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Reply to "Russell Simmons Eyed As New NAACP Prez"

Originally posted by MBM:
I see another angle to this which may be what the NAACP is focusing on. The president's job is the external one as compared to the chairman's role - which Julian Bond has. What is the NAACP's greatest public challenge: how to be relevant and current in 2005 versus the extraordinary inertia that keeps the organization on the path the was plowed in the 50s/60s. Here's Russell with tremendous personal resources, even greater contacts, and most important, with a tangible connection to the youth of our community.---MBM

I don't have THE answer, but Simmons isn't it. He is all the things you say, and more.

He is the 'Father' of the Rap Industry.' That includes the bitching of African America's women.

The NAACP can't play that.

He is the head of a burgeoning business empire. He can't spare the time. That is in the amounts the NAACP needs for leadership.

Put him on the board. He has all the assets you have listed, and can afford to contribute money as well as guidance.

What's the downside of putting Russell in this job? The NAACP is already flirting with extinction. Putting another leader who came up through the CRM just further digs the organizations grave. Why not shake things up? Why not put in someone who could potentially translate the traditional goals of the organization into a language that our youth in 2005 can "get with"? As I understand it, Russell was the primary force that got the racist Rockefeller drug laws overturned which disproportionately targeted black offenders in the state of New York. I have no reason to question his commitment to our people. I have every reason to believe that he would inject a level of energy and creativity that just might make an impact.---MBM

All of that can happen with him as a board member.

What does the NAACP have to lose?

Credibility in both African America, and America as a whole.

Russell Simmons is admired for his creativity, AND community activism, not to mention his business acumen. He carries with him the baggage of the rap industry as well.

Not only would he have to defend, explain, deny, every act of misconduct and statement of that industry, but so would every other official and member of the entire organization.

The NAACP should not play that.


Jim Chester