Saturday, August 25, 2007

National NAACP President Dennis Courtland Hayes; The (National) NAACP has taken no official position on Michael Vick

NAACP chief speaks on Vick

While an NAACP leader in Atlanta urged the door be open for Michael Vick to return to football, the national head of the civil rights group said he would prefer its focus be on basic issues, not on a celebrity case that has sparked national debate.
Vick is to plead guilty Monday in Richmond, Va., to a federal dogfighting indictment that carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison. His status as an NFL quarterback with the Falcons is on hold.
"Sometimes, politics being local, they (local chapters) speak to issues that we'd just as soon leave to others to deal with," Dennis Courtland Hayes, interim president and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said in an interview with USA Today.
"We would hope that our units, as we do, would be dealing with the larger issues of the day that surround things like jobs and tackle problems that go to the root cause of our affliction as a community, as families, whether it has to do with education or wages or poor health care."
This week, the president of the NAACP's Atlanta chapter, R.L. White, said Vick should not be permanently banned from the NFL and that a "new Michael Vick" should eventually be welcomed back. Hayes said he and the NAACP's national board have not taken "formal positions" on the case.


KM: The NAACP is actually comprised of 1,800 local Branches or units. The units are tied to one another through our shared by-laws and constitution, and by the National office which serves as the administrative head of the organization. However, NAACP units are relatively autonomous, which is necessary in order for us to effectively fulfill our local goals and objectives. While we share common rules and a common mission, the day to day activities of local units are not coordinated on a National level. The only NAACP position espoused on the Michael Vick case has been that of the Atlanta Branch and its President Dr. RL White.

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