By Gordon T. Davis
For several generations the Post Office has been a means for Black people and others to move from poverty to the middle class. My relatives and friends worked there and went from the poverty of the Great Depression to owning homes.
My postal carrier today is personable and we exchange pleasantries every time we see the other; I look forward to the mail.
It came as something of a shock to find out a hangman noose was visibly displayed in the Post Office at the Denholm Building from November 2013 through the Summer of 2014. I was reassured that the NAACP and others called for a rally against the hangman noose’s display and an investigation against those responsible was initiated in the Summer of 2014.
This reassurance that the universe was righted turned to cynicism when it was published recently that the United State Postal Service and the Federal Attorney General’s Office ruled that no law was broken.
It sounded a lot like the double talk that the police provides to us every time it kills an unarmed man.
Please do not take this essay as an attack on the Post Office; it is not. One of the reasons that the Post Office is hated by conservatives is that the Post Office has a large proportion of so called minorities working there with representation by a strong union. Several of the clerks at the Denholm Building office are Black. I have worked in situations when I felt discriminated against, but I held my tongue. This noose can be seen as a divisive issue not only for the public, but also as a hostile work environment.
The Post Office is being attacked from within when the bosses farm out the good jobs to minimum wage places like Staples. The United State Postal Service should make public their investigation and their analysis of why no law was broken.
Working in the legal industry I learned that many officials and decision makers think we are ignorant and can be blown off with a few high sounding words. I for one want to see in writing their ruling and analysis. From this we can then make the appropriate changes to laws and policy.
The NAACP and others will hold a meeting for the United States Postal Service officials to explain why it is making no comment about any discipline given to the supervisors who for months knew or should have known that hangman nooses are “ inappropriate” and did nothing.
These details should also be made public and the United States Postal Service policies be reviewed.
In the recent elections neither Baker nor Coakley paid much more than lip service to the Black people in the State. I did not hear any thing about the so called school to prison pipeline or disparities in employment. In contrast, I expected much more from President Obama, Attorney General Holder, and a Postal Service that many Black people and others found to be an effective way to the middle class.
I am going to the meeting and expecting to be given the same double talk when the Postal officials meet with the NAACP and the public.