Transcript: Tomzak's "Poor Little Black Girls" Speech

Tomzak criticizes NAACP for failing to provide leadership in the wake of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination, highlighting plight of teenage pregnancy among "poor little black girls."

Editor's Note: The following is transcribed directly from audio recorded at last night's city council meeting.

Mayor Thomas Tomzak: This coming Monday we're going to honor a great American patriot, a man who has made a tremendous difference in our country, Reverend Martin Luther King. What he did was expose a blemish on our country, in reality, tested what America is all about, and demonstrated the denial of the American dream to many based on race was just not viable.

I still remember Reverend King walking arm in arm gentlemen that reminded me of my grandfather, facing dogs, water cannons, batons, and always peacefully risking their lives so that the American dream would be advanced to all. I sometimes wonder what the world would be like without Martin Luther King, or what America would be like when I see the violence in Northern Ireland and other parts of the country where rights are denied based upon religion or race. But thank God for Martin Luther King, and we will rightly observe his life this coming Monday.

My political awakening began in the mid to late 60s during this tumultuous time, and it's when I entered health care where I first became aware of racism and deep poverty. I particularly saw the dynamics of poor women and poor little girls, especially poor little black girls who had come from so little, had so little self esteem, saw so little options and were so often victimized and condemned for lives of poverty as were their children.

And I thought that the work that Doctor King was doing and all of the programs that have taken place in America, that this type of dynamic, this type of human tragedy, would be a thing of the past by the turn of the century.

Unfortunately for America, and especially for women and poor little black girls, Doctor King was killed. And with his death, the momentum to reform behavior that kept poor little girls of all persuasions, especially poor little black girls with children, in the cycle of poverty stopped and has not been restarted.

Poor little girls, especially poor little black girls, are not just victimized by black males, but are victimized by a variable rainbow coalition of bums.

In this annual celebration which Doctor King deserves, he will be honored with praise and ceremony. But I think Doctor King would be more honored by substantive actions that break cycles of poverty and abuse and cycles of poverty in children.

I've attended many Martin Luther King functions over the last eight years, and I still cringe every time I hear a leader of the NAACP saying that he's disgusted with the fact that the lack of reading in the third grade was a risk factor for imprisonment.

Well the fact of the matter is that is a disgusting statistic, it's particularly disgusting in 2011, and it's a statistic that reflects neglect, irresponsibility and bad decisions.

When a child leaves a nursery in 2012 in Fredericksburg, Virginia, because of Doctor King, it does not matter the ethnicity of the child. The child has the same chance as everybody else. But the environment that the child goes to is what's going to determine its failure of lack of it. And there's been no contemporary leadership from the NAACP to modify the behavior that results in child neglect.

Besides the lack of action regarding poor little girls and poor little black girls, there are other concerns of reactionary racial attitudes of the NAACP and community leaders and now the leadership of the local Democratic party in this city.

I was approached by a senior official in the school administration a while back that wanted to discuss racism in Fredericksburg. The concern of the school official was based on the fact that entertainer named Johnny Legend was driving through Fredericksburg late at night, became lost, stopped and asked directions and was told by somebody–to paraphrase–to go to Hades. This was reported by Channel 4 in Washington D.C. The man who contacted me, and I said: You've got to be kidding, somebody from Washington, D.C., worried about this?

Look at Dunbarton High School.

Then the school official cites this example and the example of the new theater complex out in Spotsylvania that was going to have a confederate war symbol on it. That was an example of racism to this school official, that's frightening.

I said I'll be glad to talk about this in public when I call the official back. I've not heard heard anything else since.

The other incident, is recently—we tried—Fredericksburg wanted to get out of the, wanted to bail out of the federal requirement that we had to notify the Justice Department, and use staff time to notify the Justice Department, and wait 60 minutes [sic] so that we can change a polling place in this town.

We went through this when we changed a polling place in Walker Grant to another church. This bailout has been challenged by the NAACP community leaders and the local Democratic leadership.

I think that this challenge, to this bailout, is an insult to the citizens of Fredericksburg.

What it accuses us, is of blatant racism. I think the NAACP, community leaders, and the leadership of the Democratic Party, owe the citizens of Fredericksburg a real apology.

Again. Martin Luther King should be honored. But as a health care provider, women, particularly for poor women in my current role as mayor, I call upon the NAACP, Democratic leadership, and community leaders to recognize the need, the special need of poor little girls, especially poor little black girls.

