Los Angeles NAACP President Resigns in Wake of Sterling Fiasco

The president of the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP resigned Thursday as a direct result of the organization’s embarrassing nomination of a lifetime achievement award to L.A. Clippers owner, Donald Sterling, a man of very questionable character and a well-known and troubled history when it came to his treatment and opinion of minorities. Sterling had already been given a humanitarian award earlier by the NAACP. Upon the recent revelation of the recording of a bigoted rant by Sterling taken by his former mistress, the organization has withdrawn the honor for obvious reasons. However, the question quickly emerged of why he was given the awards in the first place and who sanctioned them.

The man who is stepping down from his position as president of the L.A NAACP, Leon Jenkins, himself has a history of questionable character. In 1991, Mr. Jenkins was disrobed as a Detroit district court judge for taking bribes and was barred from practicing law in both Michigan and California.  Prior to his resignation, the Los Angeles Chapter of the NAACP admitted they had been “seduced” by Sterling’s large donations to the organization.   

On one hand, the admission they were seduced by money and that someone relatively promptly resigned as a result is a refreshing distinction from the current White House administration’s reaction to outrageous scandals (which is that nothing significant happened and even if it did, no one in their organization was responsible). The question remains, however: how did this man attain a position of high responsibility in any organization while fully knowing his background? Would any small business hire a man with Mr. Jenkins’s history to perform any function requiring a minimal amount of ethics let alone make decisions that reflected upon the integrity of their entire organization?        

The NAACP is quick to make judgments on the actions and character of others but perhaps they should take more than a damage control style look at themselves. Unfortunately, I would not be surprised to see Mr. Jenkins emerge in another prominent community activist role somewhere else; with no questions asked.

Thomas Lifson adds:

The NAACP had no choice here. While the federal government can confiscate taxpayers’ money by force, and is this able to ride out scandal, the NAACP depends on donations for its funds. Having been exposed as complete phonies willing to honor a man who has paid millions of dollars in settlements for racial discrimination, the NAACP was facing a mortal threat.

 Victor Keith writes from Burbank, California and can be contacted at victorakeith.com

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