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Black Leaders Mobilize to Help the Quitman Ten

 

(APN) ATLANTA -- Black leaders and elected officials held a press conference at the Georgia State Capitol 
on Monday, January 23, 2012, to discuss their concern regarding the Quitman Ten, a group of Black elected
officials and voters from Quitman, Georgia, who are facing questionable indictments for voter fraud.
Quitman, Brooks County, Georgia is a small town of approximate 5,000 people a few miles north of the Georgia/Florida border. 
 
Brooks County is forty percent Black, but the largest voting precinct is Quitman, a town that is approximately 67 percent Black.
 
Brooks County held a Primary election on July 20, 2010, for positions on the Board of Education.  Linda Troutman, who is Black, defeated the White incumbent, Mayra Exum; and Elizabeth Thomas, who is Black, also defeated the White incumbent, Gary Rentz.
 
In the General Election on November 02, 2010, the two defeated incumbents switched places on the ballot and presented themselves again as write-in candidates.  This time Troutman defeated write-in candidate Rentz and Thomas defeated write-in candidate Exum.
 
Georgia election law states that candidates who run for a particular office in the Primary and lose are not eligible to be qualified as write-in candidates for the same seat in the General Election.  However, Judge Richard Porter of Cairo, Georgia, ruled the write-in candidates were in substantial compliance with the law.
Four days before Christmas, on December 21, 2010, Troutman, Thomas, and eight others were arrested as a result of Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) investigations and were charged with alleged voter fraud.  Over five hundred people maintained a vigil outside the jail until they were released on property bonds.
 
In January 2011, Dr. Nancy Whitfield Dennard was elected President of the Board of Education by the first Black majority school board in Brooks County.  The Brooks County School System has approximately 2,312 students: fifty percent Black, thirty-seven percent white and thirteen percent other.
 
On November 21, 2011 the original Quitman Ten plus two addional citizens were indicted.  
All twelve people involved are facing alleged multiple felony counts of Unlawful Possession of Ballots and Interfering With an Elector. 
The people charged are: Angela Bryant, Sandra Cody, Debra Denard, Dr. Nancy Dennard, Robert Denard, Kechia Harrison, Latashia Head, 
Brenda Monds, April Proctor, Lula Smart, Elizabeth Thomas, and Linda Troutman.
"We met and decided that we wanted better representation, we campaigned, and we were successful.  We have done nothing wrong but excite people that they can vote, educated people on ways to vote and on alternatives.  We did not devise this plan, it's in our Constitution.  They have a God given right to vote their choice and that's what they did," Dr. Dennard said.
District Attorney J. David Miller of the Southern Judicial Circuit, a Republican, authorized the involvement of the GBI.  The investigation was instigated because of an unusually high number of absentee ballots cast in the July 2010 Primary Election.
Incumbents Rentz and Exum were leading until the absentee ballots (979) were counted, which gave Troutman and Thomas the lead.
On the Quitman Ten's power point presentation, they show how they won.  It was by old-fashioned feet on the ground campaigning.  They updated voter registrations; held voter registration drives; assisted voters in acquiring acceptable voter identification in Georgia; went door to door campaigning; and provided weekly campaign updates to social, community, and religious gatherings.  
They saturated districts with campaign literature; generated voter lists for phone campaigning; and transported voters to the polls during early voting, advance voting, and on election day. 
 
On Tuesday, January 10, 2012, Governor Nathan Deal issued an Executive Order removing Dr. Nancy Dennard, Elizabeth Thomas, and Linda Troutman from their positions on the Brooks County Board of Education.  All three of these women have Masters of Education degrees with years of teaching experience. 
 
"As a result of the November 2010 election, for the first time, we had a majority Black school board that would govern a majority Black school system.  The Governor's suspension has reversed that and now we have a majority White school board," Dr. Dennard said.
 
