Statement from NAACP New England re: NH bill HB 544
Letter from the NAACP NEW ENGLAND AREA CONFERENCE
Juan M. Cofield, President
West Roxbury, MA
May 13, 2021
The Honorable Linda Harriott-Gathright
New Hampshire State Representative
New Hampshire State Senate
New Hampshire State House
107 N. Main Street
Concord, NH 03301-6312
Dear Representative Harriott-Gathright:
As you are aware, The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), New England Area Conference (NEAC), is the governing and coordinating entity of the NAACP for Branches in the states of Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont. NEAC has the sole authority to advocate for state legislative and policy issues within above named states on behalf of the NAACP.
Pursuant to said authority, NEAC has voted unanimously to formally oppose the “Divisive Concept” language and its ramifications in Budget Bill HB 2 Amendment and in the standalone bill HB 544. Further, I delegate my authority to you to represent NEAC’s position on this matter to both Houses of the NH legislature and in any public forums, as the opportunity may arise.
The amendment and bill protect those who benefit from maintaining a status quo that denies history, silences lived experience, and keeps communities divided. The Divisive Concepts thought reflects an actual concept to deny the extent of harm caused by institutional and historical inequities. It continues to perpetuate such harm and it, in and of itself, is divisive and harmful to New Hampshire citizens.
Your prompt attention will be greatly appreciated.
Juan M. Cofield
cc: Linda Gathright, President, NAACP, Greater Nashua Area Branch
James T. McKim, Jr., President, NAACP, Manchester Branch
James E. Kaddy, President, NAACP, Seacoast Area Branch