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Thursday, December 06, 2007

Comments

EricTN

[Re: mmhmm's comment directed at Demetria's comment] Your comment is a lot of arrogant claptrap written primarily because you are unhappy with the color of Ms. Gunderson's skin. Hang your head in shame, mmhmm.

mmhmm

Correction: the NAACP is not and never has been about human rights - their framework is limited to civil rights. If you (and Ellie and her supprters) value human rights, it would be great for you to research the reasons why that decision was made.

Please don't let your knowledge of mainstream commercial hiphop interfere with your understanding of the land before hiphop.

Maybe you are not aware of the fact that a great proportion of the readers of this website are sexual minorities who know all too well of the exclusionary and homophobic beliefs and policies of the NAACP and the "visionary men of multicultural backgrounds" you so admire. Your romanticized ideas of the civil rights movement of yesteryear (maybe the "fictional" past you mentioned) are befitting your tender age and lack of that same historical knowledge Dr. Angelou was so wisely referring to. Additionally, please be sure to take a class on women in the civil rights movement while you are in school to correct your patriarchal gaze on history - if it's not offered at Georgetown, you can try Howard across town (there's a bus that takes you right there).

If your heart is in the right place and the time really is "now," you are in a very privileged position to learn so much of what you need to know to make the right decisions about leadership and social justice movements. Spouting your superficial understanding of history (in defense of white leadership of your NAACP chapter at GU, no less) indicates a much-needed criticism of the dominant discourse and good, old-fashioned humility. Humility about what you don't know at your age will mean the difference between learning what you need to realize the systemic change you (and we) genuinely want to see in the 21st century and the dogmatic continuation of the incomplete legacy of change our predecessors in the 20th century have left us.

Demetria

I believe it is absolutely ridiculous to even attempt to discredit my age group's opinion about black consciousness simply because of a random study you have heard. No I don't think (as many in my age group) Gwen is hip hop as I really know that Grand Master Flash, Public Enemy, Tribe Called Quest and Common are true to the essence of hip hop. And Contrary to your assumption, our chapter of the NAACP is thriving in numbers and there are many organizations on campus that have presidents who are not juniors or seniors because people on our campus are capable of taking large leadership roles prior to time that you've arbitrarily designated.

I am a 19 year old Black student at Georgetown University who supports Ellie Gunderson in her position. She was nominated and elected as the president of NAACP because of her passion and conviction for human rights. When will we move out of a time where we cannot equate Black issues as those of simply human issues? As many simply don't understand, the time is now.

Yes, there are many qualified, intelligent, young Black intellectuals at Georgetown (the fact that anyone would question us is beyond me and simply shows how much our ignorance as a culture still impedes our progress today) that could have received the position, but it was Ellie who won with the majority of the vote because this group of primarily Black Georgetown students envisioned something great in the future of our NAACP that could be achieved under her leadership.

As W.E.B. DuBois predicted that the problem of the century would be the color line, it will continue to be until the end of time if we insist on passing up on qualified minds for the movement whether they be Black or White.

Small sidenote: If you listened to Michael Baisden's show as I did, I really hope you developed your own opinion on this issue not simply from the content of the radio interview as it was incredibly slanted to what he believed, which seems to be the same narrow-minded sentiment of many of you.

Also, it is ludicrous to think that we can forget the origins of the NAACP in the context of this situation. Maya Angelou once said "For Africa to me... is more than a glamorous fact. It is a historical truth. No man can know where he is going unless he knows exactly where he has been and exactly how he arrived at his present place." NAACP is what it is today because of the vision those men of multicultural backgrounds had almost 100 years ago. It is to that ideal that Ellie pays homage and strives to walk in the steps of that legacy, not one we have fictionally created for ourselves.

D, Brown

How ironic that at a time when the country is trying to make a choice between a black man and a white female for President, our so called best and brightest elect a white female to head them.

The NAACP, regardless of its roots, represents African Americans. For anyone, including Ms. Gunderson to say different shows a complete lack of both racial sensitivity and little view of the subtleties of public perception.

An organizations mission statement and roots aren't necessarily what that organization is REALLY ABOUT.

If these Georgetown students represent our future, our people are truly lost.

Nanhi Mary Morrow-Farrell

Was it not the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King who said to me when I was a child "injustice must be fought by a biracial army" ?! I grew up in Philadelphia, attended an all black skin toned public school, had a "white" (Irish/Seneca)Dad and a "black" (Jewish/Cherokee) Mom. They were my birth parents and both loved me dearly. It was in my home and in my schools that I learned I could be all that I could be in America, whether I looked like my Mom or my Dad--main ingredient is courage. I learned about people like Frank McCoy who used his "slave" name and his tenacity to have his inventions known as "the real McCoy". I learned that if your name was G. Washington Carver you didn't have to work for peanuts. My mother read me the story, Black Beauty, about a horse finding a "good master" and then she explained to me that on this earth there is only one Master to whom I should answer and that is GOD.

