NAACP president won't be returning as leader

Bruno Cirelli
Mag 20, 2017

The sources close to the organization spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak ahead of a Friday conference call by the NAACP.

The president of the NAACP said on Friday he was being dismissed after three years of leading the biggest US civil rights organization as the group said it is seeking a more confrontational strategy against President Donald Trump.

The group, which was founded in 1909, also cited the need to respond to "additional barriers" that black Americans are facing and "confront the realities of today's volatile political, media and social climates". While the search for a new president takes place, Leon W. Russell and Derrick Johnson, the chairman and vice chairman of the board, respectively, will operate the organization.

President and CEO of the NAACP Cornell Brooks listens to remarks at the International Association of Chiefs of Police convention in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., on October 27, 2015.

Reports say the organization won't renew Brooks' contract when it expires at the end of June. Its pre-eminence has been challenged by the Black Lives Matter movement that sprang up to protest police shootings of African Americans in recent years and by mass protests against Trump.

Johnson said Brooks met with Sterling's relatives.

"We have to work together with other folks, young folks, old folks, in-between folks to ensure that we stop the kind of cynicism, the kind of relapse to a bad old situation that Trump represents", Russell said.

"We are not looking to correct something that is wrong, we are looking to improve", Russell said.

Brooks told The New York Times he was disappointed by the decision. "Beyond that, I can't point to any substantive reason", he said. They recognize the crucial role it played in ending legalized discrimination during the Civil Rights Era. He also has proposed cuts in education spending and environmental enforcement and Attorney General Jeff Sessions has called for harsher sentencing against most criminals. "I've been proud to stand with him to resist and combat injustice", said Kristen Clarke, president of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

Explaining the choice to replace Brooks, Russell and Johnson didn't identify a particular thing that Brooks had done wrong - or even one thing that the NAACP, as a whole, had been doing wrong. After all, both Presidents Obama and Clinton attended this week's convention. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities.

"It is critical that the NAACP has the most dynamic and creative activist leadership during the Trump era", said McLaughlin.

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