The NAACP San Diego Branch is seeking an explanation from the county’s Board of Supervisors after they say they were censored at a public meeting when they tried to make a presentation about racist social media posts allegedly shared by a county housing specialist employee.
The Facebook posts attributed to Dwight Flesher, who is responsible for helping low-income residents obtain Section 8 housing, targeted Black, Hispanic, Muslim and immigrant communities. Such posts included an altered image of Sen. Kamala Harris as a prostitute, a cartoon insulting Islam and Muhammad and false information about undocumented immigrants. There was also a picture shared that called for April to be recognized as “Confederate History Month.”
The civil rights group was made aware of the posts after they received a complaint about Flesher along with some screenshots of his social media, according to NAACP San Diego Branch Acting President Francine Maxwell. After searching through a Facebook page attributed to him, the organization decided to present their evidence to the San Diego Board of Supervisors at a public meeting on Feb. 25.
The Board of Supervisors initially rejected their request to be heard, according to Maxwell, leaving the organization to split up their presentation between three members during the first set of the public’s comments.
“We’re the oldest civil rights organization and we got denied to say anything in a constituent presentation,” Maxwell told NBC 7.
It was later when they re-watched the public meeting that they say they realized the slideshow in the presentation that showed screenshots of Flesher’s social media posts were not actually shown to the public, according to Maxwell.
“They blocked the public from seeing what we had,” she said. “If you were not in that room, you did not get to see it.”
A spokesperson for Greg Cox, Supervisor of the San Diego Board of Supervisors, denied the Board censored the NAACP's presentation and said the Supervisor had no involvement in the matter. He added that the organization's presentation is available for the public to view on the Board's exhibit/document log.
In a letter sent to Maxwell from Cox, the Supervisor said he will ask county staff for an explanation. He added that the Board takes "this matter seriously."
Cox's spokesperson, as well as County Director of Communications Michael Workman, said an investigation is ongoing into the complaint about Flesher.