Fire DOE official for using n-word

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An open letter to city Education and Community Development Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott:

Please be advised that an NAACP investigation revealed that city Department of Education District 29 Family Advocate Ron Barfield has repeatedly used the n-word in public settings and meetings when referring to people of African descent.

Our investigation also revealed numerous witnesses who have heard Barfield using the n-word. We also understand that the DOE is aware and has evidence of Barfield’s inappropriate usage of the n-word. Barfield has lost the trust and confidence of the people on whose best interest he is supposed to be advocating. Therefore, we are calling for the immediate termination of Barfield as an employee within the DOE.

If the DOE does not have sufficient evidence to support his termination, please be advised that we are willing to assist in your investigation by presenting numerous witnesses who have heard Barfield use the n-word on more than one occasion.

I need not tell you the history behind the creation and usage of this hateful word. The n-word, as it stands, is dangerous, divisive, hurtful and hateful when used by the average citizen out of ignorance or racism — both of which are compounded when the word is used by an intelligent, educated person in a position of authority. We cannot stand by and accept this form of degradation and racism.

In closing, we are calling upon you to terminate Barfield immediately and send a message throughout the DOE that racism and insensitivity is intolerable. The failure to terminate Barfield will send a dangerous message to the community as to where the DOE stands on the treatment of people of African descent. The failure to terminate Barfield will also send a message that the DOE condones such outrageous behavior by its employees.

Thank you in advance for your attention to this matter. I welcome the opportunity to meet with you for further discussion on this matter.

Leroy Gadsden


NAACP Jamaica Branch


Updated 6:07 pm, October 10, 2011
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