Fire Carnival Booth Awash In RacismOn July 23, my family...


August 08, 1993

Fire Carnival Booth Awash In Racism

On July 23, my family and I attended the Riviera Beach Volunteer Fire Department-sponsored carnival in Pasadena. One of the attractions was a dunk tank where a person sits inside a cage above a tank of water. People pay to throw balls at a lever to dunk the individual.

I have been to many fund-raising activities where a dunk tank is used, and the individual inside traditionally taunts the throwers, encouraging them to exact revenge by spending more money to get them wet. At the Riviera Beach carnival, the person inside the cage loosed not only the traditional insults at throwers, but hurled unrestrained racial epithets at various minority people unfortunate enough to walk within his field of view. To be specific, the man shrieked with delight as an Asian woman walked past with her young son, "Get the rice! We got us a rice eater out there!." A young black teen-ager was attempting to dunk the man and for encouragement he was called "buckwheat," "spook," and told that "this ain't no watermelon stand, boy!"

HTC A ridiculous "disclaimer" sign was posted near the tank asking us not to take personally remarks made by the person in the cage, since all this was to help the volunteer fire department. Is a disclaimer sign all we need these days to justify the agony of racism in this country? . . . Pasadena, particularly Riviera Beach and surrounding communities, is to racial diversity as Wonder Bread is to whole wheat. It is no secret that some residents harbor ill will toward any person not of their ilk, though I am hopeful that a majority of them abhor such primitive and dehumanizing hatred. The Riviera Beach Volunteer Fire Department should take full responsibility for the actions of the individual in the dunk tank, and offer an explanation and an apology to the citizens who came out in support of their fund-raising.

This "event" in our town was shameful, and all who chose to participate without having their conscience in the least bit bothered, continue to perpetuate the hatred by their indifference.

Every single time we choose to ignore such examples of poor citizenship, we set a new standard for ourselves and for our children.

Russell L. Wentworth


Finney's Thanks

I am writing to thank all those responsible for assisting and supporting me in my campaign and convention victory for the school board nomination.

I thank God for guiding me. I thank my mom and dad, my husband Mark, and my daughters Markesa and Carmera for sharing me and giving me their unconditional love and support. I thank Rev. Ricky Spain, pastor of Mount Olive AME Church, for managing my campaign and encouraging my spirits. I thank my committee of committed, enthusiastic, motivating individuals who carried out the details with me, wherever and whenever necessary. I thank all of my colleagues, friends, supporters and well-wishers for encouraging words and confidence. I thank all of the delegate organizations and their voting representation for being involved -- especially those 113 delegates who voted for me. I also thank the skeptics of the process for helping me to stay focused and determined.

I thank Bob Neall for honoring the process and making the recommendation to the governor, who in turn supported the people's choice and appointed me.

I am very encouraged to know that so many people care about our community and our children -- your children! Just as you all have supported me for this community victory, I need your continued concern and care to carry out future plans for the education and cultural growth of our children. I look forward to increased parental involvement and community support on behalf of our county's children -- our future. "It takes a whole village to raise a child!"

Carlesa R. Finney

Glen Burnie

The writer was recently appointed to the Anne Arundel County school board.

72 Hours of Fun

During one recent week, four children were killed in Baltimore, six shot in a Washington pool, and Annapolis suffered one murder. One 72-hour period cannot cure all the ills and violence in Annapolis, but it can give us a good start. We made that good start in the 72-hour basketball tournament at Truxton Park.

What a good time this city had and we owe many thanks to Leslie Stanton, who brought in teams from Philadelphia, Baltimore and North Carolina. He prepared and organized our own teams for participation in the tournament and encouraged 2,500 fans to come out to watch the games. . . .

There are many to thank for this good start toward building a safe community for Annapolis. Chandler Powell, who used to serve on our police department, brought a bus load of children from North Carolina. The basketball commissioners, Dick Callahan, Leron Fisher and Barry Booth, have done this city a great service. The Annapolis Youth Association, the PAC committees and Darius Stanton from the mayor's office deserve our thanks.

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