TACOMA, Wash. -- It is an alleged case of black on black discrimination, and now a local chapter of the NAACP has decided to pick sides.
Tukwila School District Superintendent Ethelda Burke has been on paid administrative leave, while the office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission investigates allegations of racial harassment and discrimination by 10 district employees.
Now the Tacoma branch of the NAACP has launched an investigation, and the president isn’t shy about who’s side he’s on.
Gregory Christopher referred to Burke as “Sister Burke” and said she and her husband are lifetime members of the Tacoma branch. Gerald Burke, her husband, was on the executive committee two years ago.
He wrote a letter to Joan Mell, the attorney representing the 10 employees who filed complaints, stating “Superintendent Burke cannot fully defend herself against your clients’ allegations,” and requested the employees to “agree to waive their privacy rights” so that the NAACP can have access to their personnel files.
Christopher admitted openly to having a bias in this investigation. He does not believe Burke is capable of the actions she’s accused of. When asked why the NAACP isn’t supporting the employees instead, he answered, “They never asked for our support.”
Mell questioned how any agency can conduct an investigation with such an obvious bias toward one side. Christopher said he just wants to make sure the full truth comes out.