Leon Jenkins Resigns In Disgrace

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Los Angeles NAACP President Leon Jenkins has resigned amid scrutiny surrounding the organization’s decision to give awards to disgraced Clippers owner Donald Sterling.

In his letter of resignation Thursday evening, Jenkins said the “legacy, history and reputation of the NAACP is more important to me than the presidency. In order to separate the Los Angeles NAACP and the NAACP from the negative exposure I have caused … I respectfully resign my position as president of the Los Angeles NAACP.”

The group granted Sterling an award in 2009, the same year the real estate magnate and L.A. Clippers owner paid $2.73 million to settle U.S. government claims that he refused to rent his apartments in Koreatown to Latinos and blacks.

The chapter was set to give Sterling a second award when a recording emerged in which a man said to be Sterling asked a female friend not to publicly associate with African Americans.

While Jenkins was a Detroit judge, he was indicted in 1988 on federal bribery, conspiracy, mail fraud and racketeering charges, according to records from the State Bar of California.

Authorities at the time alleged that Jenkins received gifts from those who appeared in his court and committed perjury, according to the records.

He was acquitted of criminal charges, but in 1994 the Michigan Supreme Court disbarred him, finding “overwhelming evidence” that Jenkins “sold his office and his public trust,” according to the bar records.

Jenkins was practicing law in California in 1991, serving as an attorney to the family of Latasha Harlins, an African American girl who was fatally shot by a Korean grocery store owner in South L.A., according to Times reports at the time.

In 1995, the state bar began looking into the misconduct allegations from Michigan. He was disbarred in 2001. He tried to be reinstated in 2006 but was rejected, according to records. He made another attempt in 2012.

Earlier this month, the bar turned him down, questioning whether he had the “moral fitness to resume the practice of law,” according to records. The bar stated that he had made misrepresentations on divorce papers and on his petition for reinstatement to the bar. Officials said he failed to disclose a $660,000 loan he owed former legal clients.

In his efforts to win back his law license, Jenkins said he was a rehabilitated man and a force for good in the community.

He said he’s raised $2 million for the NAACP’s 2011 national convention in Los Angeles. He also cited work with organizations that helped African Americans, including youth mentoring programs and voter outreach.

On the L.A. NAACP’s website, a biography for Jenkins notes he was “the youngest African American judge to serve in Michigan” but does not mention his legal troubles.

Jenkins did not return calls seeking comment Thursday.

Donald Sterling’s House Negro: Leon Jenkins

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By now you’ve heard of the toxic swirl of racism surrounding Billionaire Donald Sterling, owner of the Los Angeles Clippers NBA franchise. What you may not have heard about is the complicity of the Los Angeles NAACP in covering up for this infamous racist with a public relations problem. In 2009, the same year that Sterling settled a federal housing discrimination case, the largest in history, the LA NAACP gave Mr. Sterling a “lifetime achievement award.” Sterling, in fact, has paid out more than $8 million in housing discrimination cases related to his extensive real-estate holdngs. Apparently the President of Los Angeles NAACP, Leon Jenkins, felt this record of hate was worthy of celebration. The billionaire racist was so outstanding by Jenkins lights that he was set to award the bastard with yet another “lifetime achievement award” this year.

Donald Sterling is what happens when you make a disbarred attorney and defrocked judge the president of civil rights organization. The California State Bar picks up the story:

Jenkins was admitted to practice in Michigan in 1979 and in California the following year. In 1984, he was appointed a district court judge in Michigan, a position equivalent to a municipal court judge in California before courts here were unified. The Michigan Supreme Court found that between 1984 and 1987, Jenkins “systematically and routinely sold his office and his public trust, . . . committed wholesale violations of the most elementary canons of judicial conduct, and brought grave dishonor upon this state’s judiciary.”

The court found that he accepted bribes to dismiss traffic citations, intentionally misstated his address to get a reduction in his auto insurance premiums, solicited an individual for whom he fixed traffic tickets to commit perjury in a federal investigation of Jenkins’ conduct, engaged in improper communications with parties and counsel regarding matters coming before him, improperly accepted gifts and favors from litigants and counsel who appeared before him, and signed a writ of habeas corpus to release from custody someone he believed to be a close friend without adequate information about the case.