Martin Luther King said he hopes to see a day when man would be judged by his character and not the color of his skin. And I agree. We have too many men of low character abusing our young girls in this community.

I call upon the above mentioned to stop enabling male irresponsibility that condemns poor little girls, especially poor little black girls and their children, to cycles of poverty.

In 2012, let's honor Dr. King by building upon his success and doing what it takes working together to break the cycles of poverty.

Thank you.

Shawna January 11, 2012 at 02:30 PM
Oh my! Was no one available to read this speech before it was delivered?
Ty Johnson January 11, 2012 at 02:34 PM
The mayor's comments are dead on, but too raw for the "NAACP and the Democratic party." MLKjr would be appalled to see how desegregation has diminished the viability of the public school system; how welfare has impoverished the minority communities; and that the governments of the USA praise diversity based on race or sex. What happened to diversity of capability, of skills, of what someone brings to a job or issue to accomplish a task? Isn’t that more valuable than what is their sex, or skin color – two issues that they cannot change, but makes no difference as to their character or capability? As the mayor stated, MLKjr wanted to be judged on the content of his character. Truly, his approach to protest was a testament to his. There is no way that providing something to anyone based on his/her race or sex is what MLKjr wanted or was attempting to do. Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Julian Bond, Maxine Waters and other black “leaders” soil the memory and legacy of MLKjr. When men like Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, or Alan Keys speak out against Jackson, Sharpton, Bond or Waters, they are called Uncle Toms or Oreos when in fact it is the Jacksons, Sharptons, Bonds and Waters that are hobbling the minority communities, and inciting tension between the races. Without the discord they create, feed and nurture, they are powerless, and those who enable them and entertain for what they stand are just as guilty as are they. Good job Mr. Mayor!!
Andrew C. Yancey January 11, 2012 at 03:33 PM
Mr. Ty Johnson; The mayor is right about the cycle of abuse and poverty of young girls/women. However he thinks it only applies to blacks. What a croc! What did his administrations do to help change this? What jobs or job training did he procure to help alleviate this condition? What educational or psychological help did he provide to these girls/women? What coordinated efforts between his administration and the civic groups in the community did he pursue to help change minds and attitudes of the perps who abuse and those who are abused? Blaming the NAACP for his lack of efforts is shameful. I reject his and your comments as racist in nature and not conducive to resolving the problems that exist throughout our community. Andrew C. Yancey
howard January 11, 2012 at 04:00 PM
I have been a resident of Fredericksburg a little over 2 years. I attended the meeting in which the city wanted to 'bailout'. The rationale and cost benefit were both insufficient to take this action. To me as a citizen, it is definitely not an 'insult' so I'm not sure what the mayor bases his opinion on. The registrar was unable to present a valid case based on the number of instances in which DOJ interface was required- and the estimated cost of that interface. The attorney serving as consultant was never totally clear concerning who was funding his efforts. With all of the things happening in the city, for the management and leadership of Fredericksburg to focus on this action- was a tremendous waste of resource. The bulk of the meeting was focused on the experience of some other locations which had zero relevance to Fredericksburg- but it did serve to limit the time allowed for questions, (they were not allowed until the end of the meeting). Some of the senior citizens, who have lived here and experienced various things with the leadership of the city, were very distrustful. SO for the mayor to 'spin' their experience and distrust into 'an insult' to the citizens of Fredericksburg- to me reflects an attitude that not only isn't respectful, it's deceptive.
stonewallpark January 11, 2012 at 04:22 PM
I think Mayor Tomzak was right on with what he said.We need more people to stand up for what is right and not be worried about what any group may think.Everyone today can be successfull if they will work hard and no one should have a free ride.People need to choose what they want out of life,you get what you put in to it.Thank you , Mayor Tomzak for speaking the truth.
Ty Johnson January 11, 2012 at 05:57 PM
The Mayor, like every other taxpaying citizen, provided public schooling for the “young” people of Fredericksbrug – regardless of their race, ethnicity or sex. He, like all taxpayers, provided the opportunity to excel. Their choice to propagate was theirs. Public schools provide sex education that tells them about contraceptives. We can’t tell them about abstinence, but we can tell them how to do it and not get pregnant. If they don’t listen, why should any government be responsible for their actions? This is the same mindset that justified the Wall Street bailouts (The Wall Street big shots screwed up, so the government must bail them out). How is the Wall Street bailout any different than what you’re espousing? Why is it the government’s job to employ or pay for everybody? From where does the governments of the USA obtain their money if not from the taxpayer, and you only pay taxes if you work, and if you work, you should only obtain that you can afford. If my wife and I could not have afforded children, we would not have had them (which we did only after we were married). When is the individual responsible for his or her actions?
