Rev/Dr. Anika Whitfield wrote the following letter to newly re-elected Governor Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas about the failed state takeover of the Little Rock School District, whose only purpose was to take away any democratic control of the district’s public schools by its residents. Dr. Whitfield is both a podiatrist and a minister, so she is Rev/Dr.

Rev/Dr. Whitfield is included in my new book “Slaying Goliath” as a hero of the Resistance to Privatization. She stands up to the Governor and the Waltons, who think they own the state as their private plantation. She shows time and again that one person can make a difference; one person can organize Resistance; one person can speak out for justice and demand it and eventually they will be heard.


Governor Hutchinson,
Two days prior to being sworn in for your second and final term as Governor of Arkansas, KATV-7 interviewed you and captured you sharing this quoted statement:

“He said, ‘Well, I have to look forward to the swearing in, just to have that mark where you have another 4 years to serve the people of this state. But also, it’s just affirming to know that they said you’ve had 4 years, we think you’ve done a good job, we want you again.'”

Sadly, we, the LRSD community, do not have the same assessment of your leadership.  Good is not the adjective we would use. We have experienced four years of you serving as a the leader of an evil, politically and economically driven abduction and seizure of the LRSD our local, political, and economic power.  Rather than serving The People of Little Rock, you have reverted to enslaving us, keeping tax paying residents from our local ability to provide our children, our schools, our neighborhoods and community with the type of compassion, protection and oversight needed to protect our beloved community from the violence we have been forced to endure at the control of your political, economic, and racial whips and lynching.
And, Little Rock is not the only city suffering from your style of leadership. Pine Bluff, and several other AR Delta cities can testify to the same or similar abuses at the control of your hands.
We have had enough!  
The insurrection of your violent and abusive leadership is coming. Your violent actions are making fertile ground for persons of diverse backgrounds and experiences to join together in solidarity to take back what is rightfully ours and should have never been taken from The People in the first place.   You can look at the state board of education meetings (that you did not attend) that were held in Little Rock these past three weeks and see the diversity, yet strong unity in our powerful presence and voices. 
We will no longer allow you to sale our public schools, drive our students and good teachers away, and cover up the gross neglect and violence that has occurred at the state and district levels under your slave master leadership.
We won’t stand four more years of your abuse. 
We will not stand for four more years of your unwarranted control of our children’s present and future fate, our school’s present/future fate, our neighborhoods and cities present/future fate, and visible attacks on the health and well being of the African American/Black, Latinx, poor, and uninsured living in Little Rock (in Pine Bluff, and other cities in the AR Delta). 
We are aware of your tax cuts and breaks that only further the expansion of greed allowing your wealthy political donors to take over land, property, schools, and neighborhoods  allowing them to avoid paying property taxes, and even by giving incentives and awards for those who are renaming formerly predominately low income (but historically rich) African American/Black owned neighborhoods and communities. 
The harm you have caused Arkansans under your four years and eight months of “leadership” is visible, palpable and unconscionable.  
We have students all over Arkansas afraid to go to school and parents afraid to go to work because you refused to declare Arkansas a Sanctuary State. 
We have requested on numerous occasions meetings with you and your appointed official, Commissioner Johnny Key, and both of you refused to do so until we called upon our elected Senators and Representatives, with you only conceding to give us one visit each.
We are no longer asking that you do us no more harm, we are demanding that you STOP your violence against us!
Give the LRSD back now!
Rev./Dr. Anika T. Whitfield 
Despite her fervent plea, the state board voted to continue state control of the Little Rock School District. One member also proposed disbanding the Little Rock teachers’ union. The motion received a second and will likely pass at the board’s next meeting.
Dr. Whitfield wrote:
The Arkansas State Board of Education voted unanimously to keep our schools under some sort of state control even after January 28, 2020.  They have adopted the draft as their working plan at today’s meeting despite the public outcries to discuss the draft further as it still has too many uncertainties, variables and undesirable state control even after the “release” of the LRSD.   
After voting to adopt this framework for reconstituting the LRSD, a board member made a motion to dissolve the Little Rock Education Association (our largest teachers/educators union).  The motion was not called for a vote, but did receive a second.  They adjourned the meeting and will vote on dissolving our union at their next meeting in October.
It is time for moral fusion, direct, non-violent, civil disobedience action!
I am also including the articles from the Arkansas Times State proposes limited return of LR school control, begins move to oust teachers union – Arkansas Times