Tag Archives: ben jealous

A Celebration of South Carolina Secession…right or wrong?

Is it appropriate to celebrate the anniversary of South Carolina seceding from the Union? The state Department of Archives and History has started a website that includes events that will be mark the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. Upcoming events include: An unveiling of a S.C. historical marker at the site of Institute Hall, where — 150 years ago — South Carolina became the first state to secede from the Union. Monday night will be the Secession ball and play, and on Jan. 8th  the commemoration of the Firing on the Star of the West. About 20 faculty and staff from The Citadel will re-enact the 150th anniversary of what many consider the first hostile shots of the Civil War, when Citadel cadets on Morris Island fired on the steamship Star of the West, seeking to resupply Union troops at Fort Sumter.* The SC chapter of the NAACP condemns the affair. “The ball, organized by the Confederate Heritage Trust and sponsored by the Sons of Confederate Veterans, has been criticized as a celebration of treason and slavery. “There does appear to be an effort to make this a festive occasion,” said Lonnie Randolph, president of the NAACP’s S.C. Conference, which plans to protest the ball. “It’s more about celebration than history.” Do people have a right to celebrate something that others find offensive? Should the NAACP be protesting this event or should their efforts be concentrated on other issues? Finally do you think this event should be celebrated?

*Read more: http://www.thestate.com/2010/12/19/1611812_sc-to-mark-start-of-momentous.html#ixzz18fJbS46o

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Shirley Sherrod Not Sure She Wants her Job Back

Shirley Sherrod appeared on a number of the morning shows today, and she was asked if she wanted her job back. She said she did not know and she went on to say “If they had just taken the time to — even without looking at the tape — to look at me, to look at what I’ve stood for, to look at what I’ve done since I’ve actually been at the department, I don’t think they would have been so quick to do what they did and so insistent. To now come back and say, ‘Well, we’re willing to look at this,’ it definitely is a little bittersweet.” She went on to say “I didn’t make a lot of noise. … I worked for fairness for everyone.” If there is a victim in this situation it is Sherrod. Yes she was inarticulate in trying to make her initial point, and Fox news is still chewing on the first words she said, but Sherrod got caught in the cultural crossfire. When the NAACP issued their resolution last week they might as well have thrown down the gauntlet. For some on the far right this was the war they have been waiting for and NAACP effectively started it. Yes, the NAACP had every right to issue the resolution but one has to wonder did they see the long term impact of such an act or was this partially an attempt to garner media attention? Well if that was part of the agenda they can claim victory. I have not heard this much talk about the organization in this century. People are talking, writing, blogging, tweeting about them, but is it for the right reasons?  Have their actions over the past week brought them closer to their mission? “The mission of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination.” Did the resolution against factions of the tea party, the denouncement of Shirley Sherrod, and later the apology to Ms. Sherrod move them any closer to their mission? No, but it did get them some attention from the press and the right and what they are learning is it is not always good to be in the spotlight.

Tea Party Has NAACP and the Obama Administration on the Run

President Obama has avoided the issue of race since he launched his campaign for president. When we first saw the Rev. Wright tapes many called the president a racist by association. Last summer the President spoke out in defense of Henry Gates. The president had the temerity to say the police acted “stupidly”, but by the next day the administration was backing away from their statement. The administration has recently been criticized for  dropping some of the charges that were originally filed against the New Black Panthers. So we can safely say they are gun shy on the race issue. So along comes the Shirley Sherrod tape. They saw the snippet released on Andrew Brietbart’s website and their reaction was swift and immediate. She had to go and they did not take the time to get all the facts before they gave their verdict. She was not going to become the next Jeremiah Wright. Then we had the NAACP jumping in the middle of the fray. Ben Jealous, CEO of the NAACP,  appeared on  Anderson Coopers 360 tonight and in defense of their swift rebuke he said they responded to the allegations in the middle of the night, but did they take the time to really investigate before they released their statement? No they came out against the Tea Party last week and now the friends of that movement have them on the run. People like Andrew Briebart will be going over  NAACP activity with a fine tooth comb. They will be on the hunt for racist activity within the ranks of the NAACP and so what if people like Shirley Sherrod become collateral damage. She is small potatoes in the real goal, and that is not to expose racism, but to embarrass the NAACP. So the administration will continue running away from race and the NAACP will continue living in a glass house and hoping the opposition is fresh out of stones.

