San Angelo NAACP Head Awkwardly Claims She was Exploited
SAN ANGELO, TX — San Angelo NAACP head Shirley Spears awkwardly walked back her comment she aimed at whites earlier today at the second forum over the renaming of Robert E. Lee Middle School this evening. Earlier today, she told a noontime audience that those in attendance who do not agree with her, mostly whites, should “take their sheets off.”
At the 6 p.m. meeting, Spears admitted she said that, but then claimed she didn’t mean the sheet or sheets to which she was referring were Ku Klux Klan robes. Instead, she said that she meant a sheet, like an innocent bed sheet, needed to be lifted so everyone could understand her point of view. She claimed she uttered a normal expression but then the publisher from San Angelo LIVE! used her innocent “sheet” reference to “exploit” her.
There are recordings of the meeting and San Angelo LIVE! stands by its original reporting.
After Spears made the comment at the noontime meeting, some in the room very vocally expressed their dismay. The next speaker mentioned Spears’ remark when he told the room he was not going to address her comment, much to the relief of San Angelo ISD moderators.
At the evening forum, Superintendent Carl Dethloff mentioned the fireworks that occurred at the meeting earlier today.
This evening, Spears continued her remarks and again expressed her frustration that no one understood her point about the San Angelo ISD school board makeup in 1949 when Lee Middle School was named or in 1954 when desegregation was ordered.
“Who was at the table then?” she asked.
Because people of color were not represented on the 1949 or 1954 school boards, Spears seemed to indicate that the present board should make amends for that.
“In ’49, African Americans and Hispanics did not have a voice at the table,” she said.
As of this date in 2020, Hispanics are represented but there are no Blacks on the Board of Trustees.
Earlier, Spears said the San Angelo NAACP demands that the San Angelo ISD rename Robert E. Lee Middle School and John H. Reagan Elementary School because those schools’ namesakes were Confederates.
Other evening forum attendees who were also at the noontime meeting said they understood Spears’ noontime remarks to be about the KKK. However, some Black attendees who were also at the noontime meeting agreed with Spears and said she was misquoted.
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