In November 2014, the Cincinnati Branch of the NAACP was scheduled to hold its election. Gill Ford, the NAACP national director of unit administration, and a few corrupt local individuals attempted to suppress members’ votes in order to assure their guy would win, and a local judge issued a Temporary Restraining Order against them to stop the election. That’s right. The NAACP was attempting to suppress members’ votes while at the same time railing against Ohio’s voting rights laws. To deflect attention from their evil practices, the National NAACP filed a federal complaint accusing local officers of fraud and malfeasance, all of which was totally false.
After several court hearings a settlement was reached. In reference to a new election, the agreement states: “Only members of the NAACP who were eligible to vote in the Cincinnati Branch election as of October 24, 2014, will be eligible to vote in the special election.”
Despite no mention of fees for this retroactive election, the NAACP is charging some of its branch members a $30 ‘Poll Tax’ to cast their votes.
To add insult to injury, the national office suspended the current President, allowing Rob Richardson, the candidate in cahoots with Ford, to run unopposed for the top position; and his son, Rob, Jr. is in charge of the election committee. Is this an election or ‘selection?’
Additionally, members were supposed to get a 15-day advance notice of the election to be held on December 2, 2015. As of November 20, 2015, only some had received the notice, and that’s only a 12-day notice. NAACP officials even violate their own rules.
The NAACP is immersed in a disgusting, embarrassing, and troubling environment that has the stench of corruption, collusion, and greed in many cities across this nation. The venerable organization is embroiled in what seems to be a pervasive evil that has emanated from being what many call ‘the Big Dog,’ and having the ability to commit its malicious acts with impunity. The national office of the NAACP treats its members like peons whose only purpose and worth are couched in how much money they can send to the Big Dog. After all, big dogs have big appetites.
NAACP ‘Dirty Tricks,’ aided by crooked state officers, are taking place in other Ohio cities as well as across the country. Like Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus have either been in court, in chaos, and/or in a state of confusion due to corrupt elections. In full-blown hypocrisy, the NAACP uses elections to keep its proletariat class in check. That’s right. The inviolable, sacred, put-on-your-marching-shoes, “Let’s get ready to rumble,” precious vote is used and misused by the NAACP to maintain their fiefdom in Baltimore and their mini-fiefdoms in various states.
In two consecutive Ohio state elections, Jocelyn Travis defeated Sybil McNabb (2013 and 2015). National officials overturned both elections. McNabb, the national office’s chosen candidate (or should I say lackey?) challenged each election and was reinstalled as president. Travis filed complaints and sent inquiries to the national office, but never received information on the nature of those challenges.
Here’s the worst part: After Travis won the 2013 race, a new election was called and presided over by Ford (he has the nerve to call himself ‘Reverend’), during which children were recruited and coached by McNabb, and then allowed to cast votes. Of course, McNabb ‘won.’ After winning the November 2015 state election, Travis received a letter from national officials saying McNabb had challenged the election (no explanation given). Travis was ordered to “turn everything back over” to former President Sybil McNabb. What a sham and a scam!
Even while it is entangled in court battles, even as it was ordered to pay the West Memphis, Arkansas branch $120,000 for its malpractices, even as it is scheduled to hold its national convention in Cincinnati, the city where they have initiated a presidential ‘selection’ of Rob Richardson, who is being investigated by the Ohio Election Commission, the NAACP flaunts its corruption for all to see. It is perplexing that rank and file members allow corrupt national and state NAACP personnel to treat them like slaves rather than respected and dedicated volunteers.
Prompting and allowing children to vote is a terrible example of how to conduct fair elections—as future members those youth will do the same thing. Overturning elections without explaining why and ignoring reciprocal complaints and requests for clarity are hypocritical acts by an organization known for fighting against such practices. Violating their own rules is an arrogant act of disdain for NAACP bedrock foundational principles. And charging what is tantamount to a poll tax is outrageous and beneath what little dignity the national NAACP has left.
Local members must stand up and speak out against this corruption and withhold their money from the national NAACP until it changes its awful practices.
(Jim Clingman, founder of the Greater Cincinnati African American Chamber of Commerce, is the nation’s most prolific writer on economic empowerment for Black people. He can be reached through his website . He is the author of Black Dollars Matter: Teach Your Dollars How to Make More Sense, which is available through his website and Amazon Kindle eBooks).