Black Conservatives Critical of NAACP on Eve of Saturday's NAACP New York "Mobilization"
NAACP Marches to Oppose Voter IDs, Purging Voter Lists of Dead or Unqualified Voters and the Enforcement of Laws Prohibiting Felons from Voting
NAACP Position "Demeans Blacks" Say Project 21 Spokesmen: "Does the NAACP Believe Blacks are Too Lazy, Ignorant or Incapable of Getting Valid Identification?"
Washington, D.C. - Black conservatives with the Project 21 leadership network are calling out the alarmists and political schemers at the NAACP who are once again "crying wolf" -- claiming this time that the ballot integrity and voter-protection statues passed or under consideration by state legislatures across the nation are "the greatest coordinated legislative attack on voting rights since the dawn of Jim Crow."
"If you have to show an ID to check into the Holiday Inn Express, then it makes perfect sense that you should do the same when you are exercising the most sacred constitutional right -- the right to vote," said Project 21 spokeswoman Cherylyn Harley LeBon, a former senior counsel on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee.
"The idea that showing identification poses a barrier to my constitutional right to vote is both ridiculous and insulting," added Project 21 spokeswoman Shelby Emmett, also a lawyer. "Does the NAACP believe blacks are too lazy, ignorant or incapable of getting valid identification? Is it a cost issue? Obtaining identification to vote costs money, but so does driving to the polls or taking an hour off of work to vote. Does the NAACP have any calls to action against gas stations or places of employment open during voting hours?"
With the endorsement of labor unions, partisan entities and liberal special interest groups, the NAACP is holding a December 10 march in New York City to draw attention to its "Stand for Freedom" campaign against voting rights protections at the state level. The march begins at New York City offices of Koch Industries (to single out limited-government donors Charles and David Koch) and will end at the United Nations. Next year, the NAACP reportedly will send a legal team to appeal their concerns about voting rights to the U.N.'s human rights bureaucracy in Geneva, Switzerland.
In a broadly-cast appeal, the NAACP claims that laws to require valid identification at polling places, the purging of voting lists to remove dead or disqualified voters and enforcing voting restrictions against felons are targeting "the voting rights of black voters, Latino voters, Asian American Voters, Native American Voters, as well as students and young people, seniors, working women, and immigrants of all colors... who are most likely to support workers rights, equal opportunity, women's rights, LBGT rights, environmental protection and peace." NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous, who made the Jim Crow analogy, further claims: "Voter ID laws are nothing but reincarnated poll taxes and literacy tests."
"It seems the NAACP conveniently forgets how their position demeans blacks," adds Project 21's Emmett. "We fought for over a hundred years not just to vote, but to have that vote count and mean something. How does allowing illegal immigrants and dead people to vote and other forms of voter fraud secure and protect black rights? Maybe if they viewed blacks as capable beings, obtaining identification wouldn't equal a 'poll tax' but would instead equal blacks protecting and defending their rights as Americans to a fair and transparent process open only to real, live American citizens. Maybe it's the NAACP that is instituting a new barrier to voting."
Project 21 members also dispute the earnestness of the NAACP's campaign considering its inaction regarding existing voting rights problems.
For instance, the "Stand for Freedom" online pledge calls on the U.S. Department of Justice "to fully enforce the Voting Rights Act." But unlike Project 21, the NAACP has not asked for a full investigation into why progress on a Voting Rights Act case against New Black Panther Party members regarding alleged polling place intimidation in Philadelphia in 2008 was reversed and an immediate settlement allegedly ordered by senior Obama Administration political appointees in 2009. In fact, J. Christian Adams, a former Justice Department attorney who worked on the case, testified before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights that he was told by superiors that "NAACP members or staffers were [contacting the Justice Department and] asking, 'When is this case going to get dismissed?'"
Furthermore, the pledge calls for lawmakers to repeal "every voter suppression measure" and for the United Nations to "investigate and condemn voter suppression tactics in the United States." This past April, Lessadolla Sowers, a member of the executive committee of the NAACP chapter in Tunica County, Mississippi, was convicted by a jury on ten counts of fraudulently casting absentee ballots and sentenced to a five-year sentence for each count (to be served concurrently). Neither the national NAACP nor the Mississippi State Conference NAACP appear to have released statements on the verdict. Such vote fraud effectively cancels out legal votes, and examples such as this are motivating the legislation the NAACP is now publicly opposing.
"The NAACP has reached a new low with their recent attack on voter identification legislation. The NAACP should be protecting and upholding the constitutional rights of law-abiding black Americans to exercise their fullest privileges and rights as citizens. Instead, focusing on the rights of the criminal and other immoral issues have lead to the disfranchisement and decimation of black American communities across the country," said Project 21 spokesman Charles Butler, a talk radio host. "The reality is that part of being an American citizen is personal responsibility. Laws that state one should be a law-abiding citizen and provide some form of identification are needed. Most citizens possess valid identification of some type regardless of their socio-economic class."
Groups endorsing the NAACP's December 10 "mobilization" include the AFL-CIO, American Federation of Government Employees, the 1199 SEIU union local, Democratic Socialists of America, Al Sharpton's National Action Network and the Barack Obama Democratic Club. Another endorser is the Center for Community Change, which received $600,000 in 2008 from the George Soros-funded Open Society Foundation.
GroupSnoop.org, an educational web site administered by the National Center for Public Policy Research (the parent organization of Project 21), recently posted a profile of the NAACP, noting that the group "promotes a race-first agenda that seeks to elevate minorities in school, politics and the workplace based only on skin color" and "has been closely associated with radical political networks."
Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives since 1992, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research (http://www.nationalcenter.org).