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Dallas South has written an interesting post about the controversy behind the scenes at the NAACP during their search for a new president. NAACP national spokesman Richard J. McIntire confirmed the vote in favor of Benjamin Jealous with The Associated Press early Saturday after the 8-hour closed door meeting, according to Roland Martin giving excellent coverage here and here over at Essence.com.

Here’s a great quote from the AP coverage on the new president (emphasis mine):

Though he is not a politician, minister or civil rights icon, in Jealous the organization gets a young but connected leader familiar with black leadership and social justice issues. The 35-year-old takes the helm as the NAACP’s 17th president just months before the organization’s centennial anniversary, as the group grapples with dwindling membership and looks to boost its coffers.

Jealous has a distinguished background — and his work cut out for him in building trust not only with the NAACP board it seems but with NAACP members like myself and the African-American community at large.

From Dallas South:

The NAACP has selected 35 year old Benjamin Todd Jealous as its next President and CEO. Jealous was the only candidate presented to the group’s 64 member Executive Board.

This quote by CNN says a lot about the vote.

When the 34-21 vote was announced, “no one clapped or celebrated,” one board member said after the meeting in Baltimore,Maryland.

The story goes on to say, “Some board members wanted to hear from two others whom the search committee identified as finalists, but Jealous’ supporters prevented it, sources said. ”

Roland Martin writes more about the vote at Essence.com.

Another (board member) 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.

In a subsequent article, Roland says “According to multiple board members, the search firm employed by the NAACP to find a new leader, the San Francisco-based Hodge /Niederer / Cariani / Lindsay, ranked Jealous second, and Dallas megachurch preacher, the Rev. Frederick Douglass Haynes III, first” Roland also says Haynes’ desire to remain as Senior Pastor of Friendship-West in Dallas, raised a “red flag among members.”

Throughout these last few weeks I was warned “this is a highly politicized process.” It’s obvious that I felt Dr. Frederick D. Haynes would make the best President, but then again I thought Ben Gordon was good also. And knowing how the NAACP is, I still figured he would at least be presented to the Board, though reports from the very beginning said otherwise.

I can only think that the selection of Jealous and his support among the NAACP brass i.e. Julian Bond means more business as usual. I’ll leave it at that.

From Roland Martin:

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.

Be on the lookout for other board members revealing details of the boardroom battle.

The NAACP has a lot of work to do and business as usual is not likely to help them regain any ground. We’ll be watching Benjamin Jealous to see how he chooses to lead the organization forwardI personally wish him the best of luck. will also be interesting to hear from other folks such as dissenting board members and Dr. Frederick Douglass Haynes. Here’s Haynes speaking last year on CNN discussing religion and socio-political issues and who is an interesting emerging leader:

Joshua Packwood was the first white man on Sunday to become a valedictorian of all-male, majority black Morehouse College in Atlanta. Morehouse Men are famous for their high caliber intelligence, strong values and rigorous training. Admissions are competitive and Morehouse is ranked among U.S. News’ Best Colleges 2008.

Some may see the choice of Packwood as controversial. I see it as progressive and laudatory. As a commenter said her on U.S. News Paper Trail blog (emphasis mine):

Joshua Packwood earned this moment. As a Morehouse Man, I welcome this gentleman as my Morehouse Brother. Does his race matter? No. Our nation may see the first African American President of the United States; Morehouse College will graduate its first white Valedictorian. These are opportunities to help bridge the cultural divide that plagues our nation.

I admit that upon learning of this I had mixed feelings, but then I realized that to hold ill feeling against my alma mater and against this bright young man because of race would make me no different than the many whites that had issues with W.E.B. DuBois being the first to graduate with a PhD from Harvard, or the whites in the city of Atlanta having issues with Maynard Jackson being Atlanta’s first black mayor (I could continue with many first). Do not hold contempt to this young scholar, he is obviously a bright young man and an ambassador of ‘”Dear Ol’ Morehouse”.

I did the opposite of Packwood and chose an Ivy League education despite the fact that I might have received a free education at the HBCU where my father had taught. I did that not because I didn’t value the quality of an HBCU education. I was encouraged to do so in part to become an ambassador of my people in an arena from which we had been excluded for far too long. Opportunities had become available that had never been possible for my great-grandparents or even my own parents and I was urged to take advantage of the newly opened doors to the traditional portals of power and prestige.

