Above: Agnes Hitchcock, steward of Call ’em Out, passes torch to New Era Detroit leaders including (l to r) Zeek, Scrill and Lyric Divine. Watermelons at base of podium represent ‘Sambo’ awards Call ’em Out has traditionally handed out to traitors in the community. Attendees at the packed dinner, held at the voted top ‘Sambo’ honors to:
- City Clerk Janice Winfrey, for repeated election-rigging
- Rev. Wayne T. Jackson, who hosted Donald Trump at his church during the presidential campaign (New Era Detroit later entered birthday celebration for Walker to register their disgust)
- Rev. Wendell Anthony, who along with other Black officials, endorsed Mike Duggan for Mayor, calling him the “white mayor, the right mayor,” signed off on Detroit bankruptcy, recent abolition of Detroit Public Schools, and “Transition Team” sabotage of school board elected in 2004.
CALL ‘EM OUT SAMBO AWARDS TO:
By Diane Bukowski
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March 12, 2017
DETROIT — The International Institute in Detroit was packed to overflowing with members and supporters of the renowned activist group Call ’em Out, most of them veterans of this city’s struggle for decades, on Feb. 27. They came to welcome the youth of New Era Detroit into the battle, and to conduct their annual dinner and “Sambo” awards ceremony singling out members of the city’s “Black misleadership class,” as Glen Ford of Black Agenda Report calls them. The top awardees were Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey, Rev. Wayne T. Jackson, and Rev. Wendell Anthony.
Video above: Lyric Divine, Zeek and Scrill of New Era Detroit thank Call ’em Out and supporters at Sambo Awards dinner, introducing their agenda for the youth and people of Detroit.
NED members cooked and provided the “beans and cornbread” dinner which has been a staple of Call ’em Out’s annual Sambo awards ceremonies since the first one in 2004. NED’s on-stage speeches showed that they are carrying out much of the militant program favoring Detroit’s Black-majority population, similar to that embodied in Call ’em Out’s work since 2002.
Agnes Hitchcock introduced the event. She became famous internationally for throwing “the grapes of wrath” at Detroit School Board members in 2005, after they reversed an earlier vote and supported the closing of 50 Detroit Public Schools. Those closures were the first mass shutdowns in any large majority-Black city in the U.S. They initiated a “Hurricane Katrina” here that has seen over 200 DPS institutions drowned in Wall Street greed.
She was arrested and hauled out of the meeting, as were many students, parents and even members of the media, from many board meetings during that time.
Additionally, Board of Education Member Marie Thornton was subjected to constant sanctions initiated by Board Chair Jimmy Womack, and verbal abuse from audience participant Loyce Lester, due to her votes against the school closings and many contracts she considered questionable.
The DPS Katrina has left Detroit communities littered with the ghostly burnt-out and vandalized shells of historic venues like the Oakman Orthopedic School, the city’s only school designed specifically for the needs of special needs students.
Those schools once anchored strong Black-majority neighborhoods and produced many nationally-known leaders in all fields. Meanwhile, as in New Orleans, the majority of Detroit’s children now attend private for-profit charter schools run by corrupt politicians and “snakes in the pulpit,” as Call ’em Out termed many city pastors.
During her introduction, Hitchcock pointed out that there are no longer any Detroit Public Schools left, due to the passage of legislation last year, supported by Detroit “mayor” Mike Duggan, Rev. Wendell Anthony, and even the leadership of the Detroit Federation of Teachers, that created a state-run “Detroit Public Schools Community District.” It is paired with a state School Reform Office that has the authority to close even more schools.
State legislation is now pending that would eliminate the entire elected State Board of Education and its Superintendent, in favor of a board appointed by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, who has already taken over many predominantly Black cities and school districts under the state’s second Emergency Manager Act.
Below, New Era Detroit leader Scrill speaks at Call ’em Out Dinner along with Detroit Public Schools students NED is politically educating and organizing to become the next generation of fighters for majority control of Detroit schools.
Public schools in the U.S. were largely initiated after the Civil War by kidnapped Africans who had been lynched and tortured for learning to read on the plantations of the South. The national attack on public schools, replacing them with private, religious and charter schools paid for by public taxes, is an attack on that heroic legacy.
Scrill was framed up by Detroit police on felony charges of “assaulting, resisting and obstructing” them during a peaceful NED outreach walk through a Detroit neighborhood in Aug. 2016. NED and Call ’em Out combined forces to pack the courtroom and win an acquittal for him in January, 2017. Scrill also said NED is educating the youth about the thousands of police murders across the U.S., largely of young people of color, including Detroit’s Aiyana Jones, and about the nature of the system in general.
Scrill announced during his talk that he will be running for Detroit City Council this year.
In addition to its activities in the Detroit Public Schools, New Era Detroit has been conducting marches against police murders like that of Kevin Matthews by a Dearborn cop, holding street rallies in the neighborhoods reminiscent of those organized by the Black Panthers, and taking bottled water to Flint residents.
They have protested at area stores that are selling alcohol, tobacco and other unhealthy products in the Black community, and taken area pastors like Rev. Wayne T. Walker, who hosted the sole Black church event featuring Donald Trump during his racist Presidential campaign..
