Ben Jealous Leaving the NAACP

African American news from Pasadena - Editorial - Ben Jealous leaving NAACPThe NAACP continues to be an important piece of American history, and so it was a shock when Ben Jealous announced that he was resigning. He implied that a female was taking over.

I am not sure that it matters who takes over the organization which still is the most important organization in the struggle for equality in America. Unlike international organizations where leadership passes from one person to another, the NAACP leads the country’s massive population in their struggle for equality in America. It is the oldest Civil Rights organization in America and the one that holds the largest amount of power in terms of leadership.

It is the leader in terms of what the targets of power are in America, i.e., the vote, employment, personal dignity. The announcement that young Jealous is resigning is shocking, unless there are some earth shaking issues for him. So far, we are just on notice that he is resigning. The reasons are being held close to the vest.

African American news from Pasadena - Editorial - Ben Jealous leaving NAACPAt 40 years old, Jealous has moved the membership from a mere 16,000 to 132,000 in his short career as President. He has added gay rights to the agenda for the NAACP. Those rights include the right to marry. It is unclear what Jealous has in mind for the balance of his NAACP career, but he will be missed by many including, Reverend Al Sharpton and the NAACP’s Board Chair, Roslyn Brock. It is important that the NAACP chooses another leader who will continue the growth of the NAACP as the issues change.

The NAACP started in 1909 and has been at the forefront of the Civil Rights struggle since the beginning. It promoted voting rights, education, employment rights and each of the Civil Rights targets.

It is important that the new leader understands that some progress is made in these Civil Rights areas and that the rights move the people to new heights. Equality in employment, education, and the right to vote to choose new leadership are important elements of equality.

With Jealous leaving unexpectedly, nothing changes. The goals of the organization don’t change. It’s just the leadership that changes; nothing else. The struggle and the leadership may slow down or take on a new method, but the goals of the organization are the same.

From the beginning, the goals were determined to gain equality in areas of education, employment, housing, and the right to vote for people of color. Whether it was Dr. Benjamin Hooks, Myrlie Evers, or Ben Chavis, the goals remain the same. The leadership may just take a different tactic for reaching the progress sought. We simply send out our blessings for Mr. Jealous, thank him for moving us toward the higher cliff and look to him for a return to our overall struggle for justice and equality.