Richard Rose, president of the Atlanta Branch of the NAACP, has issued an apology to the national office, for violating its statutes regarding endorsing or in Rose’s case, issuing a “rare repudiation” of candidates.
Monday, NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson called Rose’s actions “unacceptable.”
The letter by the national office quoted their bylaws which forbids office holders from endorsing candidates for public office:
“Article II, Section 2(d) of the Bylaws for Units of the NAACP states that “[a]ll political action shall be non-partisan and shall not endorse candidates for public office.” Furthermore, Article VIII, Section 5(p) of the Bylaws for Units of the NAACP states the political action committee “shall be nonpartisan and shall not endorse candidates for public office.”
Here is Rose’s letter in its entirety:
I have indicated to the President of the National NAACP that it was inappropriate to repudiate the mayoral candidacy of Kasim Reed in my role as the president of the NAACP Atlanta Branch. I now publicly acknowledge that it was a mistake to issue the repudiation of Kasim Reed on NAACP letterhead, in my position as president of the NAACP Atlanta Branch, even though it was agreed upon without dissent by the local executive committee. My statement about the mayoral race in Atlanta should have been made by me as a personal statement from a private citizen, 50+ year resident of Atlanta, long-time local entrepreneur and not as the president of the NAACP Atlanta Branch. The NAACP has a policy of not endorsing or issuing condemnations of any specific candidate by name. Rather, the organization takes on issues without addressing political party or candidates specifically.
My statement reflects my own feelings about Kasim Reed’s candidacy. I stand by my analysis of the situation and the irrefutable facts of his record. In a letter to the national office, I have accepted my mistake
and pledged to refrain from speaking out about political candidates under the organization’s name.
I hope this puts to rest the way the statement was issued so that the message in the statement can be considered on its merits. My outspoken activism is driven by a heartfelt desire to end the historic disinvestment in our communities; and to see people of color treated with respect, dignity, and given equitable opportunity. In my personal opinion based on his past performance in office, Kasim Reed does not embody the capacity to achieve these goals.