The Young Guns vs. The Old Skool

 

By Gerry Monroe

HOUSTON – They have a saying in Dallas called Eat Greedy. In the City of Houston that’s what local politicians seem to do. While everyone was been caught up in the mid-term elections, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), was getting ready for its own elections. The changing of the guard is not accepted in a lot of arenas.

Bottom line, the young guns feel like the old heads don’t want any smoke with them. And, with some of the things they presented to me, in a discussion we had, that just might be true.

There are allegations of misappropriation of funds, conspiracy, collusion and downright hating. Over at The NAACP, the young people want to change leadership. But, seems like the old heads are gonna put up a fight.

On Nov. 15th NAACP will be having an election of officers. The election will be at the Houston branch. The address is 2002 Wheeler, 77004. The time of the election is from 7am to 7pm.

The reason this election is so important is the guards may just change. But, it won’t be without a fight. A group of young Black adults have decided to go against the old guard of the NAACP. And, these youngsters mean business. They are passionate, educated and cut from a different cloth. To me, are the younger version of Apollo Creed. They want their seat at the table. And, they won’t take no for an answer.

I had an opportunity to sit down with three of the young guns and have a serious discussion. I asked some serious questions and they shot straight from the hip. But, throughout the discussion there were serious concerns about whether the upcoming election would be a fair process.

At moment, the young guns feel the old regime is playing dirty. They feel people like Bishop James Dixon, who hasn’t attended a meeting since 2016 has been dug out of the grave to run for a board position. They also feel that Dr. James Douglas should step aside and allow new leadership to take over.

The assumption is the NAACP Houston branch is a joke. Their perception is they don’t do anything for the Black community. They have no fight in them.

Office of President

Dr. James Douglas vs.

Lloyd Ford

Dr. James Douglas is the season veteran. Former president of the Texas Southern University. He’s been president of the local chapter of The NAACP since Jan. 2015. He is also a board member for the Charter school organization Energized for Stem.

Dr. Douglas was one of the members of the organization that was trying to take over ten failing HISD Schools in early 2017. However, he said he was not acting as a rep of the NAACP during that time. He is visible throughout Houston and has been very active.

Furthermore, he has been a life-long member and has no intention of leaving the organization anytime soon. Dr. Douglas told me, “He embraces younger participation within the NAACP and wishes more people would join the organization.”

Lloyd Ford is a Jack Yates alumni and college graduate. He is also an entrepreneur. He’s a visionary and his efforts in the past month have boosted membership of the Houston Chapter. He’s relentless when it comes to working in and for the community. He’s the driving force behind the youth movement in the organization. He feels, elected the Houston Branch will become one of the most powerful chapters in the country. He is also a member of The NAACP Economic Committee.

1st Vice President,

Claude Cummings vs.

Eddison Titus

Claude Cummings is man that wears many hats. He’s all over the city of Houston. Whether helping Mayor Turner or Holding PAC meetings, he’s everywhere. He’s well respected and known for working hard in the Black community. He’s been a member of the Local branch for many years.

Eddison Titus is a lawyer by day and revolutionary by night. Soft spoken but, a real straight -forward guy. His work in the community most days can’t be matched. Most work he does is geared towards uplifting Black youth. He is highly-educated, ready to lift the NAACP to the next level and a member of the NAACP Economic Committee.

Secretary, Belinda Everette vs. Ciara Suseberry

Belinda Everette is a longtime member of the NAACP. She leads the branch’s housing advocacy efforts and believes that civil rights is the core platform of the NAACP and that housing is a civil rights issue.

Ciara Suseberry reminds me a lot of the ultimate team player. If Martin had Rosa, the Young Guns have Ciara. Anywhere, you can find a Black issue in the community, you will find Ciara. Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. She does little talking but a lot of working. She too, is a member of The NAACP Economic Committee.

Now let’s get to the meat and potatoes. The young guns have decided to come out with all guns blazing. For the past few months, local meetings have been explosive. There are allegations, that rules for the coming election have been circumvented by the old regime.

Mr. Richard Bonton was disqualified from running for a board position due to his membership lapsing. Even though he renewed it, he will not be running. Bonton ran against Harold Dutton for a State Rep. seat.

The young guns claim the old heads are playing dirty games to keep board seats, that they are not using to help Black people. They allege that, “It seems the only thing the NAACP does on the surface is host a gala to raise money to pay Executive Director Yolanda Smith’s salary. This year’s Gala raised upwards of $700k. Yet, according to Lloyd Ford the branch has only $34K left from the event.

