To The Editor:
I cannot believe that the story about East Hampton Police is newsworthy , while the NAACP is on life support. The state of Connecticut NAACP has been losing membership and branches for the past several years and support for the organization continues to dwindle in large part because its focus is not on real civil rights issues.
The East Hampton issue of sending e – mails shows that the focus of the organization is not where it should be. Sure there maybe a need for sensitivity training and maybe there needs to be reprimand; however,there are no civil rights violations or actionable consequences. This stuff has been covered in civil rights 101.
Everyone has a right to free speech. Instead of focusing on the inequities in our political, legal and economic systems the NAACP is making appearances to make it seem relevant.
There was a time when we had over 20 active branches. Now we are down to 16 or is it 14 and does that really reflect active branches. As we speak, the Hartford branch, just like the Waterbury branch, is in a state of flux.
Branches throughout the country have been render dysfunctional because of incompetency. Our neighborhoods, which we serve, are losing hope due to budget crisis, tax increases, gasoline prices and high unemployment in disproportionate and disparging numbers. And we are dealing with memos and accusations of alleged racism without complete evidence, or necessary legal standing.
What are we doing? Let’s tackle real civil rights issue and stop the photo opportunities. We must move pass civil rights 101.
Russell Williams works at the Washington-based Center for Economic Justice. He is challenging the current president of the state NAACP, Scot Esdaile.