|Oakland Councilmember Desley Brooks|
OAKLAND CITY COUNCIL |
At this moment in time, Oakland Councilmember Desley Brooks does not have the moral authority to be calling people out, but that didn’t stop her Tuesday from suggesting Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf is dismissive of minorities in her city.
“I would love to see the day Libby Schaaf puts her white privilege aside,” Brooks said Tuesday afternoon during an Oakland City Council’s Community and Economic Development Committee.
Brooks also alleged Schaaf runs her administration like a “fiefdom.” Schaaf was in attendance for the meeting, moved to the larger City Council chambers, and at one point Brooks turned toward the mayor and directly addressed her criticisms.
|Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf|
Brooks was dismayed over a revelation learned during the hearing that a grant writer hired by Schaaf’s office had failed to submit paperwork that could result in as much as $2 million in grants reserved for job training programs for the city’s youth. Beforehand, Brooks and others in attendance alleged Schaaf’s office was cutting job training programs accessed in great numbers by minority groups.
Brooks’ comments come amid allegations she assaulted famed civil rights icon Elaine Brown last October at a downtown restaurant. Brown, 72, a former president of the Black Panthers Party, filed a $7 million lawsuit against the city for Brooks’ action, which has resulted in injuries to Brown. Last week, at a 50th anniversary celebration of the Black Panther’s founding, Brown was seen with a sling cradling her arm.
However, Brooks’ “white privilege” comment did not out of the blue. Earlier in the meeting, Schaaf made reference to the term. “I am very conscious of my privilege because of my race,” Schaaf told the committee. “I do not apologize for putting people of color in front of me”