Talley’s resignation letter to the editor was misleading

Published 2:28 pm Friday, September 4, 2020

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Dear Editor,

As chairman of the Democratic Party Executive Committee, I, Melvin Keith, considered to not respond to Mr. Perry Talley’s letter to the editor, as I did not see how that would be productive for either party. But several members advised me that we need to respond not only to the comments Mr. Talley posted on Facebook but to the same comments he had published to the editor in the Bogalusa Daily News editorial.

Instead of Mr. Talley addressing the DPEC or Chairman, Melvin Keith, to discuss his reservations of his membership in the DPEC, Mr. Talley remained almost silent at our August meeting — the only meeting he chose to attend — all meetings were virtual. For all other prior meetings of our DPEC, Mr. Talley was notified by phone, text, and email by a member to attend. Mr. Talley did not respond to any form of communication.

Due to COVID-19 and Gov. John Bel Edwards’ orders to stay home, the Washington Parish DPEC could not hold face-to-face meetings. However, the members did hold virtual meetings on Zoom, which are video recorded. Even though the six new members did not receive their membership commission certificate until July 21, they were not considered official members, as they did not have voting power. All were notified by phone and email that they were welcome to attend meetings on Zoom or by phone. All new members were officially on the board in August.

In that August meeting of an hour and a half, finally attended by Mr. Talley, we voted in other new members. Abiding by the bylaws of Washington Parish DPEC, I, Chairman Melvin Keith reminded all members we must hold to those bylaws when electing members for fair representations for all. The Washington Parish DPEC committee consists of 12 members — one seat or member from each of the seven parish council districts and five at-large members. Only six people qualified and ran unopposed for six of the DPEC member seats. Ideally, we would like to see fair representations of men and women as well as blacks and whites.

DPEC members and especially I, as Chairman, Melvin Keith were underhandedly disrespected by Mr. Talley. Instead of being respectful, honest, and forthright, Mr. Talley never once mentioned this to neither the Chairman nor any other member that he had reservations in joining DPEC. He did not inform the DPEC Chairman or a member about his post on Facebook or his rush in meeting the paper deadline to have his same published as an editorial. You, Mr. Talley, have besmirched all the DPEC members and Democrats with your untrue political post. You, sir, signed up and paid your fee like all members. We wonder why you wanted to be a part of us, given your views. Instead, you attended one meeting and passed judgment over all members. You never once asked what the plans of the DPEC were. Furthermore, why are you, a white man, speaking about slavery? You, sir, have no clue about slavery. You, sir, do not speak for black people and how they “should or may feel” about slavery or anything relating to the lives of black people. Even after technically slavery has ended, black people still are fighting for equality.

The fact is, Mr. Talley, you could have done the honorable and creditable action and told the Chairman and the rest of the members how you felt. You chose not to do so. Certainly, you were not duped. You chose to go behind our backs and post and publish your version of what occurred at the DPEC meeting, which was not true. You have a right to change parties, but the least you could have done was to tell members face to face, especially the Chairman. Respect is necessary when working with others.

Thank you for your resignation.


Melvin Keith, Chairman,

Washington Parish DPEC