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12 September 2008

The Gwinnett NAACP Picked The Wrong Hill To Die On

On occasion, people have said to me, "Andre, before you do this, you need to make sure that this is the hill you want to die on."

Basically, what they're saying is if you're about to pick a fight, then be sure that this fight is one you're willing to take to the death.

By now, you know my opinion about the manufactured controversy concerning the superintendent of Gwinnett County School, J. Alvin Wilbanks, and his so-called offensive statement regarding how many blacks reside in the state of Idaho (read "Meanwhile, back in Georgia, J. Alvin Wilbanks Refuses To Apologize" for a little background on the issue).

The local NAACP has kept this thing alive by first asking the Gwinnett schools superintendent to apologize for asking, "Do they have any blacks in Idaho?" And now, they're calling for J. Alvin Wilbanks' resignation for his "arrogant condescending attitude and lack of remorse." [Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution, "Gwinnett NAACP calls for superintendent’s resignation", September 10, 2008]

Unfortunately for the Gwinnett County NAACP, state Rep. Melvin Everson (R - Snellville), Bishop Ron Sailor of Christ the King Baptist Church in Dacula, and the Atlanta Journal Constitution editorial board are all in agreement that targeting J. Alvin Wilbanks for something so trivial does more harm to the NAACP than to the focus of their protest [Source: Gwinnett Daily Post, "Leaders voice support for Wilbanks", September 12, 2008].

...the NAACP chapter in Gwinnett insists that Wilbanks revealed himself to be racist [...] and demands the removal of Wilbanks and any school board members who defend him.

However, there’s no evidence that racism stalks the office of the Gwinnett County school superintendent. Given that fact, the Gwinnett branch of the NAACP ought to back off its campaign to oust Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks from his job. It is doing far more damage to its own reputation than to Wilbanks’."
[Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution, "Wilbanks focuses on solution, not problem", September 12, 2008]

It's disappointing to me as a person of color that the Gwinnett NAACP would decide to put its reputation on the line over something this silly.

This whole issue concerning J. Alvin Wilbanks does nothing to advance colored people. The resignation of J. Alvin Wilbanks will do nothing to advance colored people.

As I've said before, this manufactured controversy by the Gwinnett NAACP makes me, and a lot of other folks, roll their eyes, sigh and say, "There they go again."