the fact that Governor Palin totally disregarded the Juneteenth celebration in 2007, and when she was questioned about it said that it was an administrative oversight, speaks volumes of how disconnected she is when it comes to the African American population in Alaska. Palin should obey all laws not pick and choose.
Washington, DC (PRWEB) April 14, 2009
In the latest development in the brewing federal lawsuit against Alaska Governor Sarah Palin for her snubbing of Alaska's 2007 Juneteenth holiday observance, a former supporter has joined the suit as a co-plaintiff, announces lead plaintiff Gregory Charles Royal.
Kim Chatman, an Alaskan resident, Air Force veteran and mother of six, might seem an unlikely litigant in the suit which claims that Governor Palin violated Alaska law by failing to issue the 2007 Juneteenth Proclamation, because she voted for Palin for governor in 2006 and she is white.
Chatman, seen in this AP file photo, released in a statement that she "has been very active when it comes to history and celebrations regarding African Americans" as well as European and Asian Pacific cultures. Chatman's children, who range in age from 28-11, are bi-racial and her husband is African American.
Chatman's joining in the lawsuit may prove problematic for Governor Palin, because as an Alaskan, Chatman satisfies the issue of legal standing by an Alaska resident, which was absent in the original complaint brought by jazz musician and America's Hot Musician judge Gregory Charles Royal in Washington, DC.
The case, Royal et al v. Sarah Palin (previously filed as 09-cv-0484-new case number 1:09-cv-00428)., was summarized by US District Court Judge Reggie B. Walton in his order last month transferring the case to Alaska.
"This matter comes before the Court on review of plaintiffs pro se complaint. The Court will transfer this case to the United States District Court for the District of Alaska Plaintiff alleges that he his an African-American musical performer, educator, and producer who has traveled to Alaska while touring with the Duke Ellington Orchestra. According to plaintiff, a bill enacted by the Alaska legislature requires that the Governor of Alaska issue a proclamation each year to commemorate Juneteenth. He alleges that Governor Palin not only failed to issue a proclamation in 2007, but also refused to issue a proclamation retroactively. As a result of Governor Palin's inaction, the activities of citizens and civil groups which had celebrated Juneteenth were disrupted, resulting in unrealized event revenues and event cancellations. Plaintiff demands a declaratory judgment, injunctive relief, and damages."
Chatman says, "the fact that Governor Palin totally disregarded the Juneteenth celebration in 2007, and when she was questioned about it said that it was an administrative oversight, speaks volumes of how disconnected she is when it comes to the African American population in Alaska. Palin should obey all laws not pick and choose."
However, Governor Palin's office has pushed back in an email response to Royal's original filing stating that though the failure was a clerical oversight, she is "not aware of any "great distress" in the African-American community of Alaska", and that, "except for those few of you involved in the mudslinging campaign last fall," she is not aware this matter "was ever commented upon by anybody".
"I know there are many Alaskans who would differ and this is precisely why Kim has joined the suit and class action status may be warranted here", says Royal. "The utter disrespect in failing to issue the 2007 Proclamation, even retroactively, is a slap in the face to black people. But then to essentially say 'oops', my bad, it's no big deal, I think shocks the conscience of all people, not to mention undermining the integrity of law."
Royal, a pro se litigant , is gaining a reputation for being creative in the courtroom. He recently made national headlines as perhaps the first person to successfully utilize rap in an appellate brief - see AP/ABC News article: Litigant Rapper Gets Poetic Justice in Wis. Court.
In a related development, National Juneteenth Chairman Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D has requested a meeting with Governor Palin to allow her an opportunity to reconcile the conflict surrounding Juneteenth, stating that in addition to the 2007 failure, Palin "not responding to invitations to participate in the annual Alaska Juneteenth Celebration has created doubts in the minds of Alaska Juneteenth leaders about ever receiving any support for Juneteenth from the governor". Myers, who is Founder & Chairman of the National Juneteenth Holiday Campaign, the National Juneteenth Observance Foundation (NJOF) and the National Juneteenth Christian Leadership Council (NJCLC), will travel to Alaska in May.
Juneteenth, a holiday observance which celebrates the freeing of the last remaining slaves in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865, has been adopted in 30 states and was signed into law in Alaska in 2001. The bill known as HB 100 specifies that the "governor shall issue a proclamation observing the day."
To view the Amended complaint, go to http://americashotmusician.org/files/Palin_Complaint_Federal_Amended.pdf
For a complete background on the case, please see: