« Roland Martin is a Journalist | Main | Reporter in Marche Taylor Story Responds:Seems Like a Nice Enough Guy »

NAACP Picks a New President: WAOD Ben Jealous Exit Poll-Betting Pool

"It's all about schools, jobs and jails."
Benjamin Jealous speaking about the priorities of the NAACP under his leadership.

No, that isn't Piers Morgan from America's Got Talent, that is Benjamin Todd Jealous (God Bless His Little Idealistic Heart), the new president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People known around here as the National Association for the Advancement of MALE Colored People or the National Association for the Advancement of Criminal People or "that five-letter organization" or CHIPS, DIPS, and SALSA!

I was all set to mail in my membership dues until esteemed journalist, radio talk show host and CNN contributor, Roland Martin provided behind the scenes details courtesy of some loose lipped members of the NAACP National Board. Roland reported the cantankerous and tawdry manner in which the NAACP's gargantuan Board Of Directors reacted to Jealous' selection.(They had better not EVER whine to me about what Black bloggers are doing to them when their own board is shooting them in the foot). Keep internal squabbles internal. You might fight like the dickens behind closed doors, but its not a good look to call up a reporter to try to undermine your newly minted President... even if you don't think he is qualified to to the job, ACT LIKE IT!

But, as usual with the NAACP, there was drama.Multiple NAACP board sources tell me it was a contentious debate to select Jealous as president of the NAACP. It was an eight-hour process that began at 7 p.m. and ended at 3 a.m. The vote was 34-21. One board member said that "when the tally was announced and it was conveyed that Ben would be the next CEO, no one clapped or celebrated." Another said "when we left the room, many were in disbelief." Those who didn't support Jealous say he was marked as the primary choice of board chairman Julian Bond, who began calling board members two weeks ago to line up support. There was vigorous discussion to postpone the vote to allow the board to hear from the other two finalists, but that effort was beaten back by those who backed Jealous on the board. Rolandisimo Martin
Benjamin Jealous was not the number one choice by the search firm hired to do the search . The top pick was Pastor Freddy Haynes out of Dallas, a protege of Pastor Jeremiah Wright. Now when have y'all ever known the NAACP Board to accept anyone's professional opinion? In keeping with their tradition of receiving advice from professionals and then deciding to do just the opposite, the board passed on Haynes and chose Benjamin Todd Jealous, Julian "I Marched With Martin" Bond's hand picked selection. If you want to see Ben Jealous speak at length ten years ago on the Charlie Rose Show, go here. God bless his little heart. That board is going to eat him alive. He actually seems quite bright, unfortunately for him, the NAACP presidency is a career killer. Where is Ben Chavis? Hocking hip hop with Russell Simmons. Kweisi Mfume? Defeated senatorial candidate. Bruce Gordon? An undisclosed location. The sad thing is that Ben Jealous is just 35 so even after the NAACP Board get's through with him, he still has a long career ahead of him.

So to Mr. Jealous. Good Luck. I hope you are successful. No one benefits from having one of the most widely known civil rights brands hampered by obsolescence, poor organization, financial mismanagement, inappropriate workplace relationships with subordinates, bad judgment or sloth... did I leave anything out y'all?

Thurgood Marshall was one of my idols so every times I have to write a critical word about the NAACP it pains me... I do it anyway, but it pains me... not as much as it used to... okay it doesn't pain me at all after their foolishness earlier this year.
One of your first tasks ought to be to listen to this podcast .If you want to know why 25-35 year olds are NOT tripping over themselves to sign up, this podcast gives you a pretty good reason why. Or take a look at one of our most recent PSA's to rebut some NAACP foolishness down in West Palm Beach Florida.

As for those Black bloggers who have already declared Mr. Jealous to be a choice to maintain the status quo as he is the hand picked puppet of Julian Bond, we here at WAOD will reserve judgment. Mainly because the NAACP has no impact on the work we do here and short of them throwing another press conference to call for the release of alleged violent criminals who prey on Black women and their children, we are content to give the man a chance.

On a lighter note... we now commence the WAOD Benjamin Jealous Exit Poll/ Betting Pool... How long will it be before he EXITS his position at the NAACP???

No seriously, Mr Jealous, you seem like the type to Google yourself (no shame in that). If you read this post, we wish you all the best. Don't let them get you down. I have to give some credit to any 35 year old willing to risk their career on an organization that has a such recent history of dysfunction. Just please, try not to date the staff in the National headquarters or hire your relatives, try to impose some type of internal financial controls, don't spend more than you can afford, send Mr McIntire to some external relations retraining, and for every celebrity and criminal that you call a press conference to defend, try to slip in a word or two about Black women and their struggles and issues. Because all colored people aren't male, committing crimes or in the NFL.

P.S. If Russell Simmons calls to offer you a position as the CEO and President of the Hip Hop Summit Action Network, JUST SAY NO! Oh yeah and you're invited to Blogging While Brown in Atlanta this summer... Bring Mr. McIntire, Black bloggers love him!

UPDATE: If you thought the NAACP national board was going to change its ways, think again. I mean poor Ben Jealous deserved at least a WEEK of a honeymoon before they started micro managing. Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony, a man who has his own "issues", decided to issue a press release to let the world know HE did not want Ben Jealous as president. WHY? For what purpose? Why would you spend $369 to put that press release on PR News Wire?

UPDATE #2: You gotta love the NAACP's national board. They ain't happy about Ben Jealous as the next president and they want you to know it
."How are you going to be relevant when you are not reasonable and righteous within your own house?" Amos Brown, NAACP National Board Member complaining about the selection of Ben Jealous to lead the troubled organization.
UPDATE: Folks all over the internet and in the comments are insisting that this man is White. He is not White. It would not matter if he was, but in the interest of time and accuracy, this is a photo with his mom. Ben, Julian, and Ben's mom are basically all the same hue. Don't ya'll have any relatives from Louisiana? Black people come in all hues. You should be worried about his policy decisions and the fact that Julian Bond hand picked him because Bond was afraid of the power of the other two finalists.

Reader Comments (36)

Hand Picked successor to Julian Bond

^-------THIS is where i knew it was over.

they did Freddie Haynes a favor.

May 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterThe Ink


They said they blanched at Haynes refusal to give up his church... I don't blame the man, this job is a career killer.

Another opportunity to lead will come for Haynes.

I don't think Julian wants Ben Jealous to replace him so much as Julian needs someone who does not have the stature or connections to oust him(bond)

May 18, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterg-e-m2001

"on a lighter note..."
was that a pun?!?! i swear the naacp is implementing the paperbag test over there...

May 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTayari Jones

NO "on a lighter note" was not a pun on the man's skin color. I am not into that whole colorism thing. Black folks come in all shades, my own family looks like the rainbow coalition.

I was hoping none of y'all would notice. Ben Jealous has nothing to do with the color of his skin. I actually thought he looked too "pretty" in that picture like a GQ model to be taken seriously, but again, I didn't put that in the post because there is plenty to criticize the NAACP about without commenting on the man's looks- we would throw a FIT if some men did that to a woman so let's not do this to this man. He is a Rhodes Scholar and appears somewhat sincere.

Y'all WAOD readers... I tell y'all. always cutting up and giving Miss Gina heartburn.

May 18, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterg-e-m2001

"MALE COLORED PEOPLE" I almost spit my cereal out on my wife laughing at you.

May 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterShawn Williams

Shawn you haven't read that before. Name the last time the NAACP held a press conference on behalf of a Black woman?

IT is true. They have a horrible record when it comes to Black women. Between the sexual harassment and the myopic focus on one gender, it is as if they assume that folks with X chromosomes aren't "colored" people too!

May 18, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterg-e-m2001

Forget his age, - a white man is now the leader of NAACP? Sorry, but I can't help laughing... :-)

May 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSusan

As a member of the HYN (high yella Nation) I was stunned but not especially surprised to actually SEE mr. Jealous (that last name kills me)

Iono if I would classify dude as "pretty" per se, though.

You are dead on as to the idea that Julian put up someone to keep the NAACP on track but not overshadow the board.

Which is why they ran Bruce Gordon out of town.

What they NEEEEEED is a new board. But THAT aint gonna happen.

Dubois must be doing windmills in the grave.

May 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterThe Ink

@ theink

They may neeeed a new board, but they aren't going to geeeet a new board.

I say leave them to their irrelevance and build our own house.

I mean it seems like every other year they are announcing that they ar 4 MILLION dollars in debt and then they bring in someone new to wipe out the debt and they go right back into debt. Not $1,000 in debt but $4 MILLION. Let me tell you something. I could run the whole organization on less than $100,000 a year. What the heck are they doing that is generating 4 MILLION dollars of debt every other year?

