The Dayton Tea Party doesn’t want to meet privately with Huber Heights city officials after the group alleged that Councilwoman Lu Dale made racist comments to one of its members at the city’s Star Spangled Heights celebration at Thomas Cloud Park.
Marie Quinney-McKinley — a member of the Dayton Tea Party — filed a formal complaint with the city Aug. 2 claiming that Dale made racist comments to her, and Huber Heights Mayor Ron Fisher responded with a written request Aug. 17 to meet privately to discuss the alleged incident.
Both women are black . Dale did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
“I wouldn’t have a problem to meet privately if the situation happened in a private setting,” said Quinney-McKinley, a Huber Heights resident said of the June 30 incident. “It was done in a public setting, so I believe it should be taken into a public setting. Other people were there looking at me, and I was somewhat embarrassed. I’m not going to go behind closed doors and have this swept under the rug. All I asked for was an apology because I was humiliated.”
The Huber Heights Liberty Group purchased booth space at the event for $100, and according to her complaint to the city, Quinney-McKinley — a member of the liberty group — claims Dale made several offensive comments to her.
In a three-minute conversation, Dale allegedly told Quinney-McKinley that the Tea Party is “nothing but a bunch of racists” and that President Barack Obama is “not liked by the Tea Party because he is black.”
“She goes on to tell me I have no business in joining a racist radical group and that she needed to talk to me about this,” Quinney-McKinley said in the complaint. “I feel this type of discussion by anyone that represents the city of Huber Heights is totally inappropriate, unprofessional, and completely out of line.”
Fisher’s letter to Quinney-McKinley said he wanted to discuss the allegations and resolve the issue to the mutual satisfaction of both sides.
Council rules state that once a formal written complaint is filed, a resolution that will take longer than 10 business days requires an interim response. Fisher’s letter on Aug. 17 served as an interim response, and he hoped to complete the disposition by Aug. 31. A meeting has not been scheduled yet despite an attempt by the clerk of city council to schedule a date.
Fisher said Dale told him that this is all a misunderstanding.
“To me, everything is hearsay,” Fisher said Wednesday. “I haven’t sat down with anyone. They feel like they deserve a public apology, and that sounds like they want to make a political statement. Whatever Lu said, she has to answer for. I don’t know what she said. I wasn’t there.”
Don Birdsall, president of the Dayton Tea Party, spoke to City Council at its July 23 meeting about the incident, but was interrupted by Fisher and told the public forum was not the place to address the matter.
“We want to educate them. We’re not a racist organization. We’re trying to slay the stereotypes,” Birdsall said earlier this week. “… We want to call attention that some people elected to public office behave irresponsibly in their positions.”
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