By LINDA KOLMODIN
June 5, 2020
# WE ARE DONE DYING!” stated NAACP Albion President Robert Dunklin.
“It is time to pull back the scab of racism and start healing,” according to Dunklin. He said it is time to start having real conversations in Albion and have deeper discussions about the systemic racism facing our community and our nation.
Dunklin was addressing the murder of George Floyd and the subsequent protests surrounding his death at the hands of white police officers in Minneapolis. “As president of our local NAACP it is time for me to speak about this senseless tragedy and the underlying systemic racism that continues in our communities,” Dunklin stated. He referenced the national NAACP president Derrick Johnson’s words, “The murder of George Floyd by police is an unspeakable tragedy. Sadly, police brutality against the Black community has been an ever-present circumstance since its origin to preserve the system of slavery.”
As NAACP president Dunklin recently reached out to Scott Kipp Albion Public Safety Chief and asked to review the department’s policies and open the door for review. Dunklin said Kipp immediately responded and sent him department policies which he hopes will lead to meaningful conversations with the city.
Quoting from the “NAACP Strategic Plan: Game Changers for the 21at Century” Dunklin said the local branch is committed to the six strategies as outlined in the plan. These areas include economic sustainability, education, health, public safety, and criminal justice, voting rights and political representation and expanding youth and adult engagement, according to Dunklin.
Dunklin noted that more white people have stepped up to join and support the NAACP and want to help end racism in the community. He said this is a positive sign that Albion wants to sincerely come together to end racism. This is also the melting pot we see in daily protests as all cultures are coming together, he noted
You can try to patch it over the years as there are more leaks springing up,” Dunklin said. “Eventually you have to tear off the whole thing to rebuild the roof from the surface.
“It’s like the analogy to a roof that has many holes. You can try to patch it over the years as there are more leaks springing up,” Dunklin said. “Eventually you have to tear off the whole thing to rebuild the roof from the surface. It is like what we must do with the systemic issue of racism. We must rebuild on the fundamental foundation that Black Lives Matter.”
Linda Jansen Kolmodin has been a resident of Albion since 1981. Originally from North Muskegon Michigan, she was a special education teacher for Olivet Community Schools for 18 years. Since that time, public relations and writing have been the focus of Kolmodin’s work.
Most recently, the successfully funded Coca-Cola mural restoration project for downtown Albion Michigan benefitted from the volunteer efforts of Linda Kolmodin. She is involved in many Albion organizations including the Albion Community Foundation and the Albion-Homer United Way. She is a graduate of U of M, with a Master’s Degree from EMU in Special Education.
- Stories by Linda Kolmodin – albionmich.net/writer-kolmodin/
- The Coca-Cola mural restoration project: