Buffalo BOE member Sharon Belton-Cottman crossed ethics line

Cottman admits distributing hate filled racist flier – is removal required?

By: Mike Madigan

Prior to the 28 January, 2015 Buffalo Public School BOE meeting – board member Sharon Belton-Cottman e-mailed and supported distribution of a highly racist and inappropriate flier. Such actions by any board member, regardless of race, must be acted on consistently and fairly and if found to breach ethical behavior policies fair and consistent consequences must be applied.

The flier in question made the following insulting hateful and racially inappropriate references:

  • Referred to Samuel Radford III the president of the District Parent Coordinating Council, who is black, as “swinging from the rafters on his monkey bars”. This appears within the Star of David.
  • Referred to Karl Paladino as Bull Connors who was a hate filled racist Democrat Commissioner for Public Safety in Birmingham AL.
    • Note: Connors was the Democrat National Chairman for Alabama in the 60’s.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., began “Project ‘C’” (for “confrontation”) in Birmingham against Connor and his subordinates in the police department. Connors coordinated a response to King’s actions associated with the “Freedom Riders” and Project C by organizing a KKK reception for them when they arrived where the riders were viciously beaten with metal bars, pipes and bats.

  • Additionally the flier suggests an association between “Karl” Paladino and the KKK – a ruthless racist terrorist organization associated with murders including lynching that was organized by Southern Democrats following their defeat in the Civil War.

According to the Buffalo News BOE Member Sharon Belton-Cottman acknowledged she distributed the flier throughout the community. LINK.

Based on the racist and hate filled content of the flier an ethics investigation must be initiated. According to the Buffalo News current board member Barbara Nevergold considers the flier offensive and agrees an investigation is required although she does not believe any consequence should be taken against Cottman.


  1. Why Blame Her She Just Told The Truth Which This Media Is Not Telling , About Buffalo …This City Under Uncle tom brown – Is Embellishing The Truth In Education, Industrial , & Real Estate , Sectors throughout Buffalo . In Other Words Black Americans Suffer Continually From These Establishments-jobs -housing and education ; Its about time someone called on those leaders who fill those same jobs !!

  2. They control the school board and are the worst racists in the city. They argue for the children but the only thing they care about is what they can do for themselves. Carl is not perfect but he is honest and really cares about the education of the children. Everything in the City of Buffalo, including City Hall, that is run by minorities is in horrible shape that is the reason we moved out of the city and I do not blame any parent for not sending their child to a Buffalo Public School as their children are not getting a decent education. The Board of Education should be ashamed of them selves since they cannot act like adults and get anything done for the children. We should have all Charter Schools and forget the public schools, at least Charter Schools work.

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