Friday, March 12, 2010

Letter to Editor in Herald Palladium

[The HP printed the letter below, but did not print a letter from the local NAACP requesting an apology from Mr. Robinson for his verbal attack on the Nation of Islam.
Whirlpool policy would likely not allow it's publication.
Mr. Robinson's letter, below, is a back-handed attack on Marcus Muhammad, Benton Harbor city commissioner.
Robinson does diversity training for Whirlpool Corp. A month or so ago, he presented a program which was marketed as an event relating to health issues. In this poverty-stricken city, hundreds of people attended since lunch was free. What actually occurred was an event with one goal: to "brain wash" people about how wonderful Harbor Shores will be. (HS is the gigantic golf development on Lake Mich. land stolen from BHarbor.) Robinson made many claims, one being that HS would have 2000 jobs...Benton Harborites know that they will not have one of those jobs. The event was a disappointment to many.]

Regret over comments made in heat of moment (3/9/10)


Having the time to reflect on my recent critique on the quality of leadership being provided by at least two of elected representatives on the Benton Harbor City Commission, it is clear that "heat of the moment" has fueled a level of rhetoric that undermines our mutual commitment to working on the tough issues of our time without being overly tough on each other.

As president of the Consortium for Community Development, I regret any offense or harm that may have come to all earnest practitioners of the Islamic faith that may have resulted from any comment I made or language attached to my comments, directly or indirectly. The underlying points being made in last week's article we're intended to critique the arguments made by those elected representatives and nothing more.

What may be helpful in this situation is for the parties involved in this verbal conflict come together in meaningful dialogue to create a basis for greater respect and collaboration moving forward. My office has already reached out with an invitation for dialogue with the commissioners.

Marcus S. Robinson, President, Consortium for Community Development