I know that Packwood knows what it’s like to be a minority and hopefully will have insights to share with colleagues. Hopefully he will be a mentor for talented young people no matter their ethnicity. As those who know discrimination all too well, we have a special responsibility to practice what we preach. We must show examples of how to promote achievement based on merit and the content of your character, not the color of your skin. America has become an increasingly diverse nation where we can all hope that talents are recognized fairly.

In that spirit, apparently Joshua Packwood is actually co-valedictorian which perhaps would reduce the drama if it were actually reported by the MSM. Congratulations to Josh L. Harris, the other valedictorian whose achievement must also not be overlooked.

For additional perspective, let’s remember that Barack Obama was the first black to be elected to the Harvard Law Review. Here’s the NY Times story from 1990:

The Harvard Law Review, generally considered the most prestigious in the country, elected the first black president in its 104-year history today. The job is considered the highest student position at Harvard Law School.

The Harvard Law Review, generally considered the most prestigious in the country, elected the first black president in its 104-year history today. The job is considered the highest student position at Harvard Law School.

The new president of the Review is Barack Obama, a 28-year-old graduate of Columbia University who spent four years heading a community development program for poor blacks on Chicago’s South Side before enrolling in law school. His late father, Barack Obama, was a finance minister in Kenya and his mother, Ann Dunham, is an American anthropologist now doing fieldwork in Indonesia. Mr. Obama was born in Hawaii.

”The fact that I’ve been elected shows a lot of progress,” Mr. Obama said today in an interview. ”It’s encouraging.

”But it’s important that stories like mine aren’t used to say that everything is O.K. for blacks. You have to remember that for every one of me, there are hundreds or thousands of black students with at least equal talent who don’t get a chance,” he said, alluding to poverty or growing up in a drug environment.

If we expect whites, latinos and other ethnic groups to look past any prejudice to vote for Barack Obama, African-Americans must too be willing to be open to diversity. If Sen. Robert Byrd, former Ku Klux Klan member, can endorse Barack Obama, surely we can celebrate Joshua Packwood, Morehouse Man.

I was approached last week to appear on The Young Turks radio show to discuss this post about ABC spreading the Obama-as-Muslim lie on Good Morning America.

The segment is about 15 minutes and can be heard here.

Please excuse to hyper-cheesy headshot. I don’t know where they found it.

I wondered how many potshots Senator Barack Obama was going to allow the opposition to take at his beautiful wife, Michelle, before firing back.

Apparantly, the brotha has more “brotha” in him than we gave him credit for:

Most notably is this line:

“The GOP, should I be the nominee, can say whatever they want to say about me, my track record,” Obama said. “If they think that they’re going to try to make Michelle an issue in this campaign, they should be careful because that I find unacceptable, the notion that you start attacking my wife or my family.”

He called the strategy “low class.”

I view what he said as code words for “Lay off my woman before I get in that ass.”

And it is LOW CLASS; the attacks on Michelle by the Grand Old Perverts (cause that’s what GOP stands for). When you can’t attack a candidate on the issues (and the GOP knows on the issues, 80% of the country is pissed at them)only the GOP would engage in an attack not on the issues, but the candidate’s wife or family.

The only other person who has already gone there is Hillary Clinton, and y’all know how I feel about her. If you look up the phrase, “LOW CLASS” I swear there’s a picture of Hillary Clinton next to the definition.

From Politico.com:

Buffett backs Obama

Warren Buffett, who has flirted with both Democrats, comes out for Obama at a Frankfurt press conference on the grounds that it’s over.

“He is my man,” he says.

Hat tip: DailyKos

From the Charleston Gazette:

Byrd endorses Obama for president
Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., endorsed Barack Obama for president shortly after noon today, focusing on his hope to end the Iraq War.
By Paul J. Nyden
Staff writer

Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., endorsed Barack Obama for president shortly after noon today, focusing on his hope to end the Iraq War.

“As people all across this great nation know, I have been one of the most outspoken opponents of the Bush administration’s misguided war in Iraq and its saber rattling around the globe,” Byrd said.

He said he had “no intention of involving myself in the Democratic campaign for President in the midst of West Virginia’s primary election. But the stakes this November could not be higher.”

Byrd praised both Obama and Hillary Clinton, saying their “integrity, honor, love for this country and strong belief in our Constitution I deeply respect…

“Barack Obama is a noble-hearted patriot and humble Christian, and he has my full faith and support,” Byrd concluded.

The symbolism cannot be lost on our very astute JJP readers.