Congressional Candidate Allen West Calls the NAACP “Useful Idiots”

Allen West is running for Congress. West is a a Tea Party backed candidate so he took umbrage to the NAACP characterization of some members of the Tea Party.  So instead of denouncing the organization for what he perceived as inaccuracies he decided to vilifiy the century old organization. “Instead of maintaining its mission and vision, the NAACP has now become the “useful idiots” (a term coined by Vladimir Lenin) for liberal racism. They have made themselves into a political hack job organization which now seeks to maintain the liberal progressive socialist control of the 21 century plantation. It is on this new economic plantation where the liberals seek to enslave the black community in order to maintain a devoted, monolithic, voting electorate.”  It would be easy to dismiss West and write him off as a Tea Party puppet, but he went on to make some interesting if not controversial points. West said “I find it interesting that the NAACP was silent when Senator Harry Reid made his insidious comments about President Obama was favorable, likeable, because he is “light-skinned” and did not speak in “negro dialect”. I recall that the NAACP said nothing when Vice President Joe Biden referred to Barack Hussein Obama as “clean and articulate”. The NAACP said nothing when liberals attacked Clarence Thomas, Condoleeza Rice (birthing tubes cartoon), Michael Steele, and General Colin Powell.” I remember when Reid made his light-skinned comment I basically gave him a pass and some of the long time readers of the blog challenged me and asked would I have given a Republican a pass on that kind of comment, and I probably would not have let it slide. West calls us out on Clarence Thomas and Condoleeza Rice and that might be a point worth discussing. We simply chose not to celebrate them because their political perspectives were far different from many within the community. So we instead allowed them to be characterized as Uncle Tom and Aunt Jemina. They were perceived as blacks bent on carrying on the master’s plan. No the NAACP did not speak out on these issues, but the question did Thomas and Rice embrace the black community or did they by their own actions run from the race issue. The NAACP opened up this dialogue when they called out the racist factor within the Tea Party. Now it is open season on the NAACP. They will be criticized and scruntinized by the far right and people like Allen West will gladly step to the microphone and chastise them for having the audacity to address a political issue.

Tea Party Express Leader Mark Williams’ “Letter” proves the NAACP Was Right

“On Tuesday, the NAACP passed a resolution denouncing racist elements within the Tea Party movement.  Responding to the resolution, Tea Party Express chairman Mark Williams lashed out against the civil rights group, claiming that “they make more money off of race than any slave trader ever.” Williams continued his assault last night on CNN, telling host Roland Martin, “Racists have their own movement. It’s called the NAACP.” So what does Williams do to refute the charges of racism in the tea party? He posts the following satirical letter on his website.  “Apparently Colored People are an entirely new race of people and one to which the title applies.   Here NAACP President Precious Ben Jealous explains to President Abraham Lincoln the reasons for the resolution in this newly discovered letter :”

Dear Mr. Lincoln

We Colored People have taken a vote and decided that we don’t cotton to that whole emancipation thing.  Freedom means having to work for real, think for ourselves, and take consequences along with the rewards.  That is just far too much to ask of us Colored People and we demand that it stop! In fact we held a big meeting and took a vote in Kansas City this week.  We voted to condemn a political revival of that old abolitionist spirit called the ‘tea party movement’. The tea party position to “end the bailouts” for example is just silly.  Bailouts are just big money welfare and isn’t that what we want all Coloreds to strive for?  What kind of racist would want to end big money welfare?  What they need to do is start handing the bail outs directly to us coloreds!  Of course, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is the only responsible party that should be granted the right to disperse the funds. And the ridiculous idea of “reduce[ing] the size and intrusiveness of government.”  What kind of massa would ever not want to control my life?  As Coloreds we must have somebody care for us otherwise we would be on our own, have to think for ourselves and make decisions! The racist tea parties also demand that the government “stop the out of control spending.”  Again, they directly target Colored People.  That means we Colored People would have to compete for jobs like everybody else and that is just not right. Perhaps the most racist point of all in the tea parties is their demand that government “stop raising our taxes.”  That is outrageous!    How will we Colored People ever get a wide screen TV in every room if non-coloreds get to keep what they earn?  Totally racist!  The tea party expects coloreds to be productive members of society? Mr. Lincoln, you were the greatest racist ever.  We had a great gig.  Three squares, room and board, all our decisions made by the massa in the house.  Please repeal the 13th and 14th Amendments and let us get back to where we belong.

Sincerely, Precious Ben Jealous, Tom’s Nephew  National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Head Colored Person

Yes this is proof positive that there is no racist element within the tea party. At least that is what Massa Mark would want us to believe. He has removed the letter from his site and apologized for using the word “massa.

Does the NAACP Need New Leadership?

Last month Julian Bond announced he was stepping down as chairman. In his own words he said “The country has a new president in Barack Obama; the organization has a new CEO in Benjamin Jealous, and we’ll soon have a new Chairman of the NAACP Board. The NAACP and the country are in good hands”. Now Bond has decided to stay because so many people including Tom Joyner have said he should stay on. But should he? It is time for the NAACP to start doing something different to recruit a new generation of leadership?  As long as Bond is chairman Ben Jealous will stand in his shadow. This is a new day but racism still exists  and there is a real need for the NAACP, but ask a teenager if they now what the acronym stands for and sadly you will probably be greeted with a deer in the headlight look. Bond’s presence reminds me of ministers in the church that refuse to turn over the reigns to their younger associates. What happens is the church starts to lose the new associates because they do not feel valued. Hopefully Bond will retire while he is still relevant and not wait until there is a tag on his toe.