Cincinnati Councilwoman Calls Reaction to Notre Dame Fire a ‘Prime Example of Privilege’

Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral nearly burned to the ground Monday, but Cincinnati Councilwoman Tamaya Dennard called the reaction to the tragic event a “prime example of privilege.”

Dennard, who serves as president pro tem of the Cincinnati City Council, made the comments on Twitter early Tuesday morning.

“I’m saddened that the beautiful cathedral in France was damaged. But this is a prime example of privilege. White people don’t have to see me if they don’t choose to. Black people don’t have a choice. Please read Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison,” she said.

She referenced the disparity in news coverage between Monday’s fire and the recent arsons against predominantly black churches in Louisiana as proof of her argument.

“It’s possible to hold multiple truth. I’m also saddened that Black churches in Louisiana were burned down. I’m sure they held significance as well. They were barely acknowledged,” Dennard wrote on Twitter.

Joe Mallory, vice president of Cincinnati’s chapter of the NAACP, told The Cincinnati Enquirer that he agrees with Dennard.

“This is not the first time this has happened with black churches, where people set fires to them. There is not an outcry. It’s sad, but it’s the reality of this country what people value,” he said.

He said city officials will “leave no stone unturned to improve” local landmarks such as Music Hall or Union Terminal.

“If something happened to Music Hall, I guarantee they would rebuild it. Clearly, there is not a lot of value placed on black life; there’s no investment in trying to uplift the black community,” Mallory continued.

According to The Enquirer, Hamilton County Republican Party Chairman Alex Triantafilou criticized Dennard’s comments in a Facebook post.

“City voters made a mistake electing this person to lead our fine city,” he said. “It is a mistake I only hope they reverse in 2021. This is an embarrassment.”

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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Tamaya Dennard” by Tamaya Dennard. Background Photo “Cincinnati City Hall” by Greg Hume. CC BY-SA 3.0.





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8 Thoughts to “Cincinnati Councilwoman Calls Reaction to Notre Dame Fire a ‘Prime Example of Privilege’”

  1. Sara Ellis

    First of all, black AND white church vandalism and burnings have received scant coverage in the press recently, so the councilwoman’s grievance should be against poor journalism rather than any particular racial group.

    Second, she should be thankful that the Notre Dame fire brought attention to the plight of the burned black churches here in the US and donations from all over the country have poured in (from people of all colors).

    And finally, as others have pointed out already, not to demean ANY local churches (no matter the congregation’s race), but Notre Dame is a world treasure with massive historical, architectural, artistic, and spiritual significance.

    Over 800 years old, Notre Dame was were Joan d’Arc was tried and burned, and it managed to survive the ravages of the French Revolution, Napoleon, the first and second world wars intact. It housed priceless art works, and numerous religious relics including a piece of the actual cross and what is thought to be THE crown of thorns….

    Comparing the newsworthiness of an event as significant as this was to the majority of the Christian world with the loss ANY local churches is preposterous. Using the event in order to denigrate and dehumanize a different race is despicable!

  2. Robert L Camerlinck

    The Progressives/ Socialists are continuing to go CRAZY/STUPID TRYING TO DESTROY THIS COUNTRY

  3. Rick

    Aw, bless her heart. She sees pain and “privilege” in everything. It’s a world view she may not ever be able to overcome. Pity her rather than get angry.

  4. D. Hutchinson

    This councilwoman needs to study history. This cathedral was built 800 plus years ago. Does she know how many men it took to build it? Hard work, no modern equipment. I’m sure many died working there during the 200 years it took to complete. Apart from the human sacrifice, it was a beautiful piece of architecture. This woman is just plain ignorant. Maybe it was a bit overdone, the coverage. But it was a major happening when you think it survived two world wars, a revolution, and the Hitler onslaught in Europe. Poor girl a product of the times. Probably savvy in all things modern but poor in education.

    1. nam marine


  5. Jessie

    It is likely true that the French cathedral matters a bit more than those three churches in Louisiana and your life combined and mine, too. That’s just the way it is, sweetie. Get over it and move on with your pathetic life.

  6. Charles Benko

    Over 1000 churches have been vandalized over the last year in France and not one news outlet in the U.S. is covering the story because it is highly suspected that Muslims are doing it. Fox started to talk about it a couple of days ago and their mic was cut off.

    1. Lili

      Just today a statue of the virgin Mary was decapitated, Muslims are doing this. We Christians have stopped fighting for GOD and it appears we are afraid of speaking out about Muslims in fear of “being islamophobia” They have presentenced a plan, they are right on schedule to take over because WE the people of GOD didn’t listen.