May 18, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterg-e-m2001

NAACP has been dead to me for many a year.

It occured to me while whizzing through my google reader that the NAACP is attempting to gain relevance by hiring a NEWSPAPER guy.


Burnt, cold, toast, and not even with butter.

I got a hammer and nails...lets get to building.

May 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterThe Ink

Good post. You words echo the sentiments of many. Like you, I've criticized the NAACP. But my prayers go out for the NAACP's board-- that it will somehow see the light and help Mr. Jealous put the organization's finances back in order and make it relevant again. If Mr. Jealous should fail, I don't think black folks will be too hard on him. Sadly, the word is already out that it's the NAACP's board that's the problem and has been for some time.

May 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMacDaddy

But he's white...?

May 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJJ

THE MAN IS NOT WHITE!!! Lord have mercy! Don't y'all have any relatives from Louisiana?

All Black people do not come in the same hue. His mother is about the same skin tone as he is.

We should be focusing on the fact that Julian Bond selected this guy because Jealous wasn't the threat that the other two candidates could be.

He is Black, maybe I should go find another picture because y'all are tripping. He is Black, he is just a chubbier version of Harold Ford, Jr. The man is not White and even if he was, it wouldn't matter, this is the NAACP!

May 18, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterg-e-m2001

NAACP still around?

May 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBrother OMi

I never thought the day would come when I would see the new head of the NAACP and think to myself.....


(Sign me up baby!! I'm fired up and ready to go!!)

May 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLeLe Hill


I thought the same thing but he is MARRIED and has a child. Don't be coveting another sister's husband up in here.

Plus, we must try not to objectify this man as we would not like the same to be done to us. ( like y'all gone listen to me anyway)

carry on

May 18, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterg-e-m2001

The NAACP was once a very important organization, but polls show that 90% or so of Blacks now believe the NAACP is irrelevant. At the very least, they've got a very serious PR problem within their target constituency, unless their target constituency is their corporate contributors?

How in the heck could an organization hope to get anything at all done with five dozen people on the board of directors? With the structural problems of the NAACP, it would be terribly unfair of us to expect a new president to accomplish anything there.

We can certainly hope, but it would be unfair to expect that one little president can change things for the better, when he has to respond to an entrenched 5-dozen member board.

"So to Mr. Jealous. Good Luck. I hope you are successful."

Network and keep your bags packed, Mr. Jealous!

Okay Gina,

I'll be good. I had no idea he was married. I won't say anything else to objectify Mr. Jealous with his fine self.

May 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLeLe Hill

Lele Said... I won't say anything else to objectify Mr. Jealous with his fine self.

I don't mess with the big ten commandments. No maam, not trying to burn in hell over a pretty face. "Though shall not covet another person's spouse!"

His wife needs to hang that above the door at national headquarters because if the shenannigans that went on with Chavis and Mfume are still going on, she has her hands full.

What God has joined together let no woman put asunder!!!
Francis said... Network and keep your bags packed, Mr. Jealous!

That was a money quote!

May 18, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterg-e-m2001


I find it interesting that while Obama (who's background is similar in some ways to that of Jealous) is doing so well among African Americans, there are some NAACP board members who are so vocally opposed to Jealous.

Compared to Frederick Douglass Haynes, I think that Jealous is the better fit. It would be unwise to ignore the explosion of youth involvement in the political process because of Obama. Haynes may be a capable leader but in view of the political environment today, he's reminds me too much of the generation of political activists who's time has (apparently) passed.

Plus I don't think the fact that he wasn't interested in minimizing his role in his (mega?)church helped his case either.

I'm just saying.

May 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLeLe Hill

A better pic of Mr. Jealous - he clearly looks black http://thedailyvoice.com/voice/2008/05/the-new-face-of-the-naacp-000586.php" REL="nofollow">here.

I'm from Louisiana Gina, so I understand what you mean - that man is black!

May 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDeidra

Hello there...

