Even black Alaskans don't like Palin

First of all, who knew there were even any black people in Alaska? Apparently, African Americans and Asians make up 10 percent of Alaska’s population, while Native Americans (Inuits) are the dominate ethnic minority at 20 percent.

It seems now like it is no surprise she couldn't name the famous Brown vs. Topeka Board of Education when she was asked to name famous Supreme Court decisions.

“She did not even publicly campaign in the black community,” [Montean] Jackson said of the candidate’s run for governor.

Gwen Alexander, founder and director of the Juneteenth celebration in Anchorage, posted a message on the Daily Kos, a progressive internet website, saying, “While meeting with black leaders concerning the absence of any African-Americans on her staff, Gov. Palin responded that she doesn’t have to hire any blacks and was not intending to hire any.”

Palin has denied making the statement, but it is repeated often by black Alaskans.

Alexander said many in the black community are also angry at Palin for snubbing the annual Juneteenth celebration, held in Anchorage and recognized since 2001 (Juneteenth is a celebration of the ending of slavery.). The co-directors of the celebration released a statement critical of Palin.

“As for Governor Sarah Palin’s involvement in the African-American community, the Governor’s office hasn’t participated in any of our Alaska Juneteenth Events,” the statement said. “All previous Alaskan governors have traditionally attended and participated in our annual Juneteenth Celebration. Gov. Palin was the first governor not to send out a congratulatory letter or assist us in any way with our Juneteenth activities.”

The Philadelphia Independent Media Center published a story on its Web site this week that also mentioned the Juneteenth snub and the meeting between Palin and blacks, where some say the infamous quote on hiring was made.
Bishop James Thomas, who has works on the annual celebration, told IMC that Palin has refused to attend or send a staff member.

“They could have sent a gardener as their representative, but they didn’t,” he said.

Rev. Dr. Alonzo B. Patterson, who’s worked closely with previous governors and other elected officials told IMC that Palin has “totally departed from the past practices” of previous Alaska governors.

“Past administrations have had black administrative assistants to the governor, state commissioners and department leaders,” he said.

Patterson heads the American Baptist Churches of Alaska and the Martin Luther King Jr. Foundation. He was at the long-sought meeting Palin had with black leaders.

“We gave her a list of concerns and have received no response,” Patterson, pastor of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church in Anchorage, told IMC.

Aleta Atkins, Gwen Alexander’s daughter, said Palin finally issued a proclamation on Juneteenth after she received the VP nomination, about “two or three months after the celebration."

“I understand a lot of people are thinking we are picking on Sarah, but people need to realize that before she was nominated by Mr. McCain, she was under investigation for abuse of power,” Atkins said.

“Most of the people in state offices are people she went to school with, good friends. She fired people who were qualified so she could put in her friends. I don’t think that’s a good sign whether you’re governor or vice president,” she said.

Jackson, who has been active in local, state and national political campaigns, believes Palin would never have been elected governor if people hadn’t been so unhappy with the previous administration, especially with how they wasted money.

“This is a highly Republican state,” she said. “She won by default. They liked her personality. She’s done some things that have garnered support ... but understanding the women of the state and their needs and having the support of black community, she has none of that.

“We have drug problems, high rates of suicide and sexual assaults. I believe there are just a lot of things that Sarah Palin is out of touch with.”

“I’m hoping Palin comes home after the election,” adds Aleta Atkins. “We want her to come home and face charges.”



At Sunday, November 02, 2008 10:11:00 PM, Anonymous DOC said...

Alaska has a population of around 25,000 African-Americans, with a total population of around 700,000. Therefore, African-Americans make up around 4% of the overall population of Alaska, with higher percentages in the larger cities like Anchorage.

We should familiarize ourselves to the history of African-Americans in Alaska:


For example, African-Americans who built the highway to Alaska stayed to live after it was completed. Taking the position that the people who continue to play a significant role in the building of the infrastructure of Alaska should not be represented on the staff of Gov. Palin is preposterous.

Gov. Palin’s attitude toward Alaska’s black population indicates what her feelings might be toward all African-Americans as vice-president and possibly president of the United States. Like Sen. McCain, Gov. Palin shows little or no respect for the observance of Juneteenth Independence Day in America. Juneteenth is an official state holiday observance in Alaska which requires the Governor to issue an annual proclamation. Despite the statute, Gov. Palin did not issue a Juneteenth Proclamation in 2007.

Gov. Palin still refuses to meet with African-American leaders of the Ministers Alliance to discuss job opportunities for African-Americans during the building of the Alaskan pipeline. Again, in my opinion, if elected to the White House, most likely her actions toward African-Americans will not change. Let African-American leaders in Alaska tell their own story about Gov. Palin. I have spoken to several of them and remain quite concerned about what I am hearing.

Juneteenth is America’s 2nd Independence Day celebration. 29 states and the District of Columbia recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday or state holiday observance, as well as the Congress of the United States.

Together we will see Juneteenth become a national holiday in America!

Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D.
National Juneteenth Holiday Campaign
National Juneteenth Observance Foundation (NJOF)
National Juneteenth Christian Leadership Council (NJCLC)


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