Benjamin Jealous speaking about the priorities of the NAACP under his leadership.
No, that isn't Piers Morgan from America's Got Talent, that is Benjamin Todd Jealous (God Bless His Little Idealistic Heart), the new president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People known around here as the National Association for the Advancement of MALE Colored People or the National Association for the Advancement of Criminal People or "that five-letter organization" or CHIPS, DIPS, and SALSA!
I was all set to mail in my membership dues until esteemed journalist, radio talk show host and CNN contributor, Roland Martin provided behind the scenes details courtesy of some loose lipped members of the NAACP National Board. Roland reported the cantankerous and tawdry manner in which the NAACP's gargantuan Board Of Directors reacted to Jealous' selection.(They had better not EVER whine to me about what Black bloggers are doing to them when their own board is shooting them in the foot). Keep internal squabbles internal. You might fight like the dickens behind closed doors, but its not a good look to call up a reporter to try to undermine your newly minted President... even if you don't think he is qualified to to the job, ACT LIKE IT!
But, as usual with the NAACP, there was drama.Multiple NAACP board sources tell me it was a contentious debate to select Jealous as president of the NAACP. It was an eight-hour process that began at 7 p.m. and ended at 3 a.m. The vote was 34-21. One board member said that "when the tally was announced and it was conveyed that Ben would be the next CEO, no one clapped or celebrated." Another said "when we left the room, many were in disbelief." Those who didn't support Jealous say he was marked as the primary choice of board chairman Julian Bond, who began calling board members two weeks ago to line up support. There was vigorous discussion to postpone the vote to allow the board to hear from the other two finalists, but that effort was beaten back by those who backed Jealous on the board. Rolandisimo MartinBenjamin Jealous was not the number one choice by the search firm hired to do the search . The top pick was Pastor Freddy Haynes out of Dallas, a protege of Pastor Jeremiah Wright. Now when have y'all ever known the NAACP Board to accept anyone's professional opinion? In keeping with their tradition of receiving advice from professionals and then deciding to do just the opposite, the board passed on Haynes and chose Benjamin Todd Jealous, Julian "I Marched With Martin" Bond's hand picked selection. If you want to see Ben Jealous speak at length ten years ago on the Charlie Rose Show, go here. God bless his little heart. That board is going to eat him alive. He actually seems quite bright, unfortunately for him, the NAACP presidency is a career killer. Where is Ben Chavis? Hocking hip hop with Russell Simmons. Kweisi Mfume? Defeated senatorial candidate. Bruce Gordon? An undisclosed location. The sad thing is that Ben Jealous is just 35 so even after the NAACP Board get's through with him, he still has a long career ahead of him.
So to Mr. Jealous. Good Luck. I hope you are successful. No one benefits from having one of the most widely known civil rights brands hampered by obsolescence, poor organization, financial mismanagement, inappropriate workplace relationships with subordinates, bad judgment or sloth... did I leave anything out y'all?
Thurgood Marshall was one of my idols so every times I have to write a critical word about the NAACP it pains me... I do it anyway, but it pains me... not as much as it used to... okay it doesn't pain me at all after their foolishness earlier this year.
One of your first tasks ought to be to listen to this podcast .If you want to know why 25-35 year olds are NOT tripping over themselves to sign up, this podcast gives you a pretty good reason why. Or take a look at one of our most recent PSA's to rebut some NAACP foolishness down in West Palm Beach Florida.
As for those Black bloggers who have already declared Mr. Jealous to be a choice to maintain the status quo as he is the hand picked puppet of Julian Bond, we here at WAOD will reserve judgment. Mainly because the NAACP has no impact on the work we do here and short of them throwing another press conference to call for the release of alleged violent criminals who prey on Black women and their children, we are content to give the man a chance.
On a lighter note... we now commence the WAOD Benjamin Jealous Exit Poll/ Betting Pool... How long will it be before he EXITS his position at the NAACP???
No seriously, Mr Jealous, you seem like the type to Google yourself (no shame in that). If you read this post, we wish you all the best. Don't let them get you down. I have to give some credit to any 35 year old willing to risk their career on an organization that has a such recent history of dysfunction. Just please, try not to date the staff in the National headquarters or hire your relatives, try to impose some type of internal financial controls, don't spend more than you can afford, send Mr McIntire to some external relations retraining, and for every celebrity and criminal that you call a press conference to defend, try to slip in a word or two about Black women and their struggles and issues. Because all colored people aren't male, committing crimes or in the NFL.
P.S. If Russell Simmons calls to offer you a position as the CEO and President of the Hip Hop Summit Action Network, JUST SAY NO! Oh yeah and you're invited to Blogging While Brown in Atlanta this summer... Bring Mr. McIntire, Black bloggers love him!
UPDATE: If you thought the NAACP national board was going to change its ways, think again. I mean poor Ben Jealous deserved at least a WEEK of a honeymoon before they started micro managing. Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony, a man who has his own "issues", decided to issue a press release to let the world know HE did not want Ben Jealous as president. WHY? For what purpose? Why would you spend $369 to put that press release on PR News Wire?
UPDATE #2: You gotta love the NAACP's national board. They ain't happy about Ben Jealous as the next president and they want you to know it
."How are you going to be relevant when you are not reasonable and righteous within your own house?" Amos Brown, NAACP National Board Member complaining about the selection of Ben Jealous to lead the troubled organization.UPDATE: Folks all over the internet and in the comments are insisting that this man is White. He is not White. It would not matter if he was, but in the interest of time and accuracy, this is a photo with his mom. Ben, Julian, and Ben's mom are basically all the same hue. Don't ya'll have any relatives from Louisiana? Black people come in all hues. You should be worried about his policy decisions and the fact that Julian Bond hand picked him because Bond was afraid of the power of the other two finalists.