Angela Brown Attack Mailer Distorts APN Interview
(APN) ATLANTA — A mailer attacking Angela Brown, candidate for Atlanta Public Schools Board of Education District 2, was received by voters throughout District 2 in recent days. It states “She says she wants Atlanta school children to cross dress,” completely misrepresenting Brown’s interview with Atlanta Progressive News.
The mailer includes quotes from Brown’s interview with APN in which APN asked: IF A MALE STUDENT IN A SCHOOL WANTED TO WEAR A DRESS OR SKIRT TO SCHOOL, IF IT WAS THE APPROPRIATE LENGTH PER THE DRESS CODE, WOULD YOU SUPPORT THAT STUDENT’S RIGHT TO ESSENTIALLY CROSS-DRESS?
Brown replied: “I had pink hair with a long earring and a short earring, my mom allowed me to do it. When it violates school policy, we have to adhere to the school policy. But whether it’s pink hair or gender bending on issues of dressing, I am definitively supportive of students doing that.”
The mailer quotes Brown as saying: “whether it’s pink hair or gender bending… I am definitely supportive.”
First of all, the mailer completely misrepresents Brown’s statement. Brown was saying she supported a student’s choice to wear any clothing that adhered to a school’s dress policy, regardless of the perceived gender-appropriateness of said clothing; not that she wanted students to cross dress, as if she would be disappointed if they didn’t.
APN asked Amos’s campaign whether they sponsored, payed for, helped write, or even knew about the mailer. The campaign did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
Incidentally, Amos, in his interview with APN, said he would not support the right of students to express themselves through clothing. “As a Board Member, I’d have to look at, does your individual right affect the rights of others? How does it affect the educational day of that system?” he said.
As previously reported by APN, Amos has himself been the subject of controversy because of his appearances in videos on Youtube, where he, as a promoter for UGK Records, appeared with rappers spewing homophobic and profane remarks and drug references.
Between the two candidates, Brown’s responses in APN’s interviews were the most progressive overall, including her opposition to charter schools.
Dwanda Farmer, who came third in the General Election, told APN she is supporting Amos in the Run-off because “I can’t support Angela Brown; she hasn’t done any work in the community.”
Donald Walker, who came in fourth, has also endorsed Amos, according to a statement obtained by APN.
“Now, I need your support once again on December 6, 2011 to go to the polls and support my candidate of choice for this years’ election, Byron Amos,” Walker said in an email to supporters.
While my decision was not simple, it was methodical and judicious and involved personal meetings and lengthy conversations with each candidate regarding the well-being of the Board and many other Atlanta Public Schools challenges,” Walker wrote.
“Angela Brown, a well known member of the West End Community was quite personable and demonstrated a remarkable passion for kids. However it was Byron Amos, a man who is no newcomer to our community or the election process, who impressed me the most. Byron, a father of three children in APS and a graduate of Booker T. Washington High School, has a history of advocacy for children and education, parental involvement, diversity, fiscal governance and community,” Walker wrote.
“Importantly, Byron’s temperance for not retaliating after several inappropriate pictures were placed at his children’s school by another candidate only confirmed my belief that this candidate is prepared and qualified to serve on day one!” he wrote.
Brown owns a small business in non-profit consulting, Imani Services, and serves as Interim Executive Director of the First African Community Development Corporation in Lithonia. She previously served as Interim Executive Director at Charis Circle, the non-profit sister organization to Charis Bookstore.
Brown served as Executive Director of the National Voting Rights Museum and Institute in Selma, Alabama, from 2007 to 2009. She said she commuted back and forth from Atlanta. She still serves as co-pastor of Northern Heights Presbyterian Church in Selma. “And I will do. I go down every first and third Sunday. I drive, and come back,” she said.
Brown also served on the Board of the Fund for Southern Communities, was one of the 18 founding organizers of the Southern Partners Fund, and co-founded the Youth Task Force. From 1985 to 1990, Brown worked for the Leadership Initiative Project, where she worked to empower youth in civic engagement in rural North Carolina.
Brown helped Khaatim El, her predecessor, get elected, and now is supported by El, who has also donated money to Brown’s campaign. Brown says, however, that she did not agree with El’s takeover of the APS BOE last year.