Although Jenkins was prosecuted twice in federal court, he was not found guilty. In 1991, between the two trials, he was removed from the bench by the Michigan Supreme Court. Three years later, after an 11-day hearing before the state’s discipline board, his license was revoked. The following year, disciplinary proceedings began in California under a statute which permits professional misconduct in another jurisdiction to be considered in a disciplinary proceeding in this state.

California subsequently disbarred Jenkins in 2001. He remains disbarred to this day. He is a crook and a charlatan that has sought to regain his lost prestige and credibility by remaking himself into a civil rights leader. Jenkins was elected President of the LA NAACP in 2008 and wasted no time in cozying up to billionaire racist Donald Sterling.  He put his considerable charm and people skills to use to promote a racist at the expense of the organization’s mission. The billionaire, looking to clean up his tarnished image, opened his considerable pockets and broke Jenkins off a piece. This unconscionable corruption is grounds for immediate suspension by the national NAACP of all LA NAACP branch officers. The NAACP wouldn’t have to whore itself out to corporations and billionaire racists to stay afloat if it was actually doing something.

Young NAACPers Collecting ‘Dangerous Weapons’ – Sneakers – to Send to Jena Six D.A.

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Hat Tip: By Sherrel Wheeler Stewart, Black America Web

Tennis shoes were used as dangerous weapons on Dec. 4, 2006 when six black students at Louisiana’s Jena High School fought white schoolmate Justin Barker, LaSalle Parish District Attorney J. Reed Walters told a courtroom this summer.

So hundreds of miles away in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, youth members of the NAACP have launched a drive to encourage people to turn in their dangerous weapons — sneakers, or tennis shoes as they are called in the South.

“We want used sneakers. We want the rank, stank, dirty sneakers. We want to send a message,” said the Rev. Elisha B. Morris, youth advisor for the Philadelphia Youth Council NAACP. “We’re going to box the sneakers up and ship them to the district attorney in Jena, Louisiana.” The group also wants each person who donates sneakers to contribute $2 for the Jena Defense Fund.

The effort is in response to charges brought against six black youths following the 2006 fight. Initially, Mychal Bell, Robert Bailey Jr., Carwin Jones, Bryant Purvis and Theo Shaw faced charges attempted murder and conspiracy in connection with the fight. A juvenile was also charged.

Bell was tried as an adult and convicted before an appeals court overturned that action and said Bell’s case should be handled in juvenile court. He is now going through proceedings in juvenile court, which are not public.

The fight followed weeks of racial tension in the town of 3,000 touched off in August 2006, after white students hung nooses from a tree. The white students were suspended from school several days, school officials have said.

The call for equal justice for the Jena Six picked up volume throughout the summer, and on Sept. 20, more than 25,000 people from across the country converged on Jena to show support.

The “Dangerous Weapons Drive” was launched on that day during a rally at Temple University in Philadelphia. Morris said a photographer at the event took his sneakers off and turned them in on the spot along with $2.

“No student, regardless of race, should have to tolerate what the Jena Six has faced,” said Darius Alexander, president of the Temple University Progressive NAACP Chapter.

“The charges were absurd. We want to send a message that this will not be tolerated,” Alexander told BlackAmericaWeb.com.

About 80 pairs of sneakers have been collected at Temple so far, but organizers expect more to come.

A local radio station is helping the effort by supporting a drop off point for sneakers at an Oct. 19 concert at the Wachovia Center featuring Kanye West, Rihanna, Ne-Yo, Eve, Akon, Swizz Beatz, Soulja Boy and Cassidy. Also, contests throughout the Philadelphia area have different organizations competing to collect the largest number of sneakers.

Morris said he wants to encourage activism among youths while sending a message to the justice system in LaSalle Parish and the state of Louisiana. He said he envisions a scene reminiscent of the courtroom scene in “Miracle on 34st Street.”

“The judge asked, ‘Where is the proof that this man is Santa Claus?’ First, they presented the judge a few letters that had been sent to him through the post office. Then, they brought in several loads. That’s what I want to see,” Morris told BlackAmericaWeb.com.

When Syracuse University professor and activist Boyce Watkins heard about the sneakers campaign, he laughed, he said.

“I think the shoes prove a point. It is so reflective of the energy and creativity young people bring to the movement,” Watkins told BlackAmericaWeb.com.

“The civil rights movement was driven by youths. They are idealists, and they believe. They are not constrained by social norms,” he said. “Some people call it the hip-hop generation. I call it the hip-hope generation. We have to support them and harness and nurture their energy.”

