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Friday, April 6, 2012

The guy behind the Erroll-Davis-in-a-Klan-robe flier

During last night's rally and public hearing regarding APS's decision to close D.H. Stanton Elementary in Peoplestown, a flier was handed out that depicts African-American interim superintendant Erroll Davis wearing a KKK robe, and holding a gigantic pencil that says, "No white schools closed." Voila ...

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11 Alive news reported that the flier was attributed to Nathaniel Dryer, organizer of Going Against All Odds for our Young People. Well, his name is actually Nathaniel Dyer, and CL spoke with him this afternoon about his controversial handiwork. Dyer, who lives in Washington Park, doesn't have children, but has a background in advertising and design. "I don't have children, but that's no excuse for me not to use my talents, abilities, and time to speak out," Dyer said. "It's all about the children. It's not about me."

Dyer says he doesn't understand why schools are being closed in the southern part of the city when there's so much economic development in progress — the Atlanta Beltline, the new Walmart in English Avenue, Mim's Park in Vine City — unless, of course, race is a factor. "Here's the thing," he says. "Let's look at the history of the United States and of Georgia. If those people [the predominately black school board and superintendant] were all white, and a bunch of black schools were being closed down but none of the white ones were, it would be construed as straight racist, right?"

The flier, he says, is alludes to the history behind decisions like these. Where you used to see a white face, now it's common to see a black one. "All I'm doing is painting a picture. It's not a personal attack on the man — it's about the perception of the decisions he's made."

The full list of APS school closures can be seen here.

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