Creole-only mayoral debate raises concerns
People in the Spring Valley community are upset about a debate in which the only non-Haitian candidate in the Democratic primary race for mayor was not invited.
Bernard Charles Jr., who is African-American, believes organizers’ decision to hold the Thursday debate entirely in Creole and not invite him was exclusionary.
The five candidates who were invited are Haitian-American.
Cassandra Edwards, a village community activist, was disturbed by the whole thing.
“I think it clearly defines that people are not interested in working from a multicultural perspective. People are interested in working from their own agendas, which excludes the majority of the community … . It blows my mind,” she said yesterday.
Spring Valley — a village of about 25,000 people — is home to a significant number of Haitians.
Organizers haven’t responded to calls seeking comment, but some debaters said they didn’t believe any wrong had been done, pointing out that various ethnic groups have held discussions about politics or other issues in their native tongues.
To read my earlier story about the incident, click here.