Ty Johnson January 11, 2012 at 05:57 PM
My comments were and are not racist, yet you see them that way because it seems that you view your world through a tainted lens. This country owns no one anything other than an equal opportunity. No one can be discriminated against for any reason (yet the federal government promotes and touts affirmative action and diversity (i.e., quotas)). If where someone lives means that they cannot succeed, then it is not the government’s task to do any more than “. . . establish justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of Liberty . . .” Such actions ensures we are all equal.
Ty Johnson January 11, 2012 at 05:57 PM
Therefore, if change needs to come about, then where are our churches (remember, we must keep God out of schools)? Where are groups like The National Organization for Women (NOW), and The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)? What are they doing to stem the tide that is facing our young women? I read the mayor’s comments about “young black women” to mean that that segment of the population is the most prevalent and susceptible to cyclical poverty, and as we near MLKjr’s holiday, it was probably recognition that MLKjr wouldn’t want it that way!
Ty Johnson January 11, 2012 at 05:58 PM
As far as Jackson, Sharpton, Bonds and Waters goes; Why is it that Maxine Waters only is interested in why blacks are unemployed? Does she only represent the blacks that live in her district/State/country, or is she a representative “of the people”? Does that mean that the two senators from her state (who are both white) should only represent whites? OR that the representative in her neighboring congressional district (who is white or Hispanic) should only represent or be concerned with whites or Hispanics who are out of work? Well, since she only asked about what is being done to help blacks get back to work, I guess that is okay and the proper thing to do. That is the height of hypocrisy!
Lindsay January 11, 2012 at 06:12 PM
Thank you, Mr. Yancey, for calling out Mayor Tomzak & the other commenters on their privilege.
Rebecca January 11, 2012 at 07:00 PM
Thank you, Mr. Yancey, for your comment to Mr. Ty Johnson. I had honestly thought I might be reading something from MLK Jr.'s period in time before I realized the date on the comments was 2012. I work in Human Services and see equal parts of most every nationality/race/religion, etc. walk through my doors on a daily basis. Poverty, illness, lack of education know no boundaries and neither should the help afforded these subjects. It should not be the job of the NAACP alone to fix problems the entire make-up of a country has caused. Rebecca Wareham
Ty Johnson January 11, 2012 at 07:55 PM
Rebecca - it is nice to hear that you'll be signing over you tax refund checks to the governments that over collected. Remember, the governments set the minimum you have to pay in taxes. All of them will accept donations of any amount into their coffers. If government should be the parent for us all, then ensure that they (government) can fulfill their requirements (as you and Mr. Yancey feel) and provide them with your personal hard earn money to accomplish that task! Practice what you preach, or please, stiffle yourself!
Paul January 12, 2012 at 02:36 AM
Mayor Tomzak is an idiot and anyone who thinks the way he does is naive. My thought is why are non blacks always worried about what blacks are doing in the first place? The way he repeatedly went back to "poor little black girls" was very offensive. Dr. King's message was intended for all impoverished people. Mayor Tomzak just used the occasion to spew racist views on his way out of office. I may not be a historian but im quite sure the educational system in the city as well as the country was not a product of the mayor or his administration. To imply that young black males somehow play an abusive role towards "poor little black girls' is a sweeping generalization that is nothing but an opinion. Bottom line.. most of you need to assess your own problems before pointing the finger at the NAACP, Al Sharpton, Jessie Jackson or whomever you all think is the appointed spokesperson for black people. I bet you can not even quote one thing either person has said without going to google, yet you all hold such hatred towards them. I could go on but why? You all have your low opinions of blacks in general. We all are on welfare, poor, lazy, abusive, etc. Live in your world and enjoy it.. One last thing. I pay my share of taxes that go to things that I do not approve of. To suggest that I sign over my refund check (which I for one dont ever seem to get) for further services is just retarted.
Greg January 12, 2012 at 02:42 AM
This is way more than bad editing it's psycho-babble. Anybody checked his meds? If this is a real speech by the mayor of Fredericksburg, God help us.
Ty Johnson January 12, 2012 at 03:15 PM