They are an independent grass roots organization that maintains a progressive nationalist approach in their politics. The group, which is growing by leaps and bounds, maintains a Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/NewEraDetroit/ and a very active professionally done You Tube account detailing their many activities on film, at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC06QgiCVlGL10qJNl0h_OWA.
Call ’em Out has led numerous campaigns since its founding in 2002. The organization held large rallies at venues like Bert’s place, where they condemned the city’s “Sambo’s” like former Mayors Kwame Kilpatrick and Dave Bing, and Council members Kay Everett (now deceased), Sheila Cockrel, and Kwame Kenyatta for handing over city assets, services, and workers’ jobs to the private sector for profit.
Call ’em Out marched with hundreds of others on the Manoogian Mansion in 2oo5, in a protest covered by international media, against the wave of water shut-offs first initiated under the Kilpatrick administration. It continued its battle against those shut-offs in a large “Blackinaw Island” rally in 2010 where instructions were passed out on how Detroiters could take direct action and turn their own water back on.
Under the Great Lakes Water Authority, which has since taken over the seven-county Detroit Water and Sewerage Department, orders have now gone out to deny water service ever again to homes whose owners turned the water back on as a necessity of life for their children, elders and disabled members.
Many photos of these events, taken by Diane Bukowski for the now-defunct Michigan Citizen at the time, are featured at the end of this article.
Such politicians paved the way for the “Emergency Manager” takeover of Detroit under Gov. “Ric-tator” Snyder after a “Consent Agreement” was approved by a City Council headed by now notorious child molester Charles Pugh.
EM Kevyn Orr, in coordination with Snyder and Wall Street banks, led the unprecedented, disastrous and illegal declaration of Detroit bankruptcy that has stripped the city of its assets including the $6 billion Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD), and stolen the jobs, pensions and health care of City of Detroit workers and retirees.
These actions were in gross violation of Detroit’s City Charter, (its most recent version passed by the people of the city in 2012) as well as union contracts.
During the dinner, an election was held, in mocking emulation of alleged practices by City Clerk Janice Winfrey, to see who would become the 2017 “Sambo’s.” Ballots were purchased at the cost of 25 cents each, and individuals could purchase as many as they desired.
Aside from the winning Sambo nominees, also listed on the ballots were:
Jeffrey Robinson, the alleged adopted son of Rev. Loyce Lester, who is running for Mayor; he attempted to get this author fired from the Michigan Citizen for objecting to Lester’s unbridled attacks on Marie Thornton from the audience.
- Former School Board member Jonathan Kinloch, who allegedly sponsored a resolution to “sanction” Call ’em Out at a 13th District Democratic Party meeting;
- Current Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon, another supporter of “mayor” Duggan, who previously ran against him;
- Detroit City Councilman James Tate, who was among the “Fatal Five” who voted for the state Consent Agreement that led to the Emergency Manager takeover of Detroit and the bankruptcy which followed.
- Detroit City Councilman Andre Spivey, another member of the Fatal Five.
- Heaster Wheeler, Executive VP of the Detroit NAACP, who has followed in the political footsteps of Wendell Anthony.
- Wayne County Commissioner Jewel Ware.
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy, who has done her best to send thousands of Black youth and individuals to Michigan prisons to die, guilty or not.
- Natasha Baker, appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder as the “State School Reform Officer.” Her office is in charge of closing, not assisting, the five percent of lowest-performing schools in the state, most in Detroit.
- Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones, ex-officio member of the board of the state-run Detroit Public Schools Community District, as well as member of the state advisory committee overseeing the City of Detroit.
- City Councilman George Cushingberry, long ago sued for stealing assets of his probate clients, also an ardent advocate of privatization.
- Malik Shabazz, an officer of the Detroit 300, which collaborates with Detroit police and openly advocates “snitching” in the neighborhoods.
- Ernest Johnson
- Kevyn Orr, former Emergency Manager of Detroit, who ordered the bankruptcy declaration and left the city in ruins.
“Butch” Hollowell, Democratic Party hack now working for ‘mayor’ Duggan as his Chief Corporate Counsel.
- Darnell Earley, former Emergency Manager of Flint as well as the Detroit Public Schools. He ordered the disconnection of Flint from DWSD, resulting in the lead poisoning of the entire population.
- Council of Baptist Pastors of Detroit and Vicinity.
- Detroit Federation of Teachers, which endorsed the recent creation of the state-run Detroit Public Schools Community District, (after ousting the DFT’s elected and militant President Steve Conn), as well as the original 1999 state takeover of DPS.
- Bernice Smith, itinerant community gadfly.
PHOTO GALLERY OF CALL ‘EM OUT EVENTS IN EARLIER YEARS:
NOTE: SINCE THE PUBLICATION OF THIS STORY, ISSUES HAVE BEEN RAISED BY ONE OF THE ‘SAMBO’ NOMINEES, JONATHAN KINLOCH, CHAIR OF THE 13TH DISTRICT DEMOCRATIC PARTY, OBJECTING TO HIS NOMINATION. CALL ‘EM OUT RESPONDS AS BELOW:
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