Two men vie for presidency of N.C. chapter of NAACP

By: - October 4, 2005 4:14 am

Associated Press GREENSBORO, N.C. – Delegates from across North Carolina this week will choose the next president of the state chapter of the NAACP: either the man who has been led the organization since 1996 or a challenger who says the organization needs to speak out more forcefully.

Melvin "Skip" Alston, a Guilford County commissioner, can be impassioned when he thinks that’s necessary.

"We expect you to do your job when you come down here, not to try to come down here just to get along, just to be invited to the parties," Alston said, speaking about lawmakers during the NAACP legislative day in June. "But we are going to be evaluating you; we’re going to have our eyes on you; we’ll be there when you need us, and we’ll be there when you abuse us. We want you to know that the NAACP is alive and well and that we can make you, or we can break you."

But he acknowledges that’s not his typical way of doing business.

"We’ve got black elected officials who are already in those halls, representing the African-American community," Alston said last week. "So the NAACP does not have to jump up and holler anymore because we’ve got good black elected officials who are out there in those rooms."

But the Rev. William Barber of Goldsboro said the NAACP needs to "speak truth to power" more often. (more…)

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Chris Fitzsimon

Chris Fitzsimon, Founder and Executive Director of N.C. Policy Watch, writes the Fitzsimon File, delivers a radio commentary broadcast on WRAL-FM and hosts "News and Views," a weekly radio news magazine that airs on multiple stations across North Carolina. [email protected] 919-861-2066