Paul – you’re not seeing the forest for the trees. Re-read and think a little harder about what the mayor said, then put it into context with the upcoming MLKjr holiday. As for Jackson/Sharpton, each grabs the microphone and speaks on behalf of the “black community” yet no one else steps in front of the mic and says “He is wrong to do what he did. He does not speak for blacks. He is only speaking for himself.” A great way to put the issue to bed – have the NAACP tell them to shut up and sit down, but since that hasn’t happened for over 40 years, I guess it never will. Case and point! As far as committing to memory the drivel that the self-proclaimed, and unchallenged black leaders espouse, it is so biased, so racist that MLKjr would probably have a very hard time justifying how his efforts in the ‘60’s was meant to establish quotas, and for “diversity” to be why someone is, or isn’t hired or approved for a loan, or admission to college. Go back and listen and read MLKjr’s speeches. If MLKjr didn’t want his children to be judged by the color of their skin, then why would he want them to be given preference because of the color of their skin? Isn’t that racism in and of itself? Until Jackson, Sharpton, et al. are called out by those whom they profess to represent, what is the other ethnic groups in the country supposed to think and how should they view the black community?
Ty Johnson January 12, 2012 at 03:16 PM
The mayor also stated that there was a “rainbow coalition of bums,” and not only “young black males.” As far as the school system, no one said the mayor established them; Again, re-read the mayor’s comments, and once you can understand their context, read everyone’s comments. You said “retarted”? If you meant “retarded,” that is a hurtful and inappropriate word to use to describe anyone. It is a demeaning slur and you sir should be ashamed of yourself.
Marcie Floyd Tanner January 13, 2012 at 02:29 PM
The fact that we are having this "conversation" is ridiculous. This is what is wrong with the world, i.e., every one against each other. The bottom line comes down to this.... children are having children, because that is what they see in their families before them, children who are having children are looking for someone to love and to receive that love back. Sex Education begins at home. Parents should watch what goes on in their own homes, and not worry about other peoples homes. Just because you were born in "poverty" does not mean you have to remain in poverty. My husband and I have worked for everything we have, it was never given to us, nor will it be given to our children. Teaching morals, ethics and telling the truth has been forgotten by many, and what a shame. Teaching our children to respect each other is the key, but how can that be done, if the parents don't respect each other? We are a family of multiple races and we are teaching our children to understand right from wrong, not color vs. color.
Ty Johnson January 17, 2012 at 12:56 AM
You're dead on! However, until we do away with affirmative action, quotas, and national black history month; national pacific islander month; nationals Hispanic month, womens history month, et al., we're never going to meld into a singular society. That goes with language as well. All people in the USA need to read and write the same language as a matter of conducting business within the USA borders. Why we as a national cannot stand and say that English is the national language shows just what is wrong with our society and why we shall live again the Tower of Babel. Which goes to my original point; "leaders" like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Julian Bonds and Maxine Waters do not seek to bring us together. They seek to drive us apart and to see each other as individuals of different ethnicities, and not as Americans! What I cannot comprehend is why do people continue to give credence to them? Why not tell them to shut up and go away?! Instead, we kowtow to every little complaint they have.
Marcie Floyd Tanner January 17, 2012 at 03:00 PM
I know I am dead on. My first grade son tells me everyday about what they are learning and we see in his daily papers, as well. During the month of December, he learned about being Jewish and African-American, and they even sang songs from other countries during a performance. I don't understand why we are making such a big deal of these things. I'm Catholic, oh, well, according to most, "oh, that's why you have so many children." lol We are who we are, there is no denying that, I was born a mutt, and I will die a mutt, but I am an American, first and foremost. When we finally get that through our heads and teach our children to be proud of who they are, then we have succeeded as parents, and Americans.
Ty Johnson January 18, 2012 at 09:02 PM
PAUL - here is an example of what I'm saying about quotas, and "affirmative action." A close friendapplied for a job, and she was given this statement: Executive Order 11246 requires Government contractors to take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and that employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. We have a policy of Affirmative Action to ensure that all employees, as well as applicants for employment, are treated fairly, with dignity and personal respect. Submission of this information is voluntary and refusal to provide it will not subject you to any adverse treatment. Information you submit will be kept confidential, except that Government officials engaged in enforcing laws administered by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance may be informed. The information provided will be used only in ways that are not inconsistent with Executive Order 11246, as amended. IF YOU CHOOSE NOT TO SELF-IDENTFY YOUR RACE/ETHNICITY AT THIS TIME, THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT REQUIRES US TO DETERMINE THIS INFORMATION BY VISUAL SURVEY AND/OR OTHER AVAILABLE INFORMATION. Any questions? Why is this information important if all the company is trying to do is hire the best and brightest?


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