Commissioners Take Human Rights Worker’s Comments on Racism Under Advisement

Mashpee Police Chief Rodney Collins talks about community policing as Elenita Muniz, coordinator of the Barnstable County Human Rights Commission; John Reed, chair of the Human Rights Commission, and District Attorney Michael O'Keefe look on.

Mashpee Police Chief Rodney Collins talks about community policing as Elenita Muniz, coordinator of the Barnstable County Human Rights Commission; John Reed, chair of the Human Rights Commission, and District Attorney Michael O’Keefe look on.

BARNSTABLE – Elenita Muniz is still on the job as Barnstable County Human Rights Commission Coordinator after controversial comments she made at a forum last week at Cape Cod Community College.

Barnstable County Commission Chair Mary (Pat) Flynn said, “It’s obviously an inflammatory issue and sometimes that isn’t always the best thing. But people who are very strong advocates and activists when it comes to human rights, that’s who they are. And they espouse those very basic principles of human rights and that’s who she is.”

Muniz said she and all white people are racist, even if they are unaware of it, based on unconscious opinions they have that come from the culture.

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Muniz had tendered a letter of resignation on Monday but reconsidered on Tuesday. Yesterday she explained her comments to the County Commissioners who oversee the Human Rights Commission.

After the meeting, Flynn said, “I think what we have to look at is the mission of the human rights commission and what it does, what her contract says she should do or should not do and how we move forward and that’s what we plan to do hopefully over the next two and a half weeks.”

About 50 people turned out to the county commissioners’ meeting protest efforts to oust Muniz and to speak in favor of her staying in her position.

Flynn said that while the county commissioners do not agree with what Muniz said at the college forum, she was speaking from the heart.

“It’s very sad when things like this happen. Sometimes people say things. But I think she was very firm and those are her convictions and that’s what she stated. She said what she believes and we just have to work with her on that,” Flynn said.

Flynn said the commissioners will make a decision on Muniz’s job status at their next meeting on January 2.

To listen to some of Elenita Muniz’s comments made at the Human Rights forum at Cape Cod Community College, click below.