More than 100 protesters, many of them African-American women, are the latest to call for the removal of Carl Paladino from the Buffalo Board of Education. As WBFO's Eileen Buckley reports, the demonstrators staged a noontime "Oust Paladino" protest in Niagara Square on Tuesday.
Many of the protesters carried signs reading "I am Michelle Obama." They rallied against what they say were racist remarks Paladino made toward President Barack Obama and the First Lady in an Artvoice survey.
“Paladino – Zimbabwe has called. They said that they’re not willing to take you back,” shouted one of the rally speakers.
"Appeal to Mayor Byron Brown to stand with us in this call,” declared Lorna Hill, a community activist. Hill organized the rally.
Hill and protesters are calling on Mayor Byron Brown to petition State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia to remove Paladino.
“This is not an issue of free speech. This is not a First Amendment issue. This is an issue of an elected official who represents the futures of children,” stated Hill.
Hill told the crowd the recent remarks issued by Paladino are not only inappropriate in “public discourse,” but damaging to the “psyche of all children, especially African-American children.”
Late last week, Mayor Brown told WBFO News he wants Paladino to resign. Only the state education commissioner has the power to remove a school board member.
There was a small group of Paladino supporters at the rally. They argued with anti-Paladino protesters saying it's about "education" and "children," not about Paladino.