At yesterday's press conference, Black leaders called on Governor Deal to lift the suspension on the Quitman Ten and the additional two, and work with the District Attorney to drop the charges. 
 
"Our system of justice says you are innocent until proven guilty and the Quitman Ten plus Two has not been convicted of anything.  The Governor has assumed that because they are Black and accused by Whites that they are guilty and that's 1920 not 2012.  Our Governor, whose name is Deal, is off on a crooked deal," Dr. Joseph Lowery of the Georgia Coalition for the People's Agenda said. "They couldn't kill the Voting Rights Act so they are trying to kill the results of the Voting Rights Act." 
"Black leaders are talking about taking the Quitman Ten plus Two case to the US Department of Justice.  We will be in touch with US Attorney General Eric Holder this week," State Rep. Tyrone Brooks promised.
"This is systematic of what is happening across America, this is the tip of the iceberg, voter suppression, voter intimation, voter ID, cutting early voting, and anything they can do to tamper down the vote leading into the 2012 election.  That's what they are doing across this country," Rep. Brooks explained. 
"We take the issue of voter suppression and voter intimidation very seriously.  In the process of investigating the claims of voter irregularities, law enforcement went to people's homes and jobs to ask 'Are you registered to vote, who registered you and how did you get registered?'  We stand with the Quitman Ten plus Two and the residents who were intimidated in their homes and places of employment.  We know this is taking place all over the country," Kevin Myles, Southeast Regional Director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said.  
Rev. Samuel Mosteller, Georgia President of Southern Christian Leadership Conference, asked for a moment of silence for the death of our Constitution.  "It dies when we are denied our basic right to vote.  Everything has been done to circumvent the Voting Rights Act since its passage in 1965... Now the Constitution is dying because we are allowing a few officials who have an ideology that says we have to be right.  We don't want any Black folks to represent us and if they do, they have to parrot what we want them to say," Rev. Mosteller said.  
"This is a danger signal for Black [elected] folks.  Everyone's position is in danger because of what's happening to the Quitman Twelve," Rev. Mosteller said. 
The corporate media so far seems ignoring the story, except national Fox News, which interviewed South Georgia Judicial Circuit District Attorney Joe Mulholland, where he said, "It’s pretty clear there was fraud here.”
As of this writting, none of the Q10 + 2 have received any information as to a court date for their trial.  They have been arrested, indicted, slandered, and suspended. but have not been tried in a court of law or convicted. 
The last weekend in February, people from around the country will march on the Brooks County courthouse to demand justice for the Quitman 10+2.
(END/2012)

(APN) ATLANTA -- Black leaders and elected officials held a press conference at the Georgia State Capitol on Monday, January 23, 2012, to discuss their concern regarding the Quitman Ten, a group of Black elected officials and voters from Quitman, Georgia, who are facing questionable indictments for voter fraud.

Quitman, Brooks County, Georgia is a small town of approximate 5,000 people a few miles north of the Georgia/Florida border.  Brooks County is forty percent Black, but the largest voting precinct is Quitman, a town that is approximately 67 percent Black. 

Brooks County held a Primary election on July 20, 2010, for positions on the Board of Education.  Linda Troutman, who is Black, defeated the White incumbent, Mayra Exum; and Elizabeth Thomas, who is Black, also defeated the White incumbent, Gary Rentz. 

In the General Election on November 02, 2010, the two defeated incumbents switched places on the ballot and presented themselves again as write-in candidates.  This time Troutman defeated write-in candidate Rentz and Thomas defeated write-in candidate Exum. 

Georgia election law states that candidates who run for a particular office in the Primary and lose are not eligible to be qualified as write-in candidates for the same seat in the General Election.  However, Judge Richard Porter of Cairo, Georgia, ruled the write-in candidates were in substantial compliance with the law.

Four days before Christmas, on December 21, 2010, Troutman, Thomas, and eight others were arrested as a result of Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) investigations and were charged with alleged voter fraud.  

