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Greater Metro

Whalum labels NAACP support of sales tax hike ‘heartbreaking’

The Rev. Dr. Kenneth T. Whalum Jr. – taking advantage of social media – has sent out word that he finds the Memphis Branch-NAACP's support of the proposed half-cent sales tax increase "heartbreaking."

"It's heartbreaking to read about Memphis' oldest and most revered civil rights organization gathered in their corporate offices on Vance Avenue to announce their support for a county-wide half-cent sales tax increase that may or may not be used to fund what is referred to as "universal pre-k education," wrote Whalum in a message widely distributed on Wednesday.

Neighbors of the NAACP are struggling to pay tax on "a Hershey's candy bar, or a bottle of Jungle Juice," he added. "I went into a sundry store around the corner from NAACP offices yesterday and was greeted by a little toddler holding her hand out."

According to Whalum, a member of the Shelby County Unified School Board, it's heartbreaking to know that the people who should be fighting for the citizens who live in and around Vance Avenue, and in Foote Homes, are standing with those who have no idea what a struggle it is to just survive every day.

"It's too bad those citizens don't have the benefit of corporate galas to pay their bills," he wrote. "But what's most heartbreaking of all is to hear NAACP leaders say, with straight faces, that raising the sales tax on people who can't afford to pay it will 'save the soul of Memphis.'"

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