Mike Weaver, an Atlanta-based researcher who visited Jena long before the thousands arrived on Sept. 20, said while the sneakers drive will send a message, he is doubtful of the impact.

“They are going to ship (the shoes) to District Attorney Reed Walters, and he’s going to do the same thing he has done before,” Weaver said.

Morris said the goal of the sneakers drive and the contributions is to keep the momentum of Jena going, especially among the youth. “This is not over,” he said.

According to Watkins, attention needs to be focused on the entire system of justice in LaSalle Parish and in Louisiana.

“This is much bigger than Jena,” he said. “What about the thousands who are in prison because of an unequal system of justice?”

None of the six Jena youths currently are in jail. Bell was released on Sept. 28, a week after the rally that attracted world wide attention.

Alexander, a senior majoring in kinesiology at Temple, said word of the drive is spreading to other Philadelphia-area college campuses, including the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University. High school students are also getting involved.

“For me, personally, I just think about the same thing could happen to you,” he said. “That should give enough reason to fight.”

Delusional Negroes rally for “Dollar Bill”

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Hat Tip: By Cain Burdeau, Associated Press 

NEW ORLEANS – Supporters of a Democratic congressman charged with bribery and money laundering harkened to their civil rights days on Wednesday as they denounced the allegations against U.S. Rep. William Jefferson.

The group, including ministers and the president of the local chapter of the NAACP, alleged the 16-count corruption indictment was the work of a Republican White House and Justice Department scheming to target black Democratic leaders and shift attention from legal troubles of Republican congressmen.

“When it’s all over, Bill Jefferson will stand up like Booker T. Washington and George Washington Carver. He will stand up in the South and he will be victorious,” said the Rev. Samson “Skip” Alexander.

The news conference attended by about 50 people was a sign Jefferson hasn’t lost friends in New Orleans, which re-elected him to a ninth term from Louisiana’s 2nd Congressional District in December 2006 despite an FBI probe of his African business dealings.

Prosecutors say Jefferson used his influence as co-chairman of the congressional Africa Investment and Trade Caucus to broker deals in numerous African nations, and that he demanded kickbacks for himself and for family members. He is also charged with bribing a Nigerian official.

He allegedly received more than $500,000 in bribes and demanded millions more between 2000 and 2005. He has pleaded not guilty.

The group said they would raise money for his legal defense and offer public relations help through the Justice for Jefferson Committee.

Tracie Washington, a civil rights lawyer, asked the audience to give Jefferson the benefit of the doubt.

Danatus King, president of the local chapter of the NAACP, said, “it’s important that all of us keep our eyes on the prize and that prize is one word, and that one word is justice.”

Asked to comment on allegations aired at the news conference, Bryan Sierra, a Justice Department spokesman, said “I’m not even going to dignify that with a response.” White House spokesman Blair Jones also declined to comment.

Not everyone in attendance at Wednesday’s news conference expressed undivided loyalty to Jefferson.

Sitawi Jahi, a 54-year-old youth development program director, said he came “to gather facts.” But he said his confidence in Jefferson was strained by some of the evidence, in particular an allegation the FBI found $90,000 in bribe money in the congressman’s freezer.

“That’s hard to explain,” he said.

Jefferson’s legal defense fund, set up about 18 months ago, has about $140,000, according to Walter Wilkerson, the lawyer handling the fund.

I wish these Negroes would stop drinking from the bitter chalice of Dollar Bill’s B.S.  Ain’t a damn thing in the Ninth Ward been re-built and they are defending this Nigra? 

CBS AXES IMUS

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HAT TIP:  AP NEW YORK – CBS fired Don Imus from his radio show Thursday, the finale to a stunning fall for one of the nation’s most prominent broadcasters.

Imus initially was given a two-week suspension, to start Monday, for calling the Rutgers women’s basketball team “nappy-headed hos” on the air last week, but outrage continued to grow and advertisers bolted from his programs.

“There has been much discussion of the effect language like this has on our young people, particularly young women of color trying to make their way in this society,” CBS President and Chief Executive Officer Leslie Moonves said in announcing the decision. “That consideration has weighed most heavily on our minds as we made our decision.”

Rutgers women’s basketball team spokeswoman Stacey Brann said the team did not have an immediate comment on Imus’ firing but would be issuing a statement later Thursday evening.

Time Magazine once named the cantankerous broadcaster as one of the 25 Most Influential People in America, and he was a member of the National Broadcaster Hall of Fame.

