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Posts Tagged ‘NAACP’

The NAACP Takes a PR Hit In The Donald Sterling Debacle

adam silverCommissioner Adam Silver was everyone’s hero on Tuesday when he announced that Donald Sterling would be banned for life from the NBA after the league confirmed that was in fact his voice on a recording filled with racist and sexist remarks. (Was there ever any doubt?)

Not only that, Sterling has to hand over $2.5 million for charity — not much for a billionaire, but it’s the principal — and Silver says he’s going to press to get the LA Clippers sold to a different owner. Not only did Silver call the comments “offensive,” but he said they were “harmful,” which connotes something deeper, more serious and more corrosive.  Boom. Boom. Boom.

While he and the league are being given credit for handling the situation swiftly and effectively (well, by almost everyone), there have been a lot of questions about how the NAACP could have seen fit to give Sterling not one, but two lifetime achievement awards. The second one was meant to be handed out next month at the organization’s annual convention, but was rescinded on Monday. Even then, the LA chapter’s president Leon Jenkins said there is “room to forgive.”

It looks as though the NBA has been much tougher on Sterling than the NAACP has. And some are saying that it could be because Sterling donated money and Clippers tickets to the organization.

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Russell Simmons’ ‘Harriett Tubman Sex Tape’ Apology Didn’t Go Over So Well

Def Jam founder Russell Simmons has become something of a PR/media man extraordinaire, what with his digital marketing “don’t call us an agency” company and his newly-launched YouTube channel All Def Digital. Seems like his team could sell water to a well, no?

Unfortunately, this week he chose what might have been the worst possible way to roll out his latest product: with a poorly planned satirical clip titled “ADD History: Harriett Tubman Sex Tape” which made light of some horrific aspects of life in the pre-Civil War United States.

In short, the Tubman character encourages a friend to hide in a closet and photograph her having “special time” with her slave master—evidence which she later uses to blackmail him. This quote from Clutch magazine explains why the clip angered everyone with an Internet connection on Wednesday:

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NY Soda Ban Opponents Bring Race Into the Debate

In case you hadn’t heard, New York mayor Michael Bloomberg won his battle with “big soda”, banning extra-large servings of sugar water via a unanimous City Board of Health vote. The ban will take effect in March, but this doesn’t mean the conflict is over–far from it. See, Coca-Cola may admit to making Americans fat, but the world’s biggest brand will continue to fight for its right to sell ridiculously oversized portions to anyone who cares to buy them.

Now comes the next phase–and big soda chose a very interesting PR approach this time by enlisting the NAACP and the Hispanic Federation to argue against the ban on racial terms. During the first courtroom arguments in the class action suit filed against Bloomberg and the city, representatives from these organizations argued that the ban would disproportionately “hurt small and minority-owned businesses while doing little to help health” and placing said businesses at a further disadvantage when compared to their larger rivals. Of course, soda also plays a crucial role in boosting obesity rates within minority communities, but we’ll just forget about that for now.

Here’s the real shocker: these groups don’t just receive lots of donations from Coke, Pepsi and other soft drink brands; they also give them awards for outstanding “corporate leadership”. This isn’t to say that social advocacy groups should be immune to the usual lobbying nonsense, but the completely unsurprising revelation does damage the credibility of this particular PR initiative while simultaneously diluting the larger and far more important mission of these civil rights advocacy groups. It’s very unfortunate.

One thing that does really bother us about this ban: it will exclude 7-Eleven, home of the famous “Big Gulp”. Why? Because, for some reason, the city can’t legally regulate convenience and supermarket chains (which are slowly smothering its classic bodegas). That’s just dumb.

NAACP Tackling the HIV/AIDS Epidemic in the Black Community

The NAACP has launched a campaign, “The Black Church & HIV: A Social Justice Imperative,” an effort designed to use the power and reach of the church to share information about HIV/AIDS with the Black community and help those who have been affected by the deadly disease.

The organization conducted a year-long “research tour,” which informed a manual and a brief that encourages faith leaders to get involved in “HIV advocacy.” On Sunday, the NAACP hosted a “Day of Unity” in Houston, where Blacks made up 42 percent of the more than 4,200 new cases of HIV/AIDS in 2010.

The clip above has some startling numbers about the high number of cases of HIV/AIDS among Blacks. And click here for a helpful infographic.

Interview with Eric Chambers: The ‘Black Press’ and Reaching Audiences with Positive Stories

Actress Regina King with her NAACP Image Award

A couple of weeks ago, we reported on the open letter that Eric Chambers, host of The Jazzpell on The Word Network, wrote to the leaders of the NAACP, taking issue with the organization’s PR firm, The Lippin Group, and the lack of press credentials issued to the Black media for the NAACP’s Image Awards, which took place last month.

We caught up with Chambers to discuss the issue further, learn a little more about what prompted his anger and disappointment, and to gather details about what sorts of pitches he’d be interested in.

Read on after the jump.

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NAACP Responds to Journalist’s Open Letter. Is it Enough?

Following the NAACP‘s 42nd annual presentation of the Image Awards earlier this month, Eric Chambers (at left), the producer and host of The Jazzspel, a Saturday-morning program on The Word Network,  issued a fiery open letter addressed to NAACP president Benjamin Todd Jealous and the chairwoman of the organization’s board of directors Roslyn M. Brock.

In the letter, Chambers takes issue with the promotion for the awards and press credentials that were — and weren’t — issued by the the organization’s PR firm The Lippin Group.

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