The newly appointed Chairman of the Board of Roxbury Community College is being opposed because of the pigmentation of his skin.

There is a group of community activists in and around Roxbury who are opposing the appointment of Gerald Chertavian, the CEO of the nonprofit Year up, as the new chairman of the board that oversees Roxbury Community College(RCC) because Mr. Chertavian happens to be white.  Over welcomeMemorial Day weekend of all times, a group called the Friends of Roxbury Community College sent a letter to Governor Deval Patrick stating that it is “insulting for Governor Patrick to appoint a white person to head up the body that is the primary decision-maker for the college.  He is sending a message that although we are a predominantly Black institution, it will take a white person to give you the vision and leadership to take the college to the ‘promised land’ of education.  That is the ‘plantation’ type mentality.” The Friends of Roxbury Community College is headed by Sadiki Kambon, who is reported to have said the the Governor’s decision to put Mr. Chertavian in charge was the wrong move and that the people of Roxbury need to see a person who “ looks like us” in that position.

Wow. So much to say here–so many ironies and so little time. I guess I should not be surprised; after all Sadiki Kambon along with then city councilor Chuck Turner, said in 2004 they had photographic proof of U.S. soliders raping Iraqi women and the so-called evidence turned out be clips from a hardcore porn website.  Since that time Chuck Turner has been tried and convicted for political corruption. However it looks like Mr. Kambon is still making foolish statements. But before we start parsing his and his group’s latest, a quick background for those of you who may not be familiar with Roxbury Community College or RCC as we locals refer to it.

RCClogo_blackRCC is a community college located in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston which happens to be the center of the African-American community in Massachusetts.  The majority of students who attend RCC happen to be Black but certainly not the entire student body.  Not only is RCC a college but it has been the center of community activity for decades.  RCC has recently had some very embarrassing moments in its leadership, mismanagement of funds, personnel issues, and overall failures in leadership and has recently undergone restructuring in its management and executive leadership. There are both high hopes and high expectations for the future of the institution.

Now on to the foolishness of this group’s moronic and ironic position that Mr. Chertavian cannot lead the board because he is white.   For a group of Blacks to take such a position is ridiculous and the reason for that should be obvious to all butyour most hardened racist.  The fact that the so-called Friends of Roxbury Community College actually sent a letter to the first African-American Governor of Massachusetts could not be made up if you tried.  What do you think this group response would be if the 84% of Massachusetts that is white said sorry, Deval Patrick cannot lead this state because he does not ‘look like us’. How would this group have responded if they were to learn about any institution denying a Black man or woman a leadership role because they do not look like the majority of the people in that intuition’s ‘community’? I can see the protest lines forming already!  I also find it interesting that this group sent their protest letter to the Governor over Memorial Day Weekend. Think about all the brave men and women who have died to defend this country’s ideals. I think about my grandfather’s generation, the ‘Greatest Generation’ who went to war in the 40’s with many making the ultimate sacrifice, to keep a lunatic who thought along racial lines from taking over the world.   I would love to ask the Friends of Roxbury Community College just what is it about this leadership position that requires only a Black person. Now, granted, I am not an education expert, but I am a Black man with both a college degree and a graduate degree and after all that schooling, I cannot remember a single time I went to a Blacks only classroom.  I have also never run a college, but I am pretty sure the talent to do so is race neutral.  Just imagine the outcry if the Friends of Roxbury Community College were a Tea Party group! This is just another example of the type of idiocy groups on the left get to say with very little blow back.  

Do the Friends of Roxbury Community College really believe that you can only be a certain color to do certain jobs? I would invite any member of the group to talk to me about this–I truly want to further understand their thinking.  Because as of now I think their way of thinking is short-sighted and a giant step back for all of us.  A person’s ability and talent should be the only major consideration into whether or not they are qualified to do any job.



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