Friday, December 31, 2010

NAACP Finally Follows Media Spotlight and Dollars to Mississippi Scott Sister's Case

As soon as I saw the NAACP mentioned in the Washington Post article about the Scott sisters, I smelled that the NAACP would try to take credit for the outcome, even though I've never heard their name associated with the Scott sisters' case before.  I know with certainty that, although I read blogs and newspapers every day, the NAACP is NOT where I found out about this case.  And now, Benjamin Jealous plans to hold a joint press conference with arch-conservative Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour to celebrate this long-fought victory which then NAACP has so recently joined.

I imagine that if the case had occurred in Louisiana, Jealous would hold a press conference with David Duke.

In fact, although the Scott sisters have been in jail for sixteen years, while the NAACP's President Ben Jealous may have first mentioned the case to the media on September 15, 2010"NAACP backs pardon for Miss. sisters serving life", USA Today,   "The president of the N.A.A.C.P., is seeking a pardon from the Governor of Mississippi, announced the Red Mountain Post on October 15, 2010.  When the NAACP announces its support in a nationally-known case of injustice that has been advocated at blogs and community groups for years, and the NAACP's freshly-painted involvement becomes national news, you know that organization has lost its way.  It has gone from political leader to political opportunist, just as occurred in the Jena Six case, where "NAACP Spent More on Internal Jena Six Activities Than on Youths’ Defense Funds."

I think the current role of the NAACP is to show up at our victory parties and grab the microphone before anyone else has a chance to speak, so they can ask for donations that ultimately pay for NAACP overhead instead of being used to help the named victims of injustice.

Scotty Reid of BlackTalkMedia says that the NAACP ignored the Scott sisters' case until it became a media magnet, and then the NAACP jumped into the media fray as a "Johnny come lately," opening a financial donations account from which the Scott sisters allegedly have not received a dime.  "The NAACP has not contributed one dime to the legal expenses of the Scott sisters and nor has it stated that it will do so. . . " alleges Scotty Reid.

Leave it to the NAACP to announce a joint press conference with Haley Barbour, defender of the White Citizens Councils, and thereby putting the NAACP seal of Black approval on Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour.  , in the eyes of white people who thing the NAACP is a respected organization with real constituents.  Here's Haley Barbour's resume, in reverse chronological order, which facts Ben Jealous apparently has not read, or has dismissed in the rush for the media spotlight:

    Governor of Mississippi (Jan-2004 to present)
    National Policy Forum Founder (1993)
    Republican National Committee Chairman (1993-97)
    American Success PAC

    Americans for a Republican Majority

    America's Foundation

    Bayou Leader PAC

    Bluegrass Committee

    Bush-Cheney '04

    Bush-Quayle '92

    Campaign America Inc.

    Cantor for Congress

    Committee for the Preservation of Capitalism

    Defend America PAC

    Elizabeth Dole Committee

    Elizabeth Dole for President

    The Freedom Project


    Friends of Giuliani Exploratory Committee

    Friends of Katherine Harris

    Friends of Phil Gramm PAC

    Friends of Roy Blunt

    George W. Bush for President

    Keep Our Mission PAC

    JD Hayworth for Congress

    John McCain 2008

    Leadership PAC 2006

    Lindsey Graham for Senate

    McCain 2000

    McCain for Senate '98

    National Council for a New America Founding Member
    National Republican Senatorial Committee

    New Republican Majority Fund

    Northern Lights PAC

    Rely on Your Beliefs Fund

    Republicans Abroad Advisory Committee
    Restoring the American Dream Board of Directors
    Resurgent Republic Advisory Board
    Santorum 2000

    Senate Victory Fund PAC

    Spirit of America

    Washington Legal Foundation Legal Policy Advisory Board
    Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity

    Microsoft Washington lobbyist
    Barbour, Griffith & Rogers Founder, President, CEO (1991-99)
    Member of the Board of Amtrak

    Bush Pioneer 2000

The only thing missing so far is Barbour's conceivable involvement in the White Citizens Councils.  Now, I'd like to have one good reason why Ben Jealous wants to shake Haley Barbor's hand, if not for selfish fundraising goals and publicity after the fact.   See "Haley Barbour's Praise For Racist Group Gets Noticed" on NPR.  

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour is getting much more national attention than he usually does this week following a Weekly Standard profile in which the Republican with presidential aspirations lauds a group that was part of the racist reaction to the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s.

Haley Barbour has tried to rehabilitate the imagine of the White Citizens Councils, but Amanda Terkel at Huffington Post says:

In a 1956 article in Commentary David Halberstam describes the White Citizens Council as an organization determined to "not just oppose integration in the public schools but to stop or at least postpone it. In most of the the Deep South, where hostility to integration is nearly universal, it is this militancy and dedication that make the Council member stand out. Despite occasional efforts by supporters to build the Councils up into a movement of broad conservatism, their only serious purpose is to fight the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Not only do they contest the NAACP's desegregation suits, but they seek to cancel much else that the Negro has gained over the last half-century by keeping him out of the voting booth."

Even Haley Barbour now recognizes that the hateful and pro-segregation work of the White Citizens Councils. His state governor website says, apologetically:

"When asked why my hometown in Mississippi did not suffer the same racial violence when I was a young man that accompanied other towns' integration efforts, I accurately said the community leadership wouldn't tolerate it and helped prevent violence there. My point was my town rejected the Ku Klux Klan, but nobody should construe that to mean I think the town leadership were saints, either. Their vehicle, called the 'Citizens Council,' is totally indefensible, as is segregation. It was a difficult and painful era for Mississippi, the rest of the country, and especially African Americans who were persecuted in that time."

I personally believe that Haley Barbour is trying to disassociate and immunize himself against attacks on his color-aroused background, perhaps because he was a member or collaborator of the White Citizens Council himself, or because his family members were.  That's just a hunch, but it's worth looking into it, because I believe Haley Barbour is running for president in 2012.

This is why I find it incredibly idiotic that Ben Jealous of the NAACP is planning to hold a joint press conference with Barbour.  He unwittingly or intentionally is helping to inoculate Barbour against charges of color aroused politics and helping to distract attention from Barbour's roles and affiliations in the Republican presidencies of Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.  Meanwhile, Ben Jealous wants to get on television, pretending that his NAACP is still relevant, even though they didn't have a meaningful website during any of the days of the George W. Bush presidential administration.

Ben Jealous is prominently meeting with one of President Obama's most likely opponents for 2012, undercutting the obvious anti-Barbour opinion that Barbour is a color-aroused man from one of America's most color-aroused states.  I don't know who's worse:  The NAACP's Ben Jealous for helping Haley Barbour or Haley Barbour for being Haley Barbour.

Haley Barbour's motive is obvious, and Ben Jealous is seems blind to the political realities, except as they affect his own publicity and opportunities for an NAACP fundraising drive.

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