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11-28-04,#8. NAACP Saga Continues: Kweisi Mfume Ousted. Will hope return?
Rumors continue to swirl about the NAACP Headquarters offices in Baltimore, MD at the sudden departure of Kweisi Mfume as President of the NAACP. The generalized statement of plausibility is that it is because Kweisi Mfume has not been an effective executive, in that he has not generated an increase in membership (which we can attest to as he presided over our being expelled, so that is one that was dropped from the rolls) and because he did not increase the revenues (and certainly expending monies on projects like our expulsion takes money away from real issues). The vote to terminate was 4-2 by vote of the Executive Committee. As the By-Laws of the NAACP allow for the National Executive Board to terminate for cause, and as this was done swiftly last Wednesday, with the staff being told Friday, we suspect that there is more to this than just a lack of increase in membership and revenue. Had there been accounting irregularities as in Minneapolis, we would have expected a unanimous vote. As it was 4-2 we suspect it was personal behaviors not in keeping with the values and practices of this potentially great civil rights organization. We have tried to maintain a positive tone with the NAACP. But when a national civil rights organization’s President allows a civil rights activist be expelled for what was written in his book, things are amiss, other things are distracting, and it is a sign that the organization is off kilter, off track. We have drawn attention to our concerns in our paper on the NAACP (NAACP Takes Eye of Prizeposted July 21, 2003), and columns on our Minneapolis.com web page. We believe as Isaiah, that “the beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right name.” This we have done. We are emboldened to hope that the NAACP will now do so as well and will now return to its civil right purpose and concentrate not on executive’s personal things and junkets to African plantations run by Black dictators, but pay attention to the plantations of our inner cities in which Whites continue to act as if we are different and can’t make it by ourselves, as they do all they can to make that a self fulfilling prophecy. We pray that the NAACP will now return to its roots and once again lead the way in dealing effectively with the problems still to be solved for the ancestors of African slaves in America in terms of education, jobs, housing, health care, public safety, and the State of Emergency for Black Youth, posted August 16,2003. We commend to the NAACP our The Minneapolis Table Building Blocks and recommend that the NAACP consider using them to implement our proposed The Seven Key Solutions nation wide, which would rekindle in us the hope that the NAACP will actually be on the way to being restored and that it will no longer have its eyes diverted from our deserved and earned Prize of Freedom so we can finish our Unfinished Dream.
Posted 10:21 p.m.
11-27-04/#7: NAACP: no annual dinner for first time in 70 years. Do elections mean recycle, reform, or dissolve?
For the first time in 70 years, the NAACP held no annual Freedom Day Banquet. In November of 2000, two thousand turned out to hear Nelson Mandela. Local corporations gave him $100,000 for his museum on Robbins Island where he was incarcerated for 28 years. Our local branch took in $87,000. Fast forward to November 2000: “The Minneaolis Story, through My eyes” was published warning of trouble ahead, of the decline and demise, in Chapter 14. For that act of truth telling our supporters were disenfranchised and I was expelled. Now fast forward again to November 2004: no annual banquet. No money in the treasury. Branch in receivership.
Ron hosts “Black Focus” on Channel 17, MTN-TV, Sundays, 5-6 pm. Formerly head of the Minneapolis Civil Rights Commission and the Urban League, he continues his “watchdog” role for Minneapolis. Order his book, hear his voice, read his solution papers, and read his between columns “web log” at www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
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What does the local branch have to show for itself in November 2004? New elections were held. But will the branch recycle the old style with new people, reform the old for the prizes of progress in access and opportunity for African Americans in Minneapolis in the 21st century, or be dissolved by national due to being irrelevant?
With 62 voting in the elections of November 20th out of a membership of 267, are the results valid? And with a membership of 267 out of a Black population of 80,000, is the NAACP relevant to the Black people of the community or just to those participating in a defacto patronage system? Will they seek to have those improperly expelled reinstated or pursue old business of getting paid to collect monies for activities that essentially stay within the offices and not in the community? Will the new leadership be bold reformers or solid supporters of the status quo? Will the new leadership go boldly where the NAACP has not gone for a long time, or be dissolved with a whimper? Will it seek to achieve genuine self-supporting independence or sit around waiting for some government agency or corporation to give it funds to keep a gloss on the nameplate to assuage their consciences, but which essentially achieves nothing for the community? posted 12:05 p.m.
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