Image courtesy of Soul Portrait via Flickr

From HuffingtonPost.com:

Obama Draws Record Crowd Of 75,000 In Portland
The Huffington Post
May 18, 2008 06:45 PM

The Washington Post reports from Obama’s rally in Portland, Oregon:

Sen. Barack Obama has seen his share of large crowds over the last 15 months, but his campaign said they have not approached the numbers gathered along the waterfront here right now.

The campaign, citing figures from Duane Bray, battalion chief of Portland Fire & Rescue, estimated that 75,000 people are watching him speak.

The scene suggests this is not an exaggeration. The sea of heads stretches for half a mile along the grassy embankment, while others watch from kayaks and power boats bobbing on the Willamette River. More hug the rails of the steel bridge that stretches across the water and crowds are even watching from jetties on the opposite shore.

Another account from the Swamp:

The crowd covers the lawn here at Tom McCall Waterfront Park, from the streetside entry gates down to the Willamette River. Portland fire officials estimate 60,000 people are packed inside the park proper and another 10-15,000 are watching outside the gates. Spectators are lining the bridge behind Obama and watching, bikini-clad, from boats on the river.

The stump speech is Obama’s standard riff – 30 minutes long and counting now, despite the sun beating down on the candidate. He’s added a few Oregonian flourishes, drawing big cheers when he said the country can learn from Portland’s commitment to mass transit and bicycle lanes. The biggest applause came when he denounced the Iraq war; Oregon is a hotbed of anti-war activism.

At one point, someone in the crowd shouted an expression of love at Obama. He broke his speech for a moment: “I love you too,” he said.

“If you vote for me on Tuesday,” he said, “We won’t just win Oregon. We’ll win this nomination, we’ll win this general election. And you and I together, we’ll change this country, we’ll change the world.”

Seventy-five thousand people seemed to like the sound of that.

Now….estimate with me people…

How many of those were HARD WORKING WHITES?

Of course, we just know that Oregon doesn’t count because of its large Black population….(sarcasm dripping here).

When you’re stuck in an airport for more than five hours (like I was today flying back from a conference in Dallas), you have one of three choices:

(1) Eat high-priced airport food;
(2) Browse equally high-priced books in souvenir stores;, or
(3) Get treated to continuous CNN coverage of any and everything.

I chose options (1) and (3) because a sista needed to get her grub on while waiting to get placed on a flight that was cancelled (and I learned this when I got to the airport). Anyway, so, I’m watching Wolf Blitzer (who I can’t stand) and caught a snippet of his interview with the Borg Queen.

Because I know Hillary will slip a fast one in her comments that won’t be caught until two days later, I found myself listening pretty closely and was wishing for YouTube when I heard her say:

“I will do my best to help the candidate from our party, should Barack (why can’t she call him by his title and show some respect?)be the nominee; of course, I still hope I’m the nominee, but if not, then I’ll do my best to help Senator McCain, er, Senator Obama in the general.”

Now, anyone else would probably say Hillary was talking so fast, she wasn’t paying attention to what she was saying. Kinda like when Condi Rice said, “Like I was telling my hus-, er, the President, the other day…”

Sometimes, slip ups in speech can really mean something meant to be conveyed as a result of subconscious thought. Should Hillary lose (and we expect her to) the race for the nomination, she will probably get behind Obama to help him win…after she’s done all she can to destroy him for the general in the first place. But I found myself thinking, “Did she really mean McCain?”

I only ask that because she is on record saying she believes McCain is more qualified than Obama to be President.

I wondered at the time why wasn’t she kicked out of the Democratic Party for that stunt, and where was Joe Biden with a classic “BS” Comment like he made the other day in responding to Bush’s asinine attempts to kick dirt at Obama.

I don’t trust homegirl – she has shown us what she is and what she thinks of African-Americans in general, with the exception of Chief Mammy Maggie Williams, and she’s probably pissed that Toni Morrison has finally clarified what she really meant when she called Wild Bill the “first Black President”, as we revoked his honorary Field Negro card for his “Jesse Jackson” comments in South Carolina.

I will give her half a prop, and that is difficult for me, cause I don’t like what she’s turned this primary season into because of her self-aggrandizement – she did say that for any of her supporters to refuse to vote in the general for Senator Obama was an ill-fated thing to do, and she said likewise for the Obama supporters echoing similar sentiments. She said the party should do everything to see that the Democratic nominee gets the White House; and I started wondering has someone been slipping her Obama-aid into her vodka tonics (okay, I kid, because I don’t know if she drinks or not)? I’ve always said if she stole the nomination from Obama, I’d write in my choice, but I’d definitely wouldn’t be staying home on Election Day, because too many of our ancestors took dog bites, beatings, water-hosings, and even lost their lives, so we could exercise that fundamental right to vote.

