NAACP well-wishers join the mayor at Getty House
Villaraigosa, other politicians welcome the organization
There were many congrats and kudos floating around at Getty House, the residence of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Well-wishers roamed the lawn on Saturday, snacking, chatting and hobnobbing with such luminaries as NAACP president and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous, chairman of the national board of directors Roslyn M. Brock and local politicians and other guests.
It was somewhat of a testimony to an institution that, though birthed on the front lines of America’s persistent racial turmoil, has lived to enjoy the fruit of its toils—at least to a large extent.
“I just want to welcome the NAACP to Los Angeles once again, the second time here in my home,” said Mayor Villaraigosa. “This is an opportunity to celebrate an organization that has done so much to make America a more perfect union. They without question have been at the vanguard of the Civil Rights Movement, an organization that speaks for a greater America, and I couldn’t be prouder to welcome them here to the city of Los Angeles.”
Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas noted that the organization’s presence in Los Angeles was “clearly history-making. Los Angeles is an important venue in which to have this convention,” he said.
Police Chief Charlie Beck said, “having the NAACP here in Los Angeles for its 102nd anniversary is an amazing tribute, not only to our city but also the relationship we’ve built. I can’t thank the organization enough for choosing Los Angeles.”
Eighth District Councilman Bernard Parks said “the things they have done for our country and for the world in human rights ... they deserve this kind of attention....”
Princeton Professor Cornel West proclaimed that he “... wouldn’t be standing here if it wasn’t for the NAACP.” Then, with a guffaw, he told the cameraman interviewer, “you wouldn’t be behind that camera either.”
Television host Tavis Smiley welcomed the NAACP to the City of Angels. “We’re delighted to have you in our town,” he said.
“I’m excited about the NAACP having their 102nd anniversary here in California, specifically here in Los Angeles, especially when you think about many of the trailblazers that were part of the NAACP...,” commented 51st District Assemblyman Steven Bradford.
Others present included Judge Greg Mathis, National Board Member Willis Edwards and Our Weekly Publisher and CEO Natalie Cole.
The Rev. James Lawson was the only person who expressed conflicted emotions at the reception.
“Well, my feelings are mixed and ambiguous,” he said. “On the one side the NAACP ought to have 5 million members in the United States, because it has been the historic, civil rights, justice, human rights organization of our country.
“On the other side of the coin I have problems that the NAACP hasn’t really taken on some contemporary revoutionary ways of working and teaching, because [of] the opposition in our country that is racist, like the Tea Party. They need a full-scale opposition group, and it ought to come out of the Black community. The Tea Party and the Republican Party is now consituted, and the Democratic Party, as it is also now constituted, need a royal and vigorous and provocative resistance movement in order to get them saved so that they can help ... heal our country and save our country.”
The NAACP’s fifth Los Angeles convention—1928, 1942, 1949, 1990 and 2011—ends tonight. There’s a fairly good chance it will return.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—The mayor and police chief argued today that it is imperative for the Los Angeles Police Department to remain around the 10,000-officer level despite an ongoing budget crisis, saying the size of the force contributed to a record decline in the city's homicide rate last year.
Some council members recently questioned the need to maintain 9,963 police officers—a number set by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa—when other city departments have been forced to drastically shrink in size through early retirements and layoffs.
Forty-five years after the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was felled by an assassin’s bullet in Memphis, Tenn., the city and various civil rights and labor groups will commemorate his “advocacy” of the 1968 sanitation workers strike with a panel discussion, the renaming of historic Beale Street and a march to the infamous Lorraine Motel where King died. The motel is now part of the city’s National Civil Rights Museum.
Even though the Civil Rights Movement of the late 1950s and the 1960s has regularly been called the “moral movement for the soul of America,” and other such lofty names, essentially the movement was about getting the federal and state governments to enforce the laws that protected citizens from abuse by government, or the passage of new legislation in the absence of such effective protection. The movement was about law and law enforcement.
MEMPHIS, Tenn.—The Coalition of African American Pastors (CAAP), which includes major leaders of the Black church and civil rights leaders who marched with Rev. Martin Luther King, blasted the board of the NAACP for its endorsement of same-sex marriage. Last week, CAAP launched a 100000signatures4marriage.com petition in support of traditional marriage.
In an honor bestowed on only a handful of individuals, the United States Navy selected NAACP civil and voting rights icon Medgar Evers as the namesake of its newest ship. Christened in San Diego by his widow Myrlie Evers-Williams, the USNS Medgar Evers (T-AKE 13) will serve as a supply ship for the Navy starting in the first quarter of 2012.