Was the NAACP’s July 19 Statement a Favor to the White House?

gotfacts?.jpgDid the White House ask the NAACP to issue its original press release on Shirley Sherrod? The one supportive of her firing?

The White House might have reached out to the NAACP to get cover against criticism from the left for firing a black, liberal federal employee for practicing what some quaintly call “reverse racism” (which many of not most of the left supports).

The question about White House/NAACP collusion is something the news media should ask about, but if it has, I’m unaware of it.

If the NAACP was doing a favor for the White House, and learned the details of the situation from them, this could explain why the NAACP staff didn’t bother to view the NAACP’s own 43-minute video of Sherrod’s full remarks before issuing a statement. The NAACP may have supposed — falsely, if so — that it could rely on the White House’s version of events.

We can’t completely rule out the possibility, however, that the NAACP didn’t get the facts on the Sherrod situation before speaking out because it just doesn’t place a high priority on research. Numerous statements made by NAACP spokesmen about the Tea Parties have been pathetically erroneous, for example, and there’s not a lot of indication that the NAACP cares about this.

And there’s this little incident, written up by Stephen Schwartz for the June 14 Weekly Standard, about the NAACP’s lack of preparedness when its president testified before the Texas State Board of Education about the state’s history curriculum:

…Benjamin Jealous, president of the NAACP, had come from his headquarters in Baltimore to complain about the downgrading of the human debasement of African slaves. According to Jealous, language referring to the ‘triangular trade’ among the English colonies on the eastern seaboard, the Caribbean, and Britain had excised the horrors of slavery.Of course, the ‘triangular trade’ has been taught in American public schools at least since I was in California’s system a half-century ago, as the import of slaves to the New World, their harvesting of sugar, tobacco, and other commodities, and the sale of these or their by-products (such as molasses and rum) in Europe. Jealous was caught by the gimlet-eyed Terri Leo, secretary of the board. She asked him if he had, in fact, read the proposed curriculum changes and could cite the language he found unacceptable. He was compelled to admit that he had not, and could not. Whereupon she pointed out that the new language summons students to explain ‘the plantation system, the Atlantic triangular trade, and the spread of slavery.’ Jealous had been caught in a criticism by inference – or, more bluntly, by dependence on second-hand talking points…

I would have thought Benjamin Jealous would have been embarrassed enough by that last incident to never be caught factually unprepared in public again, but no. Facts, apparently, are not his priority, and a once-respected organization has embarrassed itself again.

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