Young, Gifted & Black Coalition has no plans to change disruptive approach
MADISON (WKOW) -- The community continues to pay attention to the death of Tony Robinson in large part because of the constant marches, vigils and active disruptions from the Young, Gifted and Black Coalition (YGBC).
Coalition leaders say those disruptions are by design. But other black leaders want them to be more respectful in their approach.
YGBC members went to a mayoral debate at the Barrymore Theater Thursday night determined to be heard even if it meant talking over the candidates.
Very little said by Mayor Paul Soglin and his challenger, Alder Scott Resnick, was uttered without interruption. That caused frustration from both the candidates and some spectators, who simply chose to leave.
"Remember, Young, Gifted and Black is a direct action organization - meaning that our main objective is to cause disruption," said Brandi Grayson, co-founder of the YGBC.
Grayson believes her group has no other choice but to employ that method.
"It's important for people to understand that the black community in Dane County and the State of Wisconsin is in a state of emergency," said Grayson. "We are in a crisis, so there's no time for us to be silent or to abide by someone else's definition of order."
"I think their voices need to be heard, but at the same time I think we all need to be respectful with our approach," countered Michael Johnson, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County.
Johnson wants the YGBC to join him in presenting more diplomatic leadership.
"These next three or four weeks are going to be very, very critical for this city and I just hope that no matter what happens that we don't allow this issue to divide this city," said Johnson.
But Grayson says no thank you, feeling that approach has gotten the black community nowhere in Dane County.
"We've been engaging in the same conversations with no or little results and, not only that, but disparity rates have increased in our attempts to address them," said Grayson.
Can't Find Something?
5727 Tokay Blvd., Madison, WI 53719
News Tips: 608-273-2727 or email@example.com