Over five hundred people maintained a vigil outside the jail until they were released on property bonds. 

In January 2011, Dr. Nancy Whitfield Dennard was elected President of the Board of Education by the first Black majority school board in Brooks County.  

The Brooks County School System has approximately 2,312 students: fifty percent Black, thirty-seven percent white, and thirteen percent other. 

On November 21, 2011 the original Quitman Ten plus two addional citizens were indicted.  

All twelve people involved are facing alleged multiple felony counts of Unlawful Possession of Ballots and Interfering With an Elector. 

The people charged are: Angela Bryant, Sandra Cody, Debra Denard, Dr. Nancy Dennard, Robert Denard, Kechia Harrison, Latashia Head, Brenda Monds, April Proctor, Lula Smart, Elizabeth Thomas, and Linda Troutman.

"We met and decided that we wanted better representation, we campaigned, and we were successful.  We have done nothing wrong but excite people that they can vote, educated people on ways to vote and on alternatives.  We did not devise this plan, it's in our Constitution.  They have a God given right to vote their choice and that's what they did," Dr. Dennard said.

District Attorney J. David Miller of the Southern Judicial Circuit, a Republican, authorized the involvement of the GBI.  The investigation was instigated because of an unusually high number of absentee ballots cast in the July 2010 Primary Election.

Incumbents Rentz and Exum were leading until the absentee ballots (979) were counted, which gave Troutman and Thomas the lead.

On the Quitman Ten's power point presentation, they show how they won.  It was by old-fashioned feet on the ground campaigning.  They updated voter registrations; held voter registration drives; assisted voters in acquiring acceptable voter identification in Georgia; went door to door campaigning; and provided weekly campaign updates to social, community, and religious gatherings.  

They saturated districts with campaign literature; generated voter lists for phone campaigning; and transported voters to the polls during early voting, advance voting, and on election day.  

On Tuesday, January 10, 2012, Governor Nathan Deal issued an Executive Order removing Dr. Nancy Dennard, Elizabeth Thomas, and Linda Troutman from their positions on the Brooks County Board of Education.  All three of these women have Masters of Education degrees with years of teaching experience.  

"As a result of the November 2010 election, for the first time, we had a majority Black school board that would govern a majority Black school system.  The Governor's suspension has reversed that and now we have a majority White school board," Dr. Dennard said. 

At yesterday's press conference, Black leaders called on Governor Deal to lift the suspension on the Quitman Ten and the additional two, and work with the District Attorney to drop the charges.  

"Our system of justice says you are innocent until proven guilty and the Quitman Ten plus Two has not been convicted of anything.  The Governor has assumed that because they are Black and accused by Whites that they are guilty and that's 1920 not 2012.  Our Governor, whose name is Deal, is off on a crooked deal," Dr. Joseph Lowery of the Georgia Coalition for the People's Agenda said. "They couldn't kill the Voting Rights Act so they are trying to kill the results of the Voting Rights Act." 

"Black leaders are talking about taking the Quitman Ten plus Two case to the US Department of Justice.  We will be in touch with US Attorney General Eric Holder this week," State Rep. Tyrone Brooks promised.

"This is systematic of what is happening across America, this is the tip of the iceberg, voter suppression, voter intimation, voter ID, cutting early voting, and anything they can do to tamper down the vote leading into the 2012 election.  That's what they are doing across this country," Rep. Brooks explained. 

"We take the issue of voter suppression and voter intimidation very seriously.  In the process of investigating the claims of voter irregularities, law enforcement went to people's homes and jobs to ask 'Are you registered to vote, who registered you and how did you get registered?'  We stand with the Quitman Ten plus Two and the residents who were intimidated in their homes and places of employment.  We know this is taking place all over the country," Kevin Myles, Southeast Regional Director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said.  

Rev. Samuel Mosteller, Georgia President of Southern Christian Leadership Conference, asked for a moment of silence for the death of our Constitution.  

