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Révolus: Norwalk NAACP ‘a little slack’

Penn-Williams calls for apology, sanction

Common Council member Diana Révolus (D-District B), last summer in the Center for Global Studies.

NORWALK, Conn. — A Democratic Common Council member is facing backlash and questions from fellow Democrats about the beliefs she has expressed on social media.

Council member Diana Révolus (D-District B) recently posted a meme about the NAACP on a Facebook page she posts to under a pseudonym. It took the initials for the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) and spelled them out to stand for “Negroes Always Asking Caucasians Permission.”

A Facebook post shared by Common Council member Diana Révolus (D-District B).

Norwalk Branch NAACP President Brenda Penn-Williams called for the Democratic Town Committee and the Council to sanction Révolus. She added that Révolus wouldn’t enjoy the freedoms she has if not for the NAACP.

“I think is very insulting for her as a Common Council person, and as a Black woman. She ought to be ashamed of herself.  She needs to write an apology to the NAACP,” Penn-Williams said. “…Does she know what NAACP stands for?”

Neither Mayor Harry Rilling nor Council President Tom Livingston (D-District E) responded to an email asking about Penn-Williams’ call for a sanction. Norwalk Democratic Town Committee Chairwoman Eloisa Melendez declined to comment.

Penn-Williams did not contact NancyOnNorwalk. An unhappy Democrat sent NoN a screenshot of Révolus’ Facebook post and NoN called Penn-Williams, who said she heard about the post and found it offensive.

“The NAACP has done a lot in this country to make sure that people of color advance. They have made sure that people of color are not discriminated against,” Penn-Williams said. “She wouldn’t be where she is today if it wasn’t for the NAACP. So before she starts speaking, first she should understand the goal of the organization.”

It’s not obvious from the screenshot that Révolus made the post but a second Democrat explained that she uses a pseudonym. There are multiple posts on the page confirming that it’s Révolus.

Révolus didn’t reply to an email from NancyOnNorwalk. NoN called District B Democratic Committee Chairwoman Sonja Oliver, who said she’d talked to the Council member. Oliver provided NancyOnNorwalk with a statement from Révolus:

“In regards to the NAACP, post that was found on my private Facebook page in my newsfeed; there was no malicious intent to the NAACP organization as a whole.  Over the past few years, I have found our local chapter to be a little slack and therefore I have become dismayed with the local chapter.  I did not create the poster {cq} it was on my news feed and I pressed to share.  It was meant to be a joke considering the organization was not created by people of color.  I also found it funny that NAACP is our go-to for racial injustice and it was created by Caucasians.

“Questions for those having an issue with the post.  Did they also find the comment David Heuvelman made to Nicol Ayers offensive?  He told her to make sure she did not align herself with anyone on the council from District B.  I would think there would be more interest in going after that than something that came across a feed and was reposted.

“Another issue that I would think warrants more attention would be the picture that was posted on Facebook with X (s) through the faces of everyone that opposed the proposed distribution of the Board of Ed budget funds made and shared by Ilianna Zuniga and Sharon R. Encarnacao Baanante.  That to me depicts assassination, with the current climate of random shootings I would think this would be an area of concern.

“To anyone that was offended by the NAACP post I repeat I was not attempting to be malicious and I invite you to do the research on the founders of the organization once you know the history maybe you will see the irony in the post.”

 

Heuvelman and Ayers did not respond to an email asking about Révolus’ comment. They are Democratic Council members representing District A. NoN has not seen any social media exchanges between the two.

A screenshot posted on Facebook after a February Common Council meeting. NancyOnNorwalk posted it in a story about the meeting. It was captioned with a comment from a parent: “Remember this during the next election time. These are the only council members that supported an increase to 5.4% to the public schools of norwalk. So disappointed.”

Zuniga and Baanante are members of the Commission on the Status of Women. Zuniga and Baanante had no comment. On Friday, Baanante left a comment on the published article, saying that she didn’t post the photo with the “x”s. Instead, she posted NoN’s story about the budget, which had the photograph with it.

“The NAACP’s founding members included white progressives Mary White Ovington, Henry Moskowitz, William English Walling and Oswald Garrison Villard, along with such African Americans as W.E.B. Du Bois, Ida Wells-Barnett, Archibald Grimke and Mary Church Terrell,” History.com states.