Thanks to Deidre for the picture...and my, my, my...I think I need to sign up to volunteer at the NAACP Headquarters right about now! *LOL* Because they need more sistas to .....work on the ...issues at hand for Mr. FIIINE....I mean Mr. Jealous...and...um...the people! Lenny Kravitz has been officially DETHRONED as Finest Brotha Alive ...and Ving Rhames had that crown before Lenny as far as I am concerned! *LOL*

Oh..um...what was the topic of this post again?? *LOL*


When people say they organization needed new blood or a younger person, I don't see much difference in a leader who is part of the black elite establishment or one of their kids.
These multi-racial people confuse me, one minute they don't want to be defined by any race, but only become black when it is to their benefit.

May 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNaima

I checked out his background and I like what I see.

Hopefully they will let him do what he wants to without the old, "but this is how we do it around here."

I may even join to show my support once I see what direction they are moving in.

May 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAroundHarlem.com


I haven't read anything stating that he's a multi-racial activist. All I've read is that he's committed to progressive causes. Do you have additional information?

May 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLeLe Hill


I didn't see Mr. Jealous discussing his multiracial identification in the press...did I miss a newstory? Please provide the link.

I don't think that NOT choosing to pick one race as the SOLE ancestry that one has IF in fact the person has MORE than one ancestry is evidence of a person being "dubious". It is evidence that the person understands ALL aspects of one's heredity.

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!

I have been pretty sucessful on my own without the help of the NAACP...thank you very much.

May 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMelinda

1. Knew the man in college and after. He's black and identifies as such, always has.
2. He has a young daughter and a smart, strong wife. I bet women's issues begin to have get a little more focus at the NAACP with him in charge--if the board lets him fo anything.
3. Best of luck to him.

May 19, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterlaura

I'm sorry. When u get that light u white in my book...and I got "white" relatives so i know.

And I'm sorry but he just doesn't do it for me. The really high yella ones (with a few exceptions) just seem a little to pale.

Might as well get a white man if u gonna go that route.

Of course I am in complete agreeance that he will probably change nothing at the NAACP. It will take more than a 35 year old hand picked president to get the things done at the NAACP that need to be done.

C I can objectify and stay on topic.

May 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJJ

1st a white man is valedictorian of Morehouse now a white man is NAACP president, the white man owns BET, whats next... white men standing on the corner of my block selling drugs and mix tapes??

May 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDROCK

too late drock!!! they already doing it over here in heidelberg germany LOL a German, white dude told me he had some Petey Pablo concerts tickets for the "low-low" i don't know if i was more appalled at the fact he was German or the fact he would think i like Petey Pablo WTH?? nice post maybe he'll make a difference i thought the NAACP no longer existed

May 20, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterlexdiamonz

I definitely feel old today. Thanks a lot Gina.

This man is my age.... and he's taking over the Presidency of an organization full of old, self serving, out of touch, rich Black elites.

It appears to me that Bond and his allies on the board chose to pick someone young enough that they could dominate and control.

They didn't want another Bruce Gordon (a man who was assertive and actually had some good plans for the organization, and someone who attempted a genuine rescue). Gordon tried to throw a life preserver to a drowning man...but the man refused to take it. Gordon did all that anyone could do.
So this guy seems to be more of a placeholder to me.

@lexd....Petey Pablo..lol

May 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDROCK


And? What's the problem with that? Clearly, negroes have been dropping the ball and being shiftless and trifling for the last 20 years.

It should be no surprise that white people have found yet another institution to take from us and claim as their own.

In every instance in which you lament about whites taking over, they didn't TAKE anything. Chitlin' eatin' negroes surrendered it to them willingly.

Not the case with Mr. Jealous who is actually black though.

Sidebar: I can't actually believe that black folks are still stupid enough to believe that an "atypical" black phenotype makes a black person less authentic. What a mess... not surprising though.

I know black folks who are soulbrotha/sista #1, who play the role to a hilt: dreds, incense oils, nonsense about black power, Africa, and being "nubian", who are bigger sellouts than the highest hi-yella negro and vice versa.

So the NAACP has some new blood; big deal. If he wants to get anything accomplished he will hve to get rid of at least 35 board members to have a voting majority (there are 64)

May 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBLKSeaGoat

@Gina I know Mr. Jealous is black (I saw the entire post) & know that we come in many shades. (but he does look a lil like G.W. Bush)

May 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDROCK

For the record: Mr. Jealous's mother is black and his father is white. Now, a lot of people keep saying (in all caps, no less), "HE'S NOT WHITE!". Well, if he's not white, then I suppose he can't be black either...

January 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>