But Imus found himself at the center of a storm after his comments. Protests ensued, and one by one, sponsors pulled their ads from Imus’ show. On Wednesday, MSNBC dropped the simulcast of Imus’ show.

The Rev. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson met with Moonves to advocate Imus’ removal, promising a rally outside CBS headquarters Saturday and an effort to persuade more advertisers to abandon Imus.Sumner Redstone, chairman of the CBS Corp. board and its chief stockholder, told Newsweek that he had expected Moonves to “do the right thing,” although it wasn’t clear what he thought that was.

CBS Director Bruce Gordon, former NAACP chief, calls for Imus ouster

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HAT TIP : By DAVID CRARY, AP National Writer Wed Apr 11, 2007

NEW YORK – Bruce Gordon, former head of the NAACP and a director of CBS Corp., said Wednesday the broadcasting company needs a “zero tolerance policy” on racism and hopes talk-show host Don Imus is fired for his demeaning remarks about the mostly black Rutgers women’s basketball team.

He’s crossed the line, he’s violated our community,” Gordon said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. “He needs to face the consequence of that violation.”

Gordon, a longtime telecommunications executive, stepped down in March after 19 months as head of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, one of the foremost U.S. civil rights organizations.

He said he had spoken with CBS chief executive Leslie Moonves and hoped the company, after reviewing the situation, would “make the smart decision” by firing Imus rather than letting him return to the air at the end of a two-week suspension beginning next Monday.

“We should have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to what I see as irresponsible, racist behavior,” Gordon said. “The Imus comments go beyond humor. Maybe he thought it was funny, but that’s not what occurred. There has to be a consequence for that behavior.”

Imus triggered the uproar on his April 4 show, when he referred to the Rutgers players as “nappy-headed hos.” His comments have been widely denounced by civil rights and women’s groups, and two sponsors, Staples Inc. and Procter & Gamble Co., have pulled their advertising from the radio show.

Gordon said that as a matter of principle, firing Imus should be an easy decision to make, though he respects the right of CBS leadership to consider all factors, including legal and financial repercussions.

“When I look at it from my position as a director, where my responsibility is to represent the best interest of the shareholders, it’s more complex,” Gordon said. “But at the end of the day, the image of CBS is at risk. … the ad revenue of CBS could be at risk.”

“What I expect is for management to take the next two weeks to do their homework,” he said. “I hope that the result of their due diligence is to terminate Don Imus.”

The CBS board has 13 members. A corporate spokesman declined comment on Gordon’s remarks.

The radio show originates from WFAN-AM in New York City and is syndicated nationally by Westwood One, both of which are managed by CBS Corp. MSNBC, which simulcasts the show on cable and is a part of NBC Universal, says it will watch to see whether Imus changes the tenor of future programs.

SUMNER REDSTONE SAYS CBS TO “DO THE RIGHT THING”

Neither Bruce Gordon or Sumner Redstone will be ignored.  Imus will be gone before his suspension is up.  The pressure from the bailing advertisers alone is enough to kill his show, and his $10 million paycheck dead.  But if that isn’t sufficient, perhaps scrolling through TOM PAINE. COM’s Imus Archive is.    They have been crusading for his ouster and recording his bigotry for the last seven years. 

Gordon resigns as President of NAACP

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NEW YORK (AP) — NAACP President Bruce S. Gordon is quitting the civil rights organization, leaving after just 19 months at the helm, he told The Associated Press on Sunday.

Gordon cited growing strain with board members over the group’s management style and future operations.

“I believe that any organization that’s going to be effective will only be effective if the board and the CEO are aligned and I don’t think we are aligned,” Gordon said. “This compromises the ability of the board to be as effective as it can be.”

Gordon said he will give up his duties before month’s end. He spoke by phone from Los Angeles, where he attended the NAACP Image Awards.

Dennis C. Hayes, general counsel of the Baltimore-based National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, is expected to serve as interim president, Gordon said. Hayes filled the same role after Kweisi Mfume resigned the presidency in 2004 after nine years.

Gordon said that while the NAACP is an advocacy organization, it needs to be more focused on service and finding solutions.

“I’m used to a CEO running an organization, with the board approving strategy and policy,” Gordon said. “But the NAACP board is very much involved.”

Gordon said he made the decision in recent weeks and told the board at its annual meeting in New York City in mid-February.

NAACP leaders were surprised by his decision and engaged in hours of discussion, he said.

