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NAN takes on Nazi racism 

Rev. Charles Williams II, president of Michigan National Action Network (NAN), and Sam Riddle, political director for NAN, speak outside Hurley Medical Center in Flint.  LAUREN JUSTICE / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Rev. Charles Williams II, president of Michigan National Action Network (NAN), and Sam Riddle, political director for NAN, speak outside Hurley Medical Center in Flint.
LAUREN JUSTICE / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Drives quick Flint hospital settlement

Staff Report

FLINT — Within days after the Michigan National Action Network (NAN) intervened, Hurley Medical Center in Flint quickly settled a lawsuit filed by an African American nurse, Tonya Battle, against the hospital after she was not allowed to care for a white baby.

The baby’s father had allegedly demanded that no Hurley Black staff were to care for his newborn after displaying a swastika to Battle’s supervisor in Hurley’s neonatal intensive care unit. A note was posted on the white baby’s chart directing that no Black staff were to tend to the baby.

“We held very productive meetings with the CEO of Hurley, legal counsel and staff of the hospital and made it clear that hospital practices that preclude caring for patients on the basis of race will not be tolerated under any circumstances,” said Rev. Charles E. Williams II, president of the Michigan NAN.

“The moment Hurley allowed the posting of that note to prevent Black nurses from caring for that baby, Hurley institutionalized racism by caving into the demands of a Nazi,” said Sam Riddle, political director of NAN.

Riddle noted there is work to be done despite the settlement.

“The settlement is the tip of an ugly Hurley iceberg. NAN has been deluged with complaints from Hurley employees alleging racial bias and NAN is in continuing talks with Hurley,” said Riddle.

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