Jeanette Ward thegrio.com

Jeanette Ward (ward4schoolboard.com)

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An Elgin school board member kicked up controversy with a Black History Month Facebook post that many are calling racist, with some even calling for the board member’s resignation.

School board member Jeanette Ward came under fire for a Facebook post in which she quoted author Jason L. Riley’s book “Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed.”

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“Blacks have become their own worst enemy, and liberal leaders do not help matters by blaming self-inflicted wounds on whites or ‘society.’ The notion that racism is holding back blacks as a group, or that better black outcomes cannot be expected until racism has been vanquished, is a dodge. And encouraging blacks to look to politicians to solve their problems does them a disservice,” the quote read.

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When Ward tried to defend the post, saying that it was meant as a different perspective on Black History Month, her detractors didn’t stand for it.

“There was nothing respectful toward or celebratory of Black History Month contained in the passage posted by Ms. Ward,” Danise Habun, a member of the Elgin Human Relations Commission, said. “If her words and the quoted passage from the book is indeed to offer a fresh perspective, it appears as if there has been a failure to communicate. It continues to blame the victim, and ignores institutionalized racism. As an official elected to represent all members of the U-46 school district, Ms. Ward is to be held to a high standard of behavior and conduct.”

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After hearing from her critics on Monday night, however, Ward refused to apologize. “I want all people to succeed. There is one race — the human race. Did I not honor that African-American author by quoting him? I stand by quoting Jason L. Riley,” she said.

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