Friday, March 06, 2009

Michael Meyers being removed from NAACP meeting generates no media?

When I started reading Cartoon Protest Pits NAACP Against Free Speech by Nat Hentoff at first I thought he had to be wrong. I couldn't imagine a scenario where this could happen:
Attending the NAACP's annual meeting in the ballroom of the New York Hilton Hotel, Meyers rose following a member's speech calling for a boycott of the New York Post but also of all the national enterprises of its owner, Rupert Murdock. At the microphone, addressing Chairman Julian Bond, Meyers began: "I wish to speak in opposition."

"I do not recognize you," Bond sharply cut off the NAACP's former assistant director and personal assistant to Roy Wilkins. "Your views are not welcomed here."

Bond cut off his microphone and summoned security personnel as the NAACP's new president, the youngest in its history, Benjamin Jealous, sat silently.

What were Meyers views that were not welcome?
"All political pundits deserve a wide berth for social criticism and for parodying and poking fun at and criticizing our political leaders, no matter the skin color or race of the public official."

I thought perhaps I missed the reporting of this since I'd been buried in local fare, but there is nothing out there, only Hentoff's piece. Meyers no stranger to controversy with the NAACP, back in 1994:
Michael Meyers, executive director of the New York Civil Rights Coalition, said the N.A.A.C.P. should again distance itself from radical positions like those of Louis Farrakhan, minister of the Nation of Islam. Under Mr. Chavis, the civil rights group made overtures to Mr. Farrakhan, resulting in some loss of support. "It was an impeachable offense," Mr. Meyers said. "What he did was radicalize and racialize an organization that has always been known for its moderateness and thoughtfulness."

Mr. Meyers, a former assistant director of the N.A.A.C.P., was one who most strongly opposed Mr. Chavis for entering into what he called a "sacred covenant with that apostle of hate and anti-Semitism." Much of the N.A.A.C.P.'s financial support, Mr. Meyers said, comes from whites and foundations that will not endorse a black isolationist agenda.

"It was imperative of those who believed in the N.A.A.C.P. to fight back when they saw the organization being hijacked by black extremists," Mr. Meyers said.

Or 1986:
But a former official, Michael Meyers, challenged the organization's policies, saying the N.A.A.C.P. was not controlled by black Americans but supported by white-run corporations.

It's interesting that those issues raised by Meyers got media coverage and this incident considering the huge amount of media attention given the NY Post cartoon, has not...


T. F. Stern said...

Radical Black American is sort of an oxymoron since those who claim to have that mindset are anti-American and hold no devotion to constitutional rights or liberties for others. How unfortunate for Black Americans to have the NAACP being run by folks who want no part of America, who instead rely on silencing opponents thoughts and words which differ from their own. Cutting off the microphone is no different than shouting loudly, in either case civilized communication ends.

Alex said...

Or perhaps, T.F. Stern, 'radical black Americans' are devoted to our founding premises. However, they disagree with what they believe to be their adulteration and have, therefore, adopted means to achieve a fuller realization (or purification?) of American ideals; means of which you simply disagree with.

It doesn’t follow that as an aggregate – or as a movement more generally – those who hold to this position hold no devotion to constitutional rights or liberties for others'.