"It dies when we are denied our basic right to vote.  Everything has been done to circumvent the Voting Rights Act since its passage in 1965... Now the Constitution is dying because we are allowing a few officials who have an ideology that says we have to be right.  We don't want any Black folks to represent us and if they do, they have to parrot what we want them to say," Rev. Mosteller said.  

"This is a danger signal for Black [elected] folks.  Everyone's position is in danger because of what's happening to the Quitman Twelve," Rev. Mosteller said. 

The corporate media so far seems ignoring the story, except national Fox News, which interviewed South Georgia Judicial Circuit District Attorney Joe Mulholland, where he said, "It’s pretty clear there was fraud here.”

As of this writting, none of the Q10 + 2 have received any information as to a court date for their trial.  They have been arrested, indicted, slandered, and suspended. but have not been tried in a court of law or convicted. 

The last weekend in February, people from around the country will march on the Brooks County courthouse to demand justice for the Quitman 10+2.

(END/2012)

 


Comments (14)

Steve Swimmer
Said this on 1-24-2012 At 07:55 pm

Gloria Tatum, very good article.  Many thanks and much respect.

Dr. Nancy W. Dennard
Said this on 1-25-2012 At 04:32 pm

Thanks Gloria for telling the story.

Gladys T. Lee
Said this on 1-25-2012 At 06:23 pm

Gloria:

Great journalism, excellent reporting. Thank you for helping the Quitman 10+2 continue speaking truth to justice. Stay tuned!

Nate Waters
Said this on 1-26-2012 At 05:07 pm

Excellent article!  I was born and raised in the city of Quitman and left as soon as I graduated from high school because of the way blacks were treated in this small town.  I know all of the principles in this case and most of the others involved and not one of them has ever done anything that would cast doubt on their integrity or their desire to do what's right for the community and the students under their care.  And Fox news? Oh please....give me a break!!!

Jack Jersawitz
Said this on 1-28-2012 At 05:28 am

Oh bull shit. Commenting folks on their good writing completely ignores the fact that Quitman and Georgia are not very different then back in the days of Freedom Summer when instead of organizing an independent political party in Mississippi the Freedom Democratic Party sold out.

The result today is a government of Democratic and Republican murderers and war criminals all of whom ought to be indicted, tried, convicted, and hung.

Why is it that nobody seems to connect up that the crimes committed on Asians, Africans, and Arabs, by Democrats and Republicans, and their Zionist whores, ultimately become crimes committed against Americans who are not with the program of racism, be it the racism and murders in Africa and Asia or the racism of our own Quitman County no different then at the time of Freedom Summer.

Why is it that a writer in this paper, who will not be silenced by the editor, cannot address the heart of the issue that relying on the government of murderers, who at the most will take a long time to do anything while Deal has effectively hijacked that school board and handed it back to his gang of racists.

Why is it that the writer has not recognized that the civil rights leaders of yesteryear, who consented to the sell-out of the Freedom Democratic Party, no matter what they were then are now too well into the ways of the establishment to do what is necessary, put together an invading protest movement and assist our brothers and sisters in Quitman in putting down the rioting white racists in Quitman and along with them Governor Deal.

Why is it that none of those commenting on the article could say that.

Hosea, at the time when I ran for Mayor, called me Atlanta's White Hosea which despite the differences I might have had with him was an honor.

Hosea has up and left us and so I guess I need to stand in his place and demand that all those who recognise the active racism in Quitman, stand up and do as Hosea would if he were here, organize a march on Quitman and demand that the most effective parts of society that benefitted from Freedom Summer, the integrated labor movement whose many members, Black and white, permeate Atlanta government and business put their not inconsiderable effort behind such an assault on Quitman's rioting racists.

As well I say to the owner and editor of this news organ that it is time to give up the phony balanced and unbiassed fraud and return to the days of advocacy journalism in support of such an assault on Quitman's rioters.

