Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Fire Phil Bailey!

My article in LEO last week ruffled a few feathers back home. So much that there's buzzing talk about boycotting the paper and protesting out in front of LEO Weekly's offices in the near future. Others are making it much more plain about what should be done with me in LEO's Inbox (see: 'Phillip Bailey should be fired').

I don't want to blow this out of proportion for you super-serious types. We're talking about only a handful of people in a very vocal minority who are just plain upset with the coverage. So before I join the fire Phil Bailey movement let me post my follow-up piece to what started all this talk of protests, boycotts and firings. It's called 'Uncivil rights activist' and is in this week's edition of LEO. And remember, you're nobody until somebody wants you axed.

From LEO Weekly:

The Kentucky Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression has suspended longtime member Gracie Lewis for three months following an altercation with a fellow activist and the woman’s 13-year-old son.

...In response to these aggressive encounters, the leadership of the Kentucky Alliance has decided Lewis should take what they are calling a “three-month sabbatical,” according to K.A. Owens, co-chairman of the organization. The difficult decision was made after taking into account both the gravity of the accusations and Lewis’ long history in the civil rights movement.

“We hope the people in the community have confidence that we will deal with these internal matters in a fair and just manner,” Owens says. Although he refuses to provide details about the incident in question or the suspension, Owens acknowledges that the Alliance issued a formal apology to Attica Scott, the woman who Lewis allegedly accosted.

Meanwhile, Lewis publicly maintains she has done nothing wrong, despite the fact that she, too, sent a letter of apology to Scott last week. Scott provided LEO Weekly with copies of both letters.

“I did not intend to offend you or your son,” the letter from Lewis reads. “Moreover it was wrong for me to call you and leave messages you may have considered offensive or threatening.”

The letter is referring to an irate message left on Scott’s office answering machine the day after Lewis reportedly screamed at her son. The recorded message says: “This is Gracie Lewis you black bitch. You better not never bring your skinny, narrow ass and get in my face again because I will kick your black ass. Peace.”

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

The story should be picked up by the CJ.Boycott the.

Anonymous said...

The story should be picked up by the CJ.Boycott them.

Shannon said...

"Save An Elder; Fire Phil Bailey"

Louisville Writers said...

Man, I teach every summer at the Kentucky Alliance and I believe in the principles that a white radical (like Anne Braden) must (dutifully speaking) stand up for. This is some horrible, spectifying lugwork that you so-called "elder" folk are showing. Y'all didn't get to be anywhere without a little criticism.

The Kentucky Alliance does what it can. It has the ability to do more. All folks repressed and opressed need is space and time to do new things within. Keep all the personal shit aside and let a grown ass man like Phillip M. Bailey do his fuckin job. He's the best journalist the working-class cooperative semi-town of Louisville has. If it wasn't for him, the good white folk in town wouldn't have read about how they are sucking all the healthy food in their large, red blood striped siphon out to the east end from their racially and fiscally-repressed fellow human beings strewn out across the city's racial divide.

You all owe Mr. Bailey a so-called debt of gratitude for his fortitude to even print a piece with the name Kentucky Alliance in it.

Calm the fuck down elders. To quote the poet, "In Many households, wisdom no longer comes with age." -- Saul Williams.

From Ken L. Walker
Brooklyn, NY
Louisville = hometown.