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, http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2010-09-14-scott-sisters_N.htm. "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:
National Policy Forum Founder (1993)
Republican National Committee Chairman (1993-97)
American Success PAC
Americans for a Republican Majority
Bayou Leader PAC
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 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
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.
Haley Barbour has tried to rehabilitate the imagine of the White Citizens Councils, but Amanda Terkel at Huffington Post says:
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.