While the Bethesda African Cemetery Coalition cannot endorse candidates, we wish to speak out against what we see as the overly harsh treatment being doled out to Brandy Brooks, candidate at-large for county council. As you may know, Ms. Brooks has recently lost some key endorsements due to an accusation of workplace harassment. We take such accusations seriously. We also make note of the fact that Ms. Brooks employed transparency, mediation and principles of restorative justice to move forward. In our opinion, revoking endorsements is an overly harsh punishment for a candidate with no similar prior complaints against her. Furthermore, she has made a long career based on fighting for the fair and equitable treatment of all residents in the county.
Ms. Brooks has been a powerful advocate for the marginalized in Montgomery County. In her platform, she emphasizes, “We must learn from the past, and center racial justice in our politics and policy.” We have appreciated her support as we continue to fight the ongoing desecration of Moses Cemetery.
Bethesda African Cemetery Coalition would like to point out the glaring hypocrisy between how our current politicians have broken promises to us without repercussions or remorse. The disrespect and racism is glaring. The same politicians who ignore the desecration of Black cemeteries are the same ones who ignore the recent spate of police killings of young Black men in the county. The have the bully pulpit; they could demand justice; but they don’t. Black lives don’t matter to them. “It is very telling that the same organizations that have revoked their endorsement of Brandy Brooks have endorsed incumbents and those who are first time candidates who have been very antagonistic towards the Black community, BACC and Moses Macedonia African Cemetery. Many of those who have not had their endorsements reversed have preached racial equity but have looked the other way while police are called on black protestors. Not revoking those endorsements are akin to signing a political death warrant for the Black community and Moses Cemetery by focusing on people who have no commitment to saving Black lives or respecting our ancestors.
Instead, the harshest punishment is reserved for Ms. Brook, a true advocate for the community and a true defender of racial justice – both for the ancestors and for the living. We disagree with this approach and feel that Brandy’s voice should continue to be heard.
The Bethesda African Cemetery Coalition (BACC) grew from the early struggle of the Social Justice Ministry of Macedonia Baptist Church. The organization consists of volunteers, activists, community groups, and faith-based institutions. The BACC seeks to stop the desecration of Moses Macedonia Cemetery, preserve the rich history of this once thriving African community, and consecrate Moses Macedonia Cemetery with a memorial and museum on River Road in Bethesda, Maryland.
Learn more at https://bethesdaafricancemeterycoalition.net