Monday, July 26, 2010

Stepping Up By Stepping Down: Benjamin Jealous Must Leave The NAACP

Stepping Up By Stepping Down
Benjamin Jealous Must Leave The NAACP
by DC Livers

( - Ushering in the 100th Anniversary of the NAACP, new president Benjamin Jealous nearly blew it. He cut side sweetheart deals that virtually locked out credentials reporters from international media outlets as far away as Paris, Africa and beyond. He failed to provide daily updates to the press and rarely made people of importance available to the media.

Now just a year later as the organization should be looking forward Jealous' actions have many wondering the how to protect the past legacy of the nation's most prominent civil rights organization.

Not since Tom Joyner and Tavis Smiley rushed to judgement and called a boycott of CompUSA without authenticating the fax has a Black figurehead screwed up so royally. The situation was so bad that ABC, which owned the show at the time, threatened to take the show off the air. Joyner and Smiley tapped danced and eventually the situation calmed down, but the damage was done.

Clearly Jealous didn't bother consider the CompUSA boycott case study.

Instead Jealous, whose actions over the past week are made more unacceptable by the fact that he spent more than a few years working for news gathering organizations which are mandated to authenticate sources, watch the full video and so on before passing judgment, set the NAACP up for its biggest lawsuit since former president Kwesi Mfume got a little to cozy with the ladies. His blunder will surely be foder for candidates in the upcoming elections and the 2012 presidential election.

Under his watch, the NNPA's membership fell into a class action lawsuit for virtually stealing the digital work of the writers who only allowed the publications to print their work. In at least one case, Jealous' NNPA outright stole the work of one writer (mine) and published it in over 200 Black newspapers, their websites and eventually got paid by digitization database companies for unauthorized use of the journalist's work. A quick look at shows that damage that Jealous and his partner in crime Raoul Dennis'actions have caused and are still causing.

How long with Shirley Sherrod, who spent a lifetime building her good name, have to work to undo the damage that Jealous has done. Most likely the biggest pain that Sherrod likely feels is the near death blow that she was delivered by an organization who is charged with the "advancement of colored people."

If Jealous really loves the organization he currently heads up, he will do the right thing.

When men make mistakes they man up and admit it. Instead Jealous used the opportunity to sling mud at Sarah Palin her Tea Party supporters.

Said Jealous in a statement, "With regard to the initial media coverage of the resignation of USDA official Shirley Sherrod, [the NAACP] have come to the conclusion we were snookered by Fox News and Tea Party Activist Andrew Breitbart into believing she had harmed white farmers because of racial bias."

"Snookered?" Really? His clarification sounds a lot like social plagarism and to be frank Black America deserves better than a leader who can't admit he overreacted, got lazy and didn't bother to check his sources or seek first party clarification.

The Internet was abuzz with reaction to Jealous' fall from grace.

On July 21, 2010 at 2:50 pm Jack_Blackmusic took to the EURWeb message boards and wrote, "No Ben. You take the walk :shock: This is so embarrassing for the movement, and the organization. This is so bad on so many levels."

TGen agreed but seemed to be willing to have others share the blame.

At 6:33 am TGen wrote, "True, NAACP dropped the ball. Shirley Sherrod even called them out for their incompetence. However, they weren’t wrong in calling out Breitbart. What he did was malicious and probably illegal. Sherrod is no stranger to lawsuits, so Breitbart better get lawyered up fast. If Shirley is smart, she’ll put that clown out of commission for a long, long time to come. Cha-ching!"

Although he's not proven to be very brave in the past, it's time Benjamin Jealous to take a bow and allow the NAACP to heal under leadership that have the good their membership at stake. Anything less is a distraction that the NAACP and racial future of this country that we just cannot afford.

DC Livers is managing editor for the Historical Black Press Foundation. From hard news to celebrity updates to international affairs, DC Livers has earned a reputation for being the best at what she does. She has interviewed DC sniper police Chief Charles Moose, Black mayors Ray Nagin, Adrian Fenty, Marion Barry and presidential candidate Barack Obama, “the second lady” Lynne Cheney, Tavis Smiley, Oprah’s beau Stedman Graham, BET CEO Debra Lee among others. More information about her is available at or

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Give it a rest. Agreed with a lot but replacing him with WHO? Mr Jealous did get the NAACP out of bankruptcy despite the class action lawsuit.

And he did another great thing, calling out the TParty on request of mostly AA bloggers. Williams resigned and there was a national media denunciation of right wing TParty elements.

Like it or not, at this moment in time, Jealous and the NAACP have our backs. A lot more has been done under
his leadership vs Mfume or Chavis.

So Many of the blogs lately about Ms Shirley are bogus right wing tparty posts with a black conservative base. Don't be fooled thinking these people
are disgruntled AAs who want a new president. No, these folks have an agenda, and the Sherrod debacle proved to be their opening. Like snakes in the grass. One such blog is " what about our daughters" where there are mix of sincere people like yourself and black tparty types pretending to stand up for Shirley and AA females. Airing anything unconstrucitive is their fodder.

However, there are plenty of constructive critiques of the
NAACP and Jealous that offer solutions without division or resignations ( and a resignation in the NAACP or any scandal in a civil rights organization us what the far right David Duke Stormfront Rand Breitbart Palin types would loooooovemto jump on. Hell, they make stuff up all the time, and a real scandal would give them amo. I don't want to go back to the segregated50s.)

Alright, all of us are aware Jealous and the NAACP made a huge blunder. He apologized, and Shirley accepted.
Let's follow Shirley's motto of forgiving, improving on, and moving on.