Du Bois was the only Black person on the initial leadership team, according to History.com. The NAACP was founded in 1909 after a race riot in Illinois and was patterned after the Niagara Movement, “a civil rights group started in 1905 and led by Du Bois, a sociologist and writer.”

The NAACP “aimed to secure for all people the rights guaranteed in the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the United States Constitution, which promised an end to slavery, provide equal protection of the law, and the right for all men to vote, respectively. Accordingly, the NAACP’s mission is to ensure the political, educational, equality of minority group citizens of States and eliminate race prejudice. The NAACP works to remove all barriers of racial discrimination through democratic processes,” the NAACP website states.

It explains, “Despite a foundational commitment to multiracial membership, Du Bois was the only African American among the organization’s original executives. He was made director of publications and research and in 1910 established The Crisis, the acclaimed publication of the NAACP.”

A Facebook post by Common Council member Diana Révolus (D-District B).

The Facebook page Révolus is using to post opinions under a pseudonym is not private. Anyone who knows the pseudonym, Aries Phoenix, can find it and the posts shared there are public.

The two Democrats mentioned earlier, and a third Democrat months ago, said Révolus has been spreading COVID-19 misinformation; the two Democrats called it inappropriate in her role as a Council member. They also said she’s made comments they interpret as homophobic.

There are no examples of the latter on the misleading Facebook page. Aries Phoenix has multiple posts advertising COVID-19 thoughts; most of the links don’t work because the posts have been removed.

One headlines an accusation that a boy died after taking the vaccine. Another says someone died and Aries Phoenix alleges, “Its the vaccine.” A TikTok link was headlined “killer vaccines.” She also called mothers who protested mask mandates “heroes.”

Révolus declined to comment.

Oliver said she’d spoken to Révolus about “all of those things” and “people take a small portion of something, and they blow it out of control.” Révolus had said text messages were taken out of context and when Oliver read the entire conversation, she concluded that people weren’t including everything.

“Diana’s very vocal and some people don’t like that,” Oliver said.

About COVID-19, Oliver said, “That is old news. At the height of Covid Diana was very vocal about the wearing of masks and the vaccines when they came out.  She was very vocal about it during meetings, so everyone is aware of her thoughts on the subject.”

18 comments

Mitch Adis July 22, 2022 at 6:23 am

Speaks volumes about the Democratic party when they refuse to comment on such behavior from a fellow Democrat. If it were a Republican they would be screaming racism and calling for a resignation.

Can you say Double Standard?

Concerned citizen July 22, 2022 at 7:46 am

The real victims here are all of District B citizens. The content on her page looks like someone that went down the 4Chan rabbit hole. This is very scary behavior from an elected official trying to deflect on others her unhinged behavior. A real embarrassment to district B.

Patrick Cooper July 22, 2022 at 10:48 am

Entertaining – must say. D on D violence is to be expected when it’s 1-party rule. Sanctions? Hilarious ! Bet Harry is very happy with his choices this week – and people were worried about Bryan Meek?

John Levin July 22, 2022 at 10:59 am

Wow – okay, what an excellent opportunity to have a broader community discussion about the role and history of the NAACP and maybe other civil rights organizations, both on a national and local level. I am certain that I, for one, have much to learn. Perhaps this could be done under the purview of Norwalk’s new Equity and Justice For All Commission, first announced by our mayor about sixteen months ago.

Piberman July 22, 2022 at 12:15 pm

Given its long standing interest in our public schools its puzzling the NAAXCP hasn’t commented publicly on the CT Edu Dept web site showing most of Norwalk’s students fail to meet CT Edu Dept graduation standards or secure 4 yr colleges. Especially when most of our students are minority students ? Aren’t they entitled to public school educations that meet CT Edu Dept standards ?

Or is an exception made for Norwalk ? If the NAACP is concerned about preparing our students to secure the American Dream then how to explain its silence on the well documented failures of our school system to properly educate our children ? Doesn’t the Democratic Party have a special role here in securing well functioning City public schools?

Sharon R. Baanante July 22, 2022 at 12:24 pm

I have requested for Nancy on Norwalk to redact my name from this article because the statement about me is false. I did NOT create the “x’d” photo that is mentioned. What I did share, on my private FB page, is the link to the NON article that contained important details regarding the BOE budget.

