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NAACP Wants Apology from Denlinger

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 (WRAL-TV5 News)
DURHAM — The election of Ann Denlinger as Durham SchoolSuperintendent earlier this year reflected a school board polarized alongracial lines. Now the local NAACP says it wants an apology from her forremarks she made on a February news broadcast.

The Rev. Curtis Gatewood, president of the Durham chapter of the NAACP,wrote in a letter to Denlinger that he seeks her apology for saying,"I'm not black, will never be black, don't want to be black anymore thanthey want to be white."

Gatewood said the statement was "insulting" to African-Americans.

Denlinger says she doesn't plan to apologize because the comments weretaken out of context, and that they actually reflect her commitment todiversity.

Denlinger's remarks came one day after her election on a 4-3 vote thatsplit along racial lines.

She has said she would be willing to meet with Gatewood, but hasn'tinvited him for a meeting. Gatewood has said he doesn't plan to ask forone.

Allegations have surfaced that Denlinger was insensitive to blacks inWilson, where she formerly worked. Those contentions have been countered,however, by black leaders in that city.

The other finalist for the Durham schools position had been JamesWilson, of Dayton, Ohio, schools, who is black. The NAACP had endorsedhim, saying he was more qualified.

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