However, I think Obama supporters would have a more legit beef not to show up on Election Day, if shenanigans are pulled in Denver and gives the nomination to Hillpatine – they would be disenfranchised voters who believe their votes do not count, while if Hillary loses, she will have lost fair and square because the voters would have spoken. I hope if the worst case scenario emerges after Denver, we take other action apart from rioting and not showing up at the polls (neither strategy sends a forceful message and that is what would be needed; sending a message to stop taking voters of color for granted).

It doesn’t surprise me at all that she’s still trying to get the delegates from Michigan and Florida seated at the convention; however, I expect the DNC to abide by its own rules and policy – and that means those states have to take their punishment because no one told them to move up their primaries before their scheduled dates.

I wonder if someone lost their jobs behind those stunts? Anyways…

Then Wolfie and CNN moved on to Star Jones dissing Barbara Walters, and Baba Wawa making out like Star has lost her natural mind, especially when she said: “Star is going through a difficult time, and….” I guess, referencing that Star is divorcing her is-he-in-the-closet? husband, Al Reynolds, and that’s making her say loony things. What Star actually said was she thought it was low of Barbara Walters to write about her affair with former Senator Edward Brooke and exposing his family to that garbage, as well as slandering her in the book in order to promote book sales.

Which sounded like Star’s comments had more elements of truth to them than Baba Wawa’s.

I decided I’d had enough and needed a yogurt smoothie to keep me from screaming, and throwing my briefcase at the TV monitor (in these post 9/11 days, you don’t want to do that in an airport unless you want to be locked up). I couldn’t take the Clinton Network News for more than 20 minutes; the people at Crooks and Liars have major props from me for stomaching it on a daily basis so we don’t have to. However, if I’m not stuck at DFW airport, I might have missed those TV nuggets which is passing for bonified journalism these days. They even have a sort of “Ted Kennedy” health watch going on, while bringing on Sanjay Gupta (who I will always remember being punked and pw3end by Michael Moore)to give us the breakdown on whether or not Ted had a stroke.

At this point, my head is spinning, and I still have yet to board a plane, which I didn’t do until 12:45pm – and I’d arrived at DFW thinking I’d be flying out at 8:30am….((growl))…

To top off and crown my day, I got to Dulles and found out my luggage didn’t make my flight, and is coming in at midnight. The baggage guy told me to come back at midnight for my bags. Y’all know what I did?

No, I didn’t go off – I just calmly looked at him and said “I expect you to deliver my bags to my home because at $4 dollars a gallon for gas, I can’t afford to come back out here unless I’m getting on another plane. Handle yo’ business, so I won’t have to.”

My bags should be on my doorstep in the morning….LOL

h/t BlogHer

Sen. Barack Obama sat down with BlogHer today to answer key policy questions developed by this community of bloggers for 2008 presidential candidates.

In an exclusive on-camera interview with BlogHer, Sen. Obama (D-IL) answers questions about the economy, Iraq, health care and the environment — including a health-care screening process for every veteran and support for their spouses and families, health insurance coverage for birth control to avoid unwanted pregnancies, and working with China and other countries on climate change, a “major problem.”

Sen. Obama is the first presidential candidate to accept our invitation to come on-camera to directly address BlogHer’s audience, which now reaches nine million women each month via BlogHer.com and a publishing syndicate of 1,800 blogs. The interview was conducted in Roseburg, Oregon, by Contributing Editor Erin Kotecki Vest, with input from Contributing Editor Kim Pearson.

I first met the BlogHer fam at South by Southwest in 2006. Earlier this year, I linked to Erin (aka QueenofSpain) and her post of Feb 12 asking Hillary to step down.

Sunday Open Thread

18 May 2008

SOrry to put this up so late

h/t YouTube

Idle Warship (Talib Kweli & Res) and Chester French team up to send a message to the Hillary campaign: FALL BACK and drop out of the race!

Part of the reason why I enjoy surfing the ‘Net is because you’ll never know what nuggets of information you’ll come across.

For those of you under the delusion that Hillpatine isn’t up to dirty tricks; that she’s been the ‘nicer’ and ‘more polite’ Hillpatine- let me disabuse you of that notion.

