, one is white. I then check their references. White company has great references but highest price. Hispanic company has great references and lower price. Black company has horrible references but lowest price. I hire the Hispanic company.

    Uh oh, I have evidently broken some law that says I must have a quota of blacks. I must hire a company regardless of performance because of some Civil Rights law.

    According to the ministers I am supposed to hire black folk. According to Henri I have to have black folk or I wear a sheet. Where the hell is the fairness to me? I am the one that needs a roof. I am the one beiing forced to spend my earnings on a company I do not want to hire.

    Heck just sell the house and let someone else deal with the roof. You know kinda like whites leaving Memphis and letting those that caused this lunancy deal with it themselves. Welcome to the world of black ideaology. Is it any wonder this city is now a cesspool of crime, failed schools, and bankrupt.

    Blacks do not think in terms of the general welfare of a city, state or nation. They think in terms of “fairness for ourselves”, “black folk”, and skin color. If you dare disagree the race card is thrown in your face.

      • 1midtownmike

        The racist mentality of entitlement has destroyed Memphis on all levels.
        Brooks spewing her racist hatred of non blacks just divides the gap. And the NAACP and Rainbow Push didn’t help matters by defending the venom that came out of her mouth.

        At least we know who the real racists are.

    • Cheryl Marty

      You nailed that one, I also am hiring a Latino crew to do my roof, not because of price but because I know a little about construction and the black folk that came to give me an est. did not have a clue.. none.. said I needed a bunch of work I don’t.. could be why they don’t get as much work.

  • Melody

    All bidders on Shelby County contracts MUST have a current EOC number (equal opportunity compliance) in order to particpate and be awarded contracts, in fact all purchases by all departments have to be made at approved vendors which also are REQUIRED to have these numbers. In order to receive an EOC number a form must filled out stating the number of employees, their race(s) and what type of position each has in the company.
    The roofing company apparently has the required EOC number which means they were approved as an acceptable vendor of services. They won the bid, now Henri needs to let things proceed as the rules and laws require. Instead she impedes the business of the County and potentially costs the County money by not moving forward with necessary repairs to prevent water damage to buildings and furnishings,

  • whitesRdevilsanhypicrites

    Melody you are a liar the county has every right to require employment of its lical county residents and the same company has hadmultiple pproblemsin the past you whites are sick. I cant wait to the Latibis iimpor . La familia, and La Raza here. I guarntee you won’t control them like you think,

    • Hard Truths

      Her constituents — the ones who support her — think just like her.

      King Willie’s baleful legacy.

  • Joe

    Judged by character instead of the color of their skin applies to Hispanics also.. She is a racist and should be dealt with accordingly.. There is no room for her in a city that is trying to heal.. She only creates controversy and should be removed from office..

  • gary

    If I were the hispanic company I would not take the job now,let them hire a bunch of blacks to do it . There are plenty of other jobs out there and I am sure with the hispanics good working skills and being honest on jobs as they have will get them all the work they need. Let them get a half a** job from a black roofing company and get half their stuff stole ,then let the taxpayer pay for a half a** job that has to be redone .

  • Hard Truths

    You cannot comply with Title V! of the Civil Rights Act and leave Hispanics out, either.

    Henri Brooks, you are the ARCHETYPE of a ra cist im becile.

  • fred

    Just keep the cameras rolling long enough and ignorance, arrogance and bigots will indeed expose themselves like Brooks, Gray and the Rainbow Coalition accusation shouting match did. These people are double talking racists and are not interested in the betterment of ALL minorities and Memphis/Shelby County…These people are interested in negro population betterment only. I also wonder just how many of these racist folks like Brooks and Gray actually have slaves in their personal ancestral linage? If these racist folks want to really help the negro population of Memphis and Shelby County, they should be exerting all of their efforts to teaching negro girls about birth control, family planning and the great importance of the at home presence of BOTH responsible negro parents. That is the ONLY way the negro population will EVER, EVER break the poverty cycle and begin living the American Dream.

  • fred

    I hope that the Latinos are really taking good notes here…The self-serving, selfish blacks are their worst enemies

  • whitesRdevilsanhypicrites

    Aids white biological weapon. Nuclear bomb whites, colonialism and barbarism WHITES wholesale destruction whites every major war whites racism and intentional changing of scripture whites feminist foolishness and homosexuality promotion whites theft of resources whites . Bottom line any ethnicity or nationality who trusts your ilk is out of there mind.Latins whites your enemy since time of the conquistadors

  • Russ Brown

    When did it become a problem for a person to hire whomever he wants to employ? Has anyone even though to see what the qualifications were for the applicants? This “lady” is a blight on the Memphis Council, and should be terminated immediately, just as the NBA is trying to do to Donald Sterling…..same difference

  • jim

    Bottom line is that this woman is a black racist. And it is caught on tape. Black people will vote black no matter what the person stands for. If I were a white councilman and had referred to Ms brooks about the black power tattoo she had, then I am a white racist. Same thing as a white sheet. Black people are scared that the Hispanic race is overtaking them as the minority in this country, thus losing government benefits and it will go to Hispanics. Look at memphis, fords/OPHELIA/janis fulloflove/joe brown/herenton/ etc. I like AC Wharton and was surprised to find out that his wife supported brooks. HMM Blacks are the majority in memphis proper, okay all know that and so be it. ms brooks really needs to dig a bit deeper into her history. there is no place for ms brooks at all.

  • Arguenot

    By Webster’s Dictionary a minority is “the group that is the smaller part of a larger group”.
    Federal law recognizes Hispanics as a “minority” group. Who is Ms. Brooks to decide not only what laws to uphold but to then go further to denigrate and warp the term “justice for all”?

    Impartial and even protection under our laws should be the driving force behind a government official. This is the standard to strive for, regardless of race, religion, or any other category.

    Ms. Brooks callous contempt, and blatant ignorance of another culture, which she uses, is complete disregard for Federal Law, is contemptible.

    Every race, at one time in history, was a slave to another. Every race held slaves, including those in Africa. Before machines, people were a common commodity. This is unfortunate but true of EVERY race, religion, or category you would choose.

    You can not demand equality, while at the same time, denying it to others.

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