For years the perception has been the NAACP lacks the basic fundamental structure of strong leadership to attract members. I personally use to attend Economic Committee meetings. I even for a quick second became the educational chair of the committee. But, when I found out James Douglas was on the same charter board, that was trying to grab Wheatley, Worthing, Kashmere and the other 7 schools; I respectfully resigned my position.

I fully understand that Dr. Douglas was doing this as a charter board member, not as President of the NAACP Houston Branch.  The National office of the NAACP does not support charter schools. But, the local President sits on a charter board. This action alone had Black Houston screaming he should resign his position.

There was also a video sent to me of an irate young Black lady that ran into a classroom at TSU screaming someone had sexually assaulted her. I asked Dr. Douglas was she referring to him? He did verify, that it was his classroom. But that she wasn’t referring to him. He reassured me that he’s never sexually assaulted anyone in his life.

 After that I received an audio recording of State Senator Borris Miles talking to one of the young guns. On this tape Senator Miles makes some shocking allegations that the NAACP has been on the take for over 30 years. The Senator even names. Now due to the fact that I’ve yet to speak to Senator Miles I won’t name these people.

But, it is definitely Senator Miles on the tape. During the conversation Senator Miles tries to explain it’s not the Young Guns time to take over leadership. Their knuckles will end up bloody and they won’t win anyway.

Here’s a question. Why does Borris Miles give a dam who is on the board of the local NAACP? Why would he make those allegations? Either way, the Young Guns have smoke. The young guns also allege, that a building they wanted to use for the Economic Committee was taken from them without cause. Dr. Douglas said the youngster didn’t want to pay the utilities for the building.

Lloyd Ford said that’s a flat out lie. They agreed to pay the utilities but, were denied the building. Lastly, Lloyd Ford built a website for the NAACP. He was the website administrator. This was agreed upon by the local office. Yet, he was sued by the local branch for putting material on the site that was not authorized by the local branch. Mr. Ford has stressed him, and the Young Guns never had a problem with the local branch until they decided to run for board positions.  

Bottom line, the young regime feel if they never ran for board positions, they would not be having any of these problems. I say let them run, make it a fair election process. I have decided to be a poll watcher on election day to make sure the election is on the up and up.

The Houston Branch of The NAACP is one of the oldest NAACP branches in the country. During the riots in the 60’s the branch was front line.

This is why the old regime embraces the younger people. The revolution has to be fought with young people on the front line. Our communities’ marines. But the organization that supplies our marines is ran by a 5-Star General past his prime. Their artillery is old and outdated. When an organization has an election and only 29 votes are cast some thing is wrong. This happened in the last election. Only 29 votes were cast. This election will be in the 100’s. And most of the new members were recruited by the young guns.

Now if they are educated and can increase membership why not give them a shot? If Senator Miles can try to talk them down, I’m gonna talk them up. I’m an old man that makes a difference in this city. Yet, I fight battles daily by myself. Imagine if I had help. Don’t think Because Lloyd is young he can’t be a dynamic President. Look at what Just happened in the Mid Term elections. Youth, women and veterans stole a lot of Senate and Congress seats. The kids can make it happen. Around the world there is a growing interest in youth and politics. Some political groups are changing to respond to the growing number of young people who want to affect the political system.

Political ideologies appealing to youth that were once considered “fringe” beliefs are becoming mainstreamed, and more young people are associating themselves with non-popular political parties.

More young people than ever before are actually becoming engaged in local community campaigns and other political activities. Youth can change the world through politics by becoming actively, meaningfully and substantially involved throughout political parties and beyond.

After 12, 14, 17 or 21 years of being told their voices don’t matter in politics, young people may need inspiration to become engaged. Never in history have children and youth been seen or treated as serious political actors; given the opportunity, they will be. Inspiration from stories, parables, biographies and other sources can help prepare and sustain youth in politics. “We must fullfill our obligations to youth.

The of Action for Youth asks Governments to consider the contributions of young persons on all policies affecting them. Governments must honor this commitment.

They must also increase the financial, education and technical support made available to young people…It is high time that we stopped viewing our young people as part of the problem and started cultivating their promise and potential.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), is a civil rights organization in the United States, formed in 1909 as a bi-racial endeavor to advance justice for African-Americans.