Found this in the comments section over at The Field:

This is the e-mail I received from her campaign:

Dear Ron, Michigan & Florida – Make Sure They Have a Voice! Millions of voters in Florida and Michigan are depending on you to help make sure they have a voice in this race. Will you stand up for them today? Thanks to your efforts, thanks to the hundreds of thousands of people who have already spoken out, the DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee is meeting May 31 to make a decision about whether or not the votes in Michigan and Florida will count. Now I need you to urge the DNC to make the right decision on May 31. I need you to remind them that in the Democratic Party, we count every vote. Tell the Democratic National Committee to count the votes of Florida and Michigan. On May 31, the DNC has a chance to make it clear that the people of Florida and Michigan have a voice in our party. The decision is especially critical given the important role these states will play in November. And your voice could make the difference for the millions of people who went to the polls in those two states to make their choice for president. Stand with me today and tell the DNC to count the votes in Florida and Michigan. I have consistently said that every vote must count. It is such an important principle in our party. I really appreciate you standing up for the values we share. Thank you, Hillary Rodham Clinton

She is trying to undermine and de-legitimize Obama’s victory. May that be plain as day to you.

And Brian Francis over at Politicalinaction.com broke it down as to what she’s trying to do with Florida & Michigan:

May 17, 2008
Obama gains 3 delegates today…..

His magic number is now 119 delegates. He picked up a delegate each in Nevada, Kansas, and Maryland.

Hillary’s last remaining argument is that Florida and Michigan should be seated as is. In the highly unlikely chance this happens, you need 1783.5 for a majority of pledged delegates(voted on delegates). This is seen as the threshold Obama or Hillary must pass to be guaranteed the nomination…as the superdelegates won’t overturn the will of the people…i.e…the person who holds the majority of the pledged delegates.

If Obama gets his delegates from Florida….and the 55 uncommitted delegates from Michigan….he will be at 1735.5. To gain a majority, 1783.5-1735.5= 48 pledged delegates are needed on Tuesday to hold the pledged delegate majority with Florida and Michigan seated as is.

Obama and Hillary will basically split the delegates come Tuesday 52-51.

So on Tuesday night, under every scenario, Obama will be the pledged delegate leader. Chucky Todd made this point on the day Edwards endorsed. I did not include Edwards’ delegates in my calculations.

This is why Hillary is pushing the Florida and Michigan votes to be seated AS IS. That would mean uncommitted doesn’t go to Obama, and they are free to vote how they please. So that means Hillary can try to sway them to vote for her.

Remember, OBAMA WASN’T EVEN ON THE BALLOT IN MICHIGAN.

Just trying to keep the snakes before you, JJP readers. Under no circumstances, whatsoever, can she or any or anyone around her BE TRUSTED.

PERIOD.

Hat tip: truthseeker here at JJP

From the blog, The Field

Nevada Statewide Convention: Obama 14 Delegates, Clinton 11
By Al Giordano

Today’s news from Nevada confirms that there’s been “many a slip twixt the cup and the lip” when it comes to last January 19th’s declarations that Clinton had “won” the Nevada caucuses.

First came the reality-check that Obama’s greater support in the state’s rural counties provided him with one more delegate – thirteen in total – to Clinton’s twelve.

Today came the final step in the process from precinct caucuses to county conventions to the statewide convention. The Reno Gazette-Journal reports:

U.S. Sen. Barack Obama succeeded in driving more supporters to the Nevada state convention than his opponent U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, who had won the state in the Jan. 19 caucuses. Obama essentially reversed Clinton’s lead from the caucuses, capturing 55 percent of the state delegates to Clinton’s 45 percent.

The heavy turnout earned Obama one more delegate to the national convention, than previously expected based on the caucus results.

The final tally: Obama won 14 national delegates and Clinton won 11 national delegates. Under the caucus results, Obama was expected to win 13 national delegates to Clinton’s 12. Although Clinton won the caucuses, Obama out-performed her in rural Nevada and Washoe County.

The convention has one more delegate to name, although that person goes to the national convention unpledged.

Some Clinton supporters have begun to give up and, despite being elected delegates, stayed home, while the Obama grassroots organization proved tireless, taking no prisoners, and grabbing another Democratic National Convention delegate away from the tired Clinton camp, for a net gain of +2.

See Also: Patrick Coolican’s Happier Days for Democrats in today’s Las Vegas Sun.

*********************************************

I guess it was all those latte-sipping Black folk in RURAL NEVADA that put Obama over the top. (yes, sarcasm dripping here)

Even now, Obama’s campaign keeps its nose to the grindstone and doesn’t lose focus. Don’t tell me he hasn’t earned everything in this campaign; his organization, from top to bottom, has been first-rate.


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