Kesha Hamilton, a school board member in Jackson, Michigan, is facing backlash for controversial tweets blasting white people.
Hamilton is a racial equity counselor who has served on the Jackson School Board since 2021. She also is the chair of Jackson’s Racial Equity Commission.
Hamilton tweeted on Dec. 22: “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.. #Deceitful #Perfidious.”
Hamilton also went to as far as to say that white people are more dangerous than animals.
Hamilton has spoken out in the past about district policies and practices she views as biased, discriminatory or racist, including its attendance and tardy policy and its criteria for selecting a valedictorian.
The tweets came to the forefront on Tuesday night at the school board’s monthly meeting to address issues within the county, conduct the business of the JPS board, and open up the floor for comments from the community. The meeting had its largest attendance since school started back in August.
The threat of Proud Boys attending the event surfaced on the internet with a flyer trying to recruit members to the organization that would show up to the meeting.
Jackson Public Schools’ superintendent, Jeff Beal, released a statement ahead of the meeting warning that those in attendance should conduct themselves in a civilized manner.
“At JPS, we have been inundated with information regarding the attendance of numerous community members from Jackson and throughout the state of Michigan that plan to attend our JPS Board Meeting on Tuesday, January 17, 2023,” Beal said. “Please be reminded that JPS Board meetings are held monthly to conduct the business of the JPS Board and Jackson Public Schools. Additionally, this is also a time for public comment from the community.”
“In advance of tonight’s meeting, I would like to remind the community that the safety and security of all our staff, students, board members, and community members is of our utmost concern, and I implore all who plan on attending to conduct themselves with decorum and civility.” stated Jeff Beal.
During the meeting, Black community members spoke in support of Hamilton, who was elected to a six-year term in 2020, while white community members called for her to resign immediately, Michigan Live reported.
“Someone in her influential position must be held to a high standard. She must be a representative for all students in the JPS system,” a parent named Gina Hastings said. “Her racist comments should not be condoned. How can all kids feel safe when physical characteristics over which they have no control are being call evil and dangerous.”
Hastings also stated that the comments come off as “angry and bitter.”
Myeshia Jones, a Black supporter of Hamilton, stated she understood the comments by Hamilton were not about skin tone but about systematic racism.
“Whiteness is the system, the ideology, the belief, the thought that because your skin is white, you are superior to Black people,” Jones said. “Because your skin is white you deserve better. Because your skin is white, you have better opportunities,” said Jones at the Tuesday meeting.
After hearing everyone’s comments, the superintendent gave Hamilton the floor to speak on her tweets and she didn’t back down on what she posted.
“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,” stated Hamilton to open her comments.
She continued by saying, “Thank you to everyone that showed up, I am overwhelmed by the support of the community. I am overwhelmed by the people that care about our community. I am going to deviate from my notes to say, 1. people should disregard tweets or comments that are disagreeable to you. 2. fully read the tweet and try to understand it, and 3. be apart of the solution and not the problem, and the last of the real issue is the attempt to silence the discussion around the disparity along racial lines that exist not only in this county, city, or our state but across this nation.”
Hamilton has not resigned from her position and the superintendent hasn’t issued any disciplinary actions toward her.