Shelby County Commissioner Henri Brooks Cites Racism in Contracts

Daniel Connolly, The Commercial Appeal, March 13, 2012

At County Commission meetings over the past several years, Commissioner Henri E. Brooks has often asked about the race of the people administering county contracts to fight social ills such as infant mortality.

Brooks, who is black, has expressed concerns that white leaders of social service organizations are making large salaries when their mission is to help poor African-Americans.

“We keep doing the same old thing giving money to the same folk and getting the same results, which is what? Absolutely nothing.”

{snip}

The same pattern repeated itself Monday. Dottie Jones, the county’s head of community services, is white, and Brooks questioned her about the use of outside grant funds for the Just Care Family Network Project, a program meant to help children with serious mental illness.

Brooks drew murmurs from the audience when she called Jones “Sweetheart.” She wasn’t being friendly.

Commissioner Chris Thomas said, “Could we ask commissioners to show respect to the staff and not call them ‘sweetheart?’ ”

Several clients of the program, including young girls and mothers of children with bipolar disorder, came to the podium to speak in favor of the grant. All were African-American.

Brooks said she was sympathetic with the people who spoke, but that she hadn’t received sufficient information from the administration about the leadership of the program. She also expressed concern about “the parasitic social justice network that swarms around poor people.”

{snip}

In an interview after the meeting, Brooks said she believes old, established social service agencies are winning contracts based on relationships and that new organizations are shut out.

{snip}

She said she needed to know who was going to run the programs. “It could be a branch of the KKK,” she said. {snip}

During a debate on a different topic at Monday’s meeting, Thomas, who is white, said he was “pretty sick and tired of the continual racist comments coming from certain commissioners here.”

Brooks said. “I can’t be a racist. I may be prejudiced.”

She went on to reference historical facts about slavery and segregation, at one point saying, “Number Two, the Civil War’s over. Y’all lost.”

 

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  • Rob

    Brooks is prejudiced, but not Raciss. To be Raciss, yous gots to have POWER! How many times have we all heard this before? (Peejay)

  • “We keep doing the same old thing giving money to the same folk and
    getting the same results, which is what? Absolutely nothing.”

    She’s more right than she knows.  We keep spending all this welfare money and kinda-sorta-like welfare money on blacks, and we get absolutely nothing.

    The same pattern repeated itself Monday. Dottie Jones, the county’s head
    of community services, is white, and Brooks questioned her about the
    use of outside grant funds for the Just Care Family Network Project, a
    program meant to help children with serious mental illness.

    What about adults with serious mental illnesses?  I can think of at least one in Shelby County that needs mental help, stat.

  • I thought blacks said they can’t be “racist” because they don’t have the “power”, well isn’t this idiot a county commissioner? Looks like to me she has the power, so guess what, you’re racist sweetheart.

  • “..the Civil War’s over. Y’all lost.”  Who is “y’all?”  White people?  Excuse me sweetheart, but whites fought whites in a fratricidal war, ostensibly to free your people.  Perhaps you mean that all whites lost overall since blacks were then allowed to begin seeking revenge for generations to come.  In that regard, you are correct.

  • radical7

    Actually, she is correct.

  • I think that woman deserves a raise for having to deal with black failure

  • “I can’t be a racist.  I may be prejudiced.”

    Huh?  How can you be “prejudiced” without being “racist”?  This statement of hers 

  • R P

    Depends upon where you live, and how you actually give them when you pander to them.

  • There was a word for this behavior and it should make a comeback: Uppity. She sounds awfully uppity.

    Secondly, she doesn’t sound too bright. Really, she thinks “the KKK” (this is code for an external bogeyman that causes blacks to be pathological disaster) runs charities for mentally disabled people? Really? “The K” does that?

    • People like Henri Brooks were the ones Samuel Johnson was thinking about when he wrote that “a little learning can be a dangerous thing.”

      Both her and SJ’s axiom are why there were once laws in black-heavy states prohibiting teaching blacks how to read (including Missouri), and why slave owners were hesitant to teach their slaves too much.  (Too, there were worries that black literacy would be channeled into anti-slavery insurrectionist agitprop, recreating Haiti in the American South.)

      Someone who thinks that the KKK has its testicles in everything, including the white liberal public administrators of public mental health programs, is just plain insane.  The more “education” she gets, the more dangerous she is.