I was elected Vice President of my 4th grade class by my classmates. None of my classmates objected but the Principal of the school did. She offered me a box of cookies to step down from my post so that a child who "better represents the neighborhood" could take my place. I told my Mom. She took me to the Principal's office the next day and the Principal asked who my "friend" was. I told her that she should ask my Mom who she is ! Have you ever seen the movie Four Brothers? Who says blood is thicker than water! Love conquers all--and that's not just a saying when you are in the business of changing hearts. MARY morrow@lasalle.edu

Syd

The fact that the above comment was made shows your lack of knowledge of college students. I work at a small private college filled with some the most intellgent, empowered and knowledgeable people under the age of 25. Some black kids under 25 have no black consciousness, not ALL black kids under 25. And if you're only meeting people who think Gwen Stefani is hip-hop, then you've just proven the crowd you're around. It is my understanding from reports that Ellie Gunderson did not seek this position, but was nominated. Students believed in her and she obviously had the ability to lead. If anyone is going to argue against her, do it because of ability, not race.

mmhmm

the fact that a white north american woman (did you say she caricatures black speech too?!) was elected to lead an NAACP chapter is just further evidence of what we who are interested in social justice have known for years: the NAACP leadership and its membership are irrelevant! no one who is doing effective, grassroots empowerment work takes the NAACP seriously anymore (neither do any in the power structure, for that matter) and the georgetown university chapter is no different.

let them have the one they've elected. that she feels she's entitled speaks volumes about her lack of understanding of racial power dyanamics. any white north american anti-racism activist worth her salt would know that the most dire need for her talents is in leading other white north americans to fight white supremacy, racial injustice, and - wait for it - entitlement!!!

SoWhat

The NAACP,like ALL organizations, needs qualified leaders..Was the chapter suppose to not have a leader or have a unqualified leader because the most qualified choice was a white girl?? Or was she suppose to take all her passion and beliefs and sit in the back of the meeting..and know her place?

Half of our struggle now is not having good leaders and still hanging on to people like Al and Jesse because they are Black.. Just because you are black does not mean I want you anywhere near advocating for me and my community.. I want the person that has the knowledge, passion and conviction to do so.

JMANN

THE world is becoming a cultural melting pot. I feel that representation should be from a person that has had the "true experience" related to any specific group, but the "true experience" doesn't always make you the best candidate. If a person lives within their cultural/racial experiences they can also become narrow minded about the true plight of people. It is not about color, creed, or nationality when it comes to representation, but the content of character. Bill Clinton is white, but did more for minorites during his term than most. The real issue is poor self esteem, anger towards a failed system, and poor self image. Each person has to take accountability for themselves. The NAACP president a Geogetown is white, but savy enough to take the challenge.

Bo

Ellie, what I find most fascinating is the fact you were interested in being president of your NAACP chapter in the first place! It would be like a straight person wanting to lead a LGBT organization, or a man attempting to lead a feminist group. It's just unusual...But I view those jobs as "advocacy", and in that sense anyone can be an advocate as long as they're qualified as you pointed out, and they are passionate about the cause. Good luck with your new function.

cadence

Congratulations Ellie. She says it all when she states that if she was the most passionate and the most qualified for the job then what's the problem. I don't see how anyone can talk about her qualifications, or how interested Black students are in the organization if they are not there on campus to see first hand what is happening.

The NAACP needs leaders and members of every age, hue, sexuality, etc. It needs people who will actually do something to enact change. It seems to me that someone once said that people should be judged on the basis on their character and not the color of their skin. Why have so many of us forgotten this.

Ellie Gunderson

Actually, our NAACP does have a large membership. Georgetown is a small university, but over 40 people voted in the election that made me president. And at Georgetown, seniors are usually already out the door getting jobs, and juniors are usually abrouad, so our clubs are oftentimes run by sophomores.

The NAACP was not started to be a Black organization. It was formed by a group of black, white, and Jewish individuals who wanted to see more equality in their society. To say whites can be members, but not leaders, is holding the entire movement back. If I was the most passionate and qualified person to create momentum about civil rights issues on Georgetown's campus, then there is no reason why I should not be president. I am qualified for my job, and I was elected by my peers who have faith in my convictions and my passion. To not allow a person a position of leadership because of their skin color is ridiculous, and obviously Georgetown's black community does not have a problem with it, or else someone else would have won the election.

I appreciate your interest in my story, and I hope one day people who share your views can realize that we are all fighting the same battle.

anonymous

Let me tell you (you probably know already anyway) but black kids under 25 have no black consciousness at all. They think Gwen Stefani is hip hop. I don't know anything about Georgetown but something tells me that particular chapter has low numbers. In most college organizations the president is usually a junior or senior. There is probably a black student union that is the bigger organization

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