“They expressed disappointment,” Gordon said. “We attempted to see whether there was a way to continue but that didn’t happen.”

Gordon sounded weary as he boarded a flight home to New York City on Sunday.

“I don’t view this as I’m right and they’re wrong. I view this as I see things one way and they see things a different way,” he said. “That misalignment between the CEO and the board is unhealthy.”

Asked about his plans after leaving the NAACP, Gordon said: “I’m going to catch my breath.”

“What I’ve clearly learned in my tenure here is that all is not well in black America, that’s for sure,” he said. “I believe I have a lot to offer. I’ve got to find a way to be engaged that optimizes what it is I bring to the table. My intention is not to disengage, but to find a different way.”

NAACP spokesman Richard McIntire declined to comment.

Gordon, 61, was a surprise pick for the NAACP’s top post. When he took over on August 1, 2005, he had no track record in traditional civil rights circles. He had spent 35 years in the telecommunications industry and retired in 2003 from his post as president of the Retail Markets Group for Verizon Corp.

Critics said he wouldn’t be a good fit for the nearly 98-year-old organization.

However, he smoothed strained relations between the NAACP and the White House, meeting with President Bush three times in less than a year. He used his corporate ties to lend quick assistance to black New Orleans residents after Hurricane Katrina. And he hired a number of key national employees whose reputations inspired staff members.

Gordon “brought a level of competence that we hadn’t had,” Julian Bond, chairman of the board, said last year.

Bond also has acknowledged that, with 64 members, the NAACP’s board of directors is large and sometimes unwieldy. But he has defended it, saying it allows a wide range of members voices to be heard.

Ronald Walters, a University of Maryland political science professor who has followed the NAACP closely for years, was surprised at the news, but added that he had suspected that Gordon may not fit in at the NAACP.

“I thought very early on that there might be a cultural conflict,” Walters said. “Somebody who came out of a corporate culture and was used to a set of agenda items and management style in one field might not have been able to make the adjustment totally to another field.”

Opponents of School Desgregation tell Court: I’m White, I’m Right, let me have my way!

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The Supreme Court heard oral argument today in the most important civil rights case since Gratz v. Bollinger.  The case involves a challenge to voluntary desegregation plans in Louisville, KY and Seattle, WA. The advocates against voluntary desegregation ooze insincerity.  They live in a wingnut fantasyland in which whites are victimized by “reverse discrimination” and pernicious “race consciousness” in which whites are illegally disadvantaged in schools and in the workplace. It is a patently ridiculous argument and downright disingenuous.

Theodore Shaw, Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund has written, “The notion that race-conscious efforts to address racial inequality are racially discriminatory is like telling a physician that she cannot make a diagnosis when treating a disease because the diagnosis equals the disease.  There is no equivalency, moral or legal, between race-conscious attempts to address racial inequality on the one hand, and racial discrimination based in notions of superiority and inferiority on the other.”

The advocates against voluntary desegregation are the same people opposed to affirmative action.  They seek to get the Courts to genuflect to their superior racial position in American society, which is essentially: I’m White, I’m right, let me have my way! Invoking white privilege has gotten them all the way to the Supreme Court and the Justices always affirm this spurious reasoning or meet them halfway.

The truth of the matter is that in most urban locales, whites have abandoned the public school system for reasons, which have nothing to do with educational quality and everything to do with race.  They just don’t see educational quality in public school systems with “too many” black and brown faces.  Voluntary desegregation plans are an attempt to respond to white flight and create racially diverse, high-quality public schools that don’t ghettoize children of color in inferior schools populated by the children of disadvantaged working class people.

It should be noted that the cumulative efforts of the Reagan-Bush Administrations has been to stack the federal courts with right-wing ideologues sympathetic with the fantasy jurisprudence of white victimization. The timid efforts of the Democratic Party to halt the long march of the Right for federal judicial dominance have led us to the dangerous racial precipice we are dangling on today.   What is at stake is the continued life of equal opportunity in this country. The Right believes equal opportunity is synonymous with white privilege and seeks to render us blind to the institutionalized racism against people of color.

Theodore Shaw believes  “The work of racial justice  does not require us to gouge out our eyes so that we cannot see race. The race problem in America has never been mere race-consciousness; it has been White Supremacy. The question is not whether we see race; the question is, having seen it, what is its significance? Having seen it, are we an inclusive or exclusive society? This is not a time for blindness. This is a time for sight.” 

Amen, Brotha.