The Sesame Place ordeal where a pair of Black children were ignored by park character Rosita had everyone, specifically pop superstar Kelly Rowland, up in arms last week.
The good Reverend Jesse Jackson has officially stepped in to add his two cents by penning a letter to the now-disgraced amusement park with hopes of helping them understand that racial discrimination can no longer be tolerated at a place meant to be a safe haven for all children, especially our Black and brown babies.
A tweet sent out last week by attorney Ben Crump shows multiple incidents that clearly show characters ignoring Black kids while lovingly embracing white children, some standing literally arm-to-arm with the ones getting ignored. “In our fight for freedom and equality, we have seen this recent incident with Sesame Place too many times to remember,” Rev. Jackson starts off in his letter to Marc G. Swanson, CEO of Sesame Place’s parent company SeaWorld. He goes on to add in his opening paragraph, “without sincere action from corporations, discriminatory acts always return. Sesame Place, which is owned by SeaWorld has not provided solutions that I trust will eradicate the culture that has stained this theme park with discriminatory practices. We need SeaWorld to take a stance against past practices and do what is necessary to end discriminatory acts at their theme parks.”
Read the rest of his letter below, obtained by TMZ:
“When I saw the now-viral video shared by Jodi Brown, I was shocked but unfortunately not surprised. We have watched discrimination in the form of excessive force by the police, just as we have seen wrongful hiring practices, but to see discrimination against our innocent children is a line that we cannot allow the enemies of progress to think that they can cross. We must collectively let SeaWorld and other companies know that we will not accept racism against anyone and certainly not our innocent children.
SeaWorld has an opportunity to be different than previous companies that have failed when faced with adversity. SeaWorld can turn this negative situation into a positive if they bring forth a sustainable action plan that will be a long-term solution to ending racial discrimination at their theme park. These solutions must include investing in the community financially and equitably by:
- Setting aside a portion of their procurement budget to be spent exclusively on African American businesses;
- Making proactive changes to their employment and hiring practices;
Adding African Americans to its board of directors;
- Doing right by those harmed at Sesame Place.
- Seeking an African American Firm that will procure Cultural and Sensitivity Training for All Staff
I have called the offices of SeaWorld to arrange a meeting with the CEO, Marc Swanson, after meeting with Attorney B’Ivory LaMarr in Memphis, Tennessee. I have encouraged Attorneys LaMarr and Benjamin Crump to continue to fight on behalf of not only their clients but the greater community. I admire their dedication to building community partnerships and their desire to be a solution to helping not only SeaWorld end discriminatory practices in their company but other theme parks as well.
CC: Attorney B’Ivory LaMarr
Attorney Benjamin Crump
Keep Hope Alive!
Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. Founder & President”
Jackson is hoping the letter leads to an in-person conversation with Swanson, which will hopefully be the first steps toward equal treatment at amusement parks everywhere.
If anyone can do it, Uncle Jesse sure can!
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