Jack Jersawitz

404-892-1238

bigjackjj@yahoo.com

Said this on 1-28-2012 At 05:46 pm

Keep speaking from your heart.  We appreciate those that reveal the true nature of what is contained within ones heart.  Keep up the great work!  G.B.R.

Iggy Dad
Said this on 1-28-2012 At 07:50 pm

You are a very silly person, and a lousy writer.

Steve Swimmer
Said this on 1-31-2012 At 03:31 pm

Jack, please.  Give us a break here.  Ms. Tatum's writing is good and she is the only one saying anything.

By now you must know the bellicose approach Rev. Williams applied was always tempered by Dr. King.  The march and efforts you wish for are excellent tactics when overseen by the likes of Dr. King.  But, to go off half-cocked will most likely backfire.

Still, keep on beating your drum, the cacophony has it place.  Hell, I'll even help you do that. Yet, we must stay clear of our true Black leaders for they have the experience and know the way.

Steve

Betty Patterson
Said this on 1-28-2012 At 05:07 pm

All true Jack.  However,  the story still has to be told and thanks to Gloria Tatum it has been.

I pray for everyone to stay and stand strong.

 

 

Said this on 1-28-2012 At 05:53 pm

Gloria, here in South Georgia we have been without real news coverage of the Quitman 10 and what has taken place with these outstanding human beings.  Therefore, we are extremely encouraged by the support from the Civil and Human Rights Organizations here in South Georgia and beyond.   http://www.youtube.com/user/bostongbr?feature=mhee

COLON SEAY
Said this on 1-28-2012 At 06:37 pm

BEING BORN AND RAISE IN QUITMAN..THIS IS A BLACK EYE..THE ONLY THING THESE PEOPLE DID WRONG IS BEING EDUCATED..WHICH IS A CRIME IN THE SOUTH!!

Mary Cason Davis
Said this on 1-31-2012 At 01:35 pm

I was born and raised in Brooks County (Quitman, GA)...God helped us all!  My dad was the best brick mason around--should have been a millionaire...We made the best of our environment.  We always had wonderful black educators, parents, and communities that "cared"; therefore, many of us went on to do great works--doctors, lawyers, nurses, engineers, educators, etc--giving back to society.  I feel the Quitman 10+2 were displaying that same basic human characteristic--"WE CARE".  Whenever the black race shows positive results, racism shows it's ugly face; but we will not be moved!  The last shall be first!  We've been surpressed far too long!  I see the hand of God moving throughout this land and He can't be stopped!  Don't give up Quitman 10+2!

Stacey Hopkins
Said this on 2-1-2012 At 07:19 am

I have a question for Mr. Jersawitz. If you have identified a need for advocacy journalism and certainly appear to have the qualifications and knowledge, instead of questioning what others aren't doing, why not just do it yourself? If there's something not being said that you feel needs to be, then why not simply say it yourself without denigrating the author who is merely informing the public of a series of current events and not intended to be a commentary or opinion piece?

Not everyone is made to be a leader. Clearly, you have the makings; go and claim it.

Protests have their place in advocacy as they can bring media and public attention to an issue and mobilize a large number of supporters, but unless they are combined with other strategies that work in other areas such as legal and legislative, you'll need a lot of shoes and keep those water bottles filled. You'll be marching and rallying for one thing or another perpetually, as there's no shortage of outrages and excesses to choose from in Georgia or elsewhere... and precisely why we are still in virtually the same place as we started as we have failed to address power in the forum in which it wields it.

Said this on 2-20-2012 At 05:52 pm

Google the many sites of information concerning the Quitman 10 and what has been ignored.  Thanks to all of you for spreading the incident to the American People.  Peace, love and understanding. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDc5z9LbOUo&feature=BFa&list=PL1EE45177EA1E55ED&lf=plcp&context=C3a1d23aFDOEgsToPDskLYBvlBAKT6kbhNdkZQfuZD

 

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