The NAACP has selected 35 year old Benjamin Todd Jealous as its next President and CEO. Jealous was the only candidate presented to the group’s 64 member Executive Board.
This quote by CNN says a lot about the vote.
When the 34-21 vote was announced, “no one clapped or celebrated,” one board member said after the meeting in Baltimore,Maryland.
The story goes on to say, “Some board members wanted to hear from two others whom the search committee identified as finalists, but Jealous’ supporters prevented it, sources said. ”
Roland Martin writes more about the vote at Essence.com.
Another (board member) 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.
In a subsequent article, Roland says “According to multiple board members, the search firm employed by the NAACP to find a new leader, the San Francisco-based Hodge /Niederer / Cariani / Lindsay, ranked Jealous second, and Dallas megachurch preacher, the Rev. Frederick Douglass Haynes III, first” Roland also says Haynes desire to remain as Senior Pastor of Friendship-West in Dallas, raised a “red flag among members.”
Throughout these last few weeks I was warned “this is a highly politicized process.” It’s obvious that I felt Dr. Frederick D. Haynes would make the best President, but then again I thought Ben Gordon was good also. And knowing how the NAACP is, I still figured he would at least be presented to the Board, though reports from the very beginning said otherwise.
I can only think that the selection of Jealous and his support among the NAACP brass i.e. Julian Bond means more business as usual. I’ll leave it at that.