How is Carl Paladino Still on the Buffalo School Board? By Dr. Michael Flanagan
How is it possible that an open racist like Carl Paladino can still sit on the Buffalo School Board? The man gives an interview with a publication (Artvoice.com, 2016), openly calling for Michelle Obama to go live with gorillas, and to “become a man again,” and people are actually asking the school board president, Dr. Barbara Seals-Nevergold, if she thinks he should be on the board (WBFO, 2016). What?? What are the people of New York going to do about this?
This man can be openly racist in print about Barack and Michelle Obama (Levine, 2016), yet it is still debated whether or not he should be on the school board. I do not care whose politics you support--Trump, Clinton, Bernie, or Mickey Mouse--if this man can say this about the president, what is he saying about our kids? And their parents?
Buffalo is a school system with a population that is 51% Black. And even if it weren’t, it is disgusting to hear such rhetoric. Then, Paladino gives a belligerent denial--that what he said was not racist, and too bad if we don’t believe that.
It is inconceivable that he has been elected to the Buffalo School Board. Twice. He is a virulent homophobe (Romano, 2010) with a history of bigoted statements, yet he can still buy his way onto the school board (Rey, 2016)? Paladino, and the people who supported his failed campaign for New York State Governor in 2010, have been loud about accountability for public school teachers (Lankes, 2016), yet Paladino has no accountability for this openly racist tirade? He and his hedge fund and real estate investor buddies are pushing for the closing of public schools in Buffalo in order to privatize them with charters. He sits on a school board, votes to defund the schools, and attacks the teachers’ union (AQENY.org, 2014). Never mind that Paladino himself is a bigot, these are open conflict of interests and criminal wrongdoing.
What has happened to the people of New York? This man cannot just buy our silence and complacency. This cannot stand. Paladino can go and be a racist in his private business and in his private life all he wants, but he must not be allowed to sit as a school board member any longer.
Call any and all of the following numbers, as often as possible:
Commissioner of NYSED, MaryEllen Elia at 518-474-5844, firstname.lastname@example.org
Governor Andrew Cuomo at 518-474-8390
County Executive Mark Poloncarz at 716 858-8500
Mayor Byron Brown at 716 851-4841
City Council President Darius Pridgen at 716 851-4980
Superintendent Kriner Cash 716-816-3575