Staff at the Metro Nashville Health Department on Wednesday confirmed that its Director of Health Equity Stephanie Kang told department employees via email that the not guilty verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial was an injustice.
Metro Nashville Health Department spokesman Brian Todd told The Tennessee Star that the email, which WTN host Brian Wilson read on his radio show Tuesday, was authentic.
Kang, in the email, described Rittenhouse as “a young white man who shot and killed two people and wounded one other.”
Of the not-guilty verdict, Kang wrote:
We recognize that these injustices can cause distress and harm for BIPOC communities and exacerbate trauma instilled daily through acts of racism and the pervasiveness of white supremacy and oppression. We must move forward collectively to disrupt systemic racism and reaffirm our shared values of equity and inclusion publicly and through practice.
MPHD is committed to providing a space for healing for anyone struggling to process, experiencing distress, and/or needs additional resources to support their colleagues. If you are feeling impacted by these events, please do not hesitate to reach out to the Director, Dr. Gill Wright III, Deputy Director, Dr. Melva Black, or the Bureau Director of Health Equity, Dr. Stephanie Kang.
Merriam-Webster defines BIPOC as Black, Indigenous, People of Color.
Metro Nashville At-Large Council Member Steve Glover on Wednesday called Kang’s email “sickening.”
“The American people found him not guilty. Why does our liberal government in Nashville decide they have to make a point of something there really is no point to be made of and go out of their way to spend taxpayer dollars [on it]? It is beyond my comprehension,” Glover told The Star.
“They go farther and farther left every time we turn around, and they will continue doing it until people in Nashville wake up and start electing moderates or conservatives. This is what you get when you elect these kinds of folks.”
Metro Nashville Health Department officials hired Kang in July, according to Kang’s LinkedIn page. Kang received a doctorate from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Stephanie Kang” by Stephanie Kang. Background Photo “Nashville City Hall” by Nicolas Henderson. CC BY 2.0.