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Did the Minneapolis NAACP branch "loan" $85,000 for investment in grocery stores without a written agreement to repay?   |   Ron Edwards comments on Mpls issues forum discussion   |   Re: [Mpls] Did Mpls NAACP branch "loan" $85,000 for investment in Grocery stores?

Ron Edwards comments on Mpls issues forum discussion
3/24/05/#40: Mn-Forum discussion of 4-1-04: It is on the right track. Five key points: (1) No audit since 1998; (2) we welcome an audit; (3) we welcome a revitalization of the NAACP, both national and local; (4) revitalization can’t take place until an audit has been done; (5) Disbanding the current branch and starting a new one, all over, won’t change the old and current pattern until what has been done has been dealt with.

Even though the response to Doug Mann by both Tom Madden and Eric Mitchell on the MnForum ( occurred on April Fool’s Day, the issue is no joke. Doug reported that a tape recording reported on my March 27th Black Focus Show (Cable Channel 17, Sundays, 5-6 pm) reflected one of the financial shenanigans of our local NAACP branch. And although Doug was promised the tape by those admitting it existed, he has been stonewalled until now it appears the tape has somehow disappeared. Tom Madden hits the nail on the head when he calls for clearing everything up by having an audit. Fair enough.

Eric Mitchell, on the other hand, continues the same old obfuscation, claiming an audit won’t satisfy those he accuses of trying to ruin a “once credible organization.” He claims this “small group” is now “going after the third or fourth set of NAACP leadership.” Enough, Eric; name names. Eric gives the secret away by admitting it was “once” credible.

We don’t know of any group other than those involved in the financial shenanigans who have created the credibility gap. Those are the ones bringing this once great organization to its knees. We offered our assessment of the local NAACP in Chapter 14 of our book ("The Role of Minneapolis Black Organizations ... Being Part of the Problem Rather than the Solution ....," and in our Solution Paper #12, "NAACP Takes Its Eye Off the Prize". Neither the local nor national NAACP has stated anything said was false. They are upset that we made it public, and thus expelled me. But killing the messenger doesn’t invalidate the message.

With less than 400 members (many White) out of 80,000 Blacks in Minneapolis, all so-called groups involved are small. We do know that the majority of those who voted for one candidate two elections ago were all disqualified by a much smaller group that refused to relinguish control. Playing "Florida" exposed their unwillingness to follow what members wanted. But although unethical and against the by-laws, it was "smart" in that if they continue hold control, despite the desire of the majority of the membership for change, they could prevent exposure of their financial shenanigans. Eric, with his comments, is actually supporting minority rule.

The last audit was 1998. It was so bad that the national NAACP fined the Minneapolis branch $75,000. As nothing was done to correct this, I wrote about it in my book three years later, published in October 2000. Today, three more years later again, in 2005, nothing has yet been done to solve this. Hampering it, of course, is the shredding of documents that began in July of 2001. The reason, Eric, that no one will be satisfied with an audit is that if one is done it will be incomplete due to the shredding of documents to hide the theft of what now looks like $1.3 million by your DFL buddies. This is our own little NAACP branch version of Enron, our own little NAACP ranch version of Arthur Anderson. So the questions present themselves: why do you persist in covering for them? Why do you want them off the hook? Why aren't you supporting an audit to clear the air as Tom does?
Posted 3-4-05, 7:22 pm