Stuart Garrelick July 22, 2022 at 1:31 pm

I have chaired my Synagogue’s annual Comedy Night since its inception and have been recognized (at least by me) for having an exceptional sense of humor, undaunted by the demons of wokeness. I can, and have, found laughs in everything from death to taxes but I must confess I’m having a problem finding the “joke” in Councilwoman Revolus’s meme nor the humor she finds in a go-to organization for racial injustice being founded “by Caucasians”. Nothing wrong with her comments, just not funny to me.
Faced with the race riots of 1908 in Springfield, IL who better to learn how to deal with hatred than aJewish people who had faced hatred for thousands of years. Who better to work with than abolitionists and true believers in the American Dream for all. I fail to find the humor in their “whiteness”. Thus was born the NAACP.
You want humor? I’ll tell you what I find funny-a politician known to all of us who works to reduce the voting capacity of people of color but spends his free time in tanning beds to darken his skin. Ha Ha.
Let’s not stop there. You want hilarious? Did you hear the one about Dr. Martin Luthor King Jr., Sammy Davis Jr. and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel going into a Nail Spa for a Mani-Pedi? OOOOPS. Sorry. Can’t tell that one. Might ruffle the feathers of Nancy’s woke reader(s).
A sunny Friday, upcoming weekend, beautiful beach. I’m off to see if I can “color” my skin.
Have a great weekend. See you at the beach. Say hello if you recognize me. Find a thing or ten or a hundred things to laugh at, with, about, etc. It’ll do you good.

Bill Dunne July 22, 2022 at 4:53 pm

Ms. Revolus might want to acquaint herself with the internet. It takes only a few seconds to learn that the NAACP founders included W.E.B. DuBoi, Ida Wells, and Archibald Grimke.

Nora King July 23, 2022 at 3:36 am

Unhinged and nothing funny about her Facebook page. Seems like reverse discrimination and her clear hatred for white people. Very sad behavior from a person who holds office. But she will not be held accountable by the DTC so just a waste of time.

I understand her frustration about the local chapter and leadership, but there are better ways to go about it then posts that further racial divide. We need to come together as a country and not have politicians continue to pit races, causes and lifestyles against one another. Clearly Ms. Revolus is one of the politicians who likes to use the divide for her personal bias.

Justataxpayer July 24, 2022 at 5:14 am

Puzzled how the NAACP doesn’t come out in support of a border wall and stopping the tide of immigrants. One of the A’s in NAACP should be American

Jennifer July 24, 2022 at 4:08 pm

Shame on you Nancy of Norwalk. Diana is 9 months pregnant and this article is nothing short of harassment. Shame on you for posting these lies about her when she’s at her most vulnerable.

Bruh Moment July 25, 2022 at 10:33 am

First of all can we stop cancelling people for everything they write on a PRIVATE social media?

Second of all everyones entitled to an opinion.

Third of all the Norwalk NAACP doesnt seem to do much except cause drama. Sure its probably a great organization in other chapters, but Penn-Williams reputation precedes her as being way over the top…

“””These are the only council members that supported an increase to 5.4% to the public schools of norwalk. ”””

This parent needs to educate themselves more. Norwalk has this very odd rule where any increase to the public schools budget becomes PERMANENT. And they get a budget increase every year. Thats not sustainable.

Sarah July 25, 2022 at 4:09 pm

It’s not an odd rule, it’s the MBR, and it’s how public school funding works in every district in Connecticut. It’s also very misunderstood and used as a wedge issue. I really wish everyone actually understood how municipal funding works. The specter of “high taxes” is used to get people to vote against their own interests time and again.

DrewT July 26, 2022 at 8:46 am

Diana should be forced to resign! There is no way she can sit on the CC and continue. Her conduct demands she resign. But what’s even more interesting is he haven’t heard a peep from the DTC. Isn’t that a hoot! Raise your hand if you’re surprised?! Yeah we neither. Do what’s right Diana and RESIGN!

Supporter July 26, 2022 at 3:40 pm

Diana, do not resign. This is what happens when the left eats itself. We need DIVERSITY of THOUGHT, not an echo chamber. We need left wing, centrists, and right wing all together WORKING TOGETHER to run a community. Right now its a vicious echo chamber.

Bruh Moment July 26, 2022 at 3:57 pm

@Sarah

…No… a school system is not in my “best interest” when it wastes money on extremely high salaries for admins… Critical Race Theory…and HORRID rates of meeting CT State Education standards… yea I’d rather keep MY tax dollars in MY pocket.

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