Lincoln Museum staff has few minorities

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Despite an emphasis on the theme of race, the new Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is staffed overwhelmingly by white workers--an unacceptable irony for a complex that celebrates history's Great Emancipator, the head of a minority watchdog group charged Tuesday. "When you look at what the man stood for and what he was about, it just doesn't match," said Roy Williams, who heads the Illinois Association of Minorities in Government.

Williams called on the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency to establish a more equitable distribution of jobs that, by his count, show only seven people of color out of 107 people employed by the library and museum. The current results are "unacceptable," he said in a letter.

Richard Norton Smith, who heads the Lincoln complex, said in a recent interview that he is proud of the diverse crowds at the Lincoln complex but is "most frustrated about the relative lack of diversity in our workforce."

"If we were just kind of wringing our hands about it, fine. Condemn us," Smith said. "I don't know about anyone else. I've actually given more thought to this than anything since I got here."

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