Racially-charged pamphlets target Providence's NAACP president
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WJAR) —
Racially-charged pamphlets were dropped into doorways in Providence’s East Side neighborhood and around McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket.
The flyers referred to “Negro Crime," and accused Jim Vincent, who is the head of the Providence chapter of the NAACP, of “extorting money from white people.”
On interior pages, the pamphlets reportedly showed pictures of minorities who have been charged with crimes.
The political establishment in Providence came out swinging on Monday afternoon with a press conference headed by mayor Jorge Elorza.
Speakers included the city’s public safety commissioner, as well as several city councilors, including Council President David Salvatore.
“We are going to stand as a community shoulder to shoulder, and prove to our city and state that we are one community and that we will root out the racism and hatred that folks are trying to inflict in our city," Salvatore said.
Vincent, who was featured on the front of the pamphlet, addressed the crowd of more than 100.
“I am unfazed by any flyers, pamphlet or whatever," he said. "It just emboldens me more to know that I have to do more because the job still needs to be done.”
Pilar McCloud, longtime activist and the NAACP youth outreach coordinator also spoke at the event.
“Racism of any kind, will not be tolerated in our streets," she said. "If we see it, if we hear it, or we find it, we will stamp it out like the cancerous sore that it is.”
City Councilor Nirva LaFortune read a poem from Maya Angelou, reiterating the fight against racism and discrimination is being carried forward by current elected officials.
She read, “…leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise into a daybreak that is wondrously clear, bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise, I rise, and still together we rise. We shall not be moved."