Civil Right to Remain Silent

It turns out the “he” hired by the Cedar Rapids Civil Rights Commission a couple weeks ago is Karl Cassell, director of the Jane Boyd Community House. But if you’re hoping to hear wisdom from the new executive director, you’ll have to wait. From this morning’s Gazette:

The Cedar Rapids Civil Rights Commission last night introduced Karl Cassell, executive director of the Jane Boyd Community House, as its new executive director – then denied all interviews.

Cassell, 34, who was born in Liberia and grew up in Cedar Rapids, is scheduled to start his new job Dec. 15. He has helmed operations at Jane Boyd since May 2004.

Commission Chairwoman Miriam Amer said last night she would not allow The Gazette to interview Cassell because all of the paperwork had not been signed.

Cassell said last night he did not feel he could speak until after he takes office.

 For those of us hoping that the new director will be a strong presence that could grab the reins and steer the commission out of the ditch, this was a disappointing introduction. Will Cassell he be a forceful voice for change or will he only speak up when when the commission allows it?

I guess that will be something to ask Cassell when the chairwoman finally allows him to be interviewed.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Civil Right to Remain Silent

  1. Steve

    Lest we speak on something of importance, the clampers have been applied by the people writing the check. We must apply muzzle and keep Cedar Rapids under thumb and as silent as the City Council responses to the public. A neccessary evil to keep “the unwashed” at bay and the trains running on time. Thanks Benito! We needed that requirement for a “Civil Rights” Director! How else can we keep landlords happy?

  2. Marcy

    I actually grew up with Karl and went to school with him from kindergarten to high school. He is a very strong and intelligent man and even though I haven’t talked to him in a very long time, I, personally, am very proud of his appointment and I know he will be a strong advocate for civil rights in this community.

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