Democratic state rep alleges racism in lawsuit against ODP, chairman Chris Redfern

Today’s post was shared by The Workers’ Injury Law & Advocacy Group and comes from www.dispatch.com

Jenna Watson | Dispatch
State Rep. John E. Barnes, D-Cleveland, listens to attorney Donal Brey talk during a press conference.

State Rep. John E. Barnes wanted to talk to the Democratic House leader about his committee assignments after the 2010 election, but he says that he was instead told to make that request through the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus.

Barnes is black, but the Cleveland Democrat said he did not see any value in joining the Black Caucus. He called the organization’s “moral compass” troubling, and he “wanted to be treated as an individual rather than as a member of a presumed monolithic block of votes based upon his skin color.”

White Democrats, Barnes said, could simply let their committee preferences be known, while black lawmakers had to go through the Black Caucus.

“There should not be a process where there’s a certain procedure that John has to follow because he’s an African-American legislator,” Barnes told reporters yesterday as he discussed an unusual defamation lawsuit he filed this week against the Ohio Democratic Party and its outgoing chairman, Chris Redfern.

“I understand the focus is, you want to have people where you can manage them like they’re on a plantation. That’s…

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