Kesha Hamilton defended her comments at a Jackson School Board meeting this past Tuesday. Attendance was higher than usual at the monthly meeting, per MLive, with some speakers supporting Jackson and others calling for her resignation.

In a December 18 tweet, Hamilton wrote: “Whiteness is so evil. it manipulates then says, I won’t apologize for my dishonesty and trauma-inducing practices and thinks you should applaud it for being honest about its ability to manipulate and be dishonest.”

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In another tweet, Hamilton stated that white people pose more of a threat to black people than wild animals. “The last thing you have to worry about is an animal – though that could be a very real threat.. more dangerous are any whites you may see on the trail.. be safe!” the Michigan school board member wrote in response to a Twitter user.

During the public comment portion of last Tuesday’s meeting, Hamilton faced calls to resign from a number of parents.

“Someone in her influential position must be held to a high standard. She must be a representative for all students in the JPS system,” parent Gina Hastings said, according to MLive. She called Hamilton “angry and bitter.”

“Her racist comments should not be condoned. How can all kids feel safe when physical characteristics over which they have no control are being called evil and dangerous,” the concerned parent added.

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“You are not addressing the disparities, you are adding to them by your hurtful remarks. Your words are not unifying our community. Your words are dividing our community,” said another parent, Jackie Leslie.

Hamilton also received her fair share of support at the meeting, including from one speaker who claimed to be a “white.. conservative, Christian man.”

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“Never once in these five years has she questioned me, a white man – a conservative Christian white man at that – in regards to teaching her children about their history, a history that is not mine,” Jackson High School teacher Paris Anderson said.

Hamilton herself said she is “overwhelmed” by the show of the support from members of the community who “understood the point she was trying to make,” MLive reported.

“What I understand from being a woman in this American nation and a Black woman specifically is that sometimes others would rather I not exercise any of my rights as outlined in the Constitution. I do not apologize for exercising any of my rights.”

Hamilton also works as a “racial equity consultant” with Diverse Minds Consulting LLC and has been highly critical of district policies that fuel a “white supremacist system.” She is also the chair of the city of Jackson’s Racial Equity Commission.

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This piece was written by Cullen McCue on January 24, 2023. It originally appeared in and is used by permission.

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