Should I meet with the NAACP President?

Hey peeps! I head to NYC this week in support of Rev. Sharpton’s Measuring the Movement conference.  I was also asked to meet with NAACP President Ben Jealous about the group’s work with accused predatory lender Wells Fargo.  As many of you know, I don’t approve of this partnership, so I am not sure if I am going to take the meeting (unless I am convinced that they want to hear fresh ideas and not just try to convince me that their ideas are the right ones).  But I’d like your help…..if you have any ideas on what I should ask Ben about this interesting partnership, please let me know what you think.  I’m curious to get additional feedback from my supporters on this issue, since my only goal is to represent the interests of the people.   I’ll let you know how it goes.

 

Be well,

Dr. Boyce Watkins

 

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38 Comments

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38 responses to “Should I meet with the NAACP President?

  1. James Chapman

    Since my mother-in-law was a victim of a predatory lender, I would like to know why the NAACP is working with them? I thought the NAACP was about the interest of the black community.

  2. byron

    1 what is da NAACP doing 2 improve education n public schools?
    2 why do dey partner with ppl that only help da blks who r fortunate & not blks dat need the help?

  3. Melvin Griffin

    Why not go and hear what they have to say. Then come back and let us all know what is your idear’s are.

  4. Virginia

    I really think you should go to the meeting. You have many ideas and are a great spokesman for the black community. Hopefully , he will listen and follow thru with your ideas.

  5. Brother Dr. Boyce, as background: about a year and a half ago, I worked with Wells Fargo (who has now bought out my bank, Wachovia) to purchase a foreclosed home. I didn’t need any special program, per se, just some special consideration to work through not having borrowed anything from anyone in the previous 25 years. Therefore, I had no credit history, and a very high income to debt ratio. I posed ALL the questions to them (admist this crisis), and wound up with a fantastic deal with a great mortgage rate…after putting both my daughters through private colleges. The experience was made even more enjoyable by the fact that I faciliated the purchase through a Black realty company, Black home inspector, a Black lawyer to close the deal, and a Black WF broker. Sweet, indeed!

    So, I would go to the meeting and ask Brother Jealous the following:

    1. What safeguards have been put in place that guarantee nothing like the previous crisis will every take place again, especially with regards to Black and other minority customers?

    2. How has WF worked to make things right by those that were damaged by the housing crisis, beyond support for the NAACP. Where’s the proof?

    3. Is there a report on the employee demographics of WF that is available to the public, and what is NAACP doing to ensure that there is diversity in personnel and inclusion in the decision-making at every level?

    4. Lastly, ask the NAACP, when they are gonna speak out to support efforts to remove menthol from tobacco products, that kill 47,000 of our folk every year – more than AIDS, homicides, suicides and accidents each year!

    And let us ALL know!

  6. Is Mr.Jealous going to ask Wells Fargo to make a generous contribution to the reparations movement for it’s involvement in slavery?

  7. JZ

    Fascinating question as I’m studying this exact same issue at Chicago State University. The city treasurer’s office here, run by an African-American woman who has received a large amount of donations from the financial industry, is starting a program called Bank On Chicago. It’s based on the SF program.

    The problem is that the city actively recruited financial institutions that have been accused of predatory lending practices to be partners in this program. Additionally, there is apparently no provision/requirement about compensation and bonuses for executives, nor did the city think there should be. So essentially, like the health care law, Bank On Chicago will generate thousands of new customers, mostly low-income, mostly African-American, for these financial institutions, mostly big out-of-state corporations. And while there are some commendable provisions in the program itself, there is no protection for these new customers if the program ends. Also only TWO credit unions are taking part because there was no special provision allowed for credit unions which tend to be more understaffed for projects as compared to community or corporate banks.

    So here’s what I would ask Mr. Jealous:

    1) Did the NAACP pursue this opportunity with CUNA or another credit union organization?

    2) Is the cost of predatory lending on NAACP constituents more than the amount of money this partnership will generate? If so, is this partnership worth it?

    3) Has the NAACP ever thought of opening its own credit union, or teaming up with an existing credit union?

    4) Does he understand that corporations like Wells Fargo are legally obligated NOT to put anything before the interests of its shareholders – and thus are really bad partners?

    Just some thoughts. Good luck. Fight on.

  8. JZ

    Sorry one more question popped in my mind..

    5) Would Wells Fargo be open to funding housing cooperative projects like London Towne/Noble Square in Chicago, Eco-village in LA or all the coops in NYC? ‘Cause a few thousand of those in a city would solve the affordable housing crisis.

  9. Why should anyone be suprise. The Naacp is not a black civil rights organization anymore. It raise issues to be able to collect money. The organization should stop sending out those phony membership cards and making claims to corporate America that they actually speaks for a large group of phoney member. I have tried for years to find out who is the leadership at the local level in my area. I have yet to get a response. I see and hear about the Naacp when there is an issue that appears to be revelant to blacks. Then, just like Jessie Jackson, they come out of the hills making claims that they are our representatives.

    It aggrevate me to no end. We are suppose to have some new leadership at the helm but if it is new leadership it is like a pyramid that have a peak and no bottom. Word of widson to Mr. Ben, he need to take that list of none paying membership and use it to do some grass root recruitment. It would start to get some advice from the base or bottom where what little support the organization have come from

    No, I do not think a meeting with BJ would make any different. He is getting his marching order from sources outside the black commuity.

  10. Tendai

    I am interested to know what kind of spin Wells Fargo will attempt this time. Their involvement with the Black community came from their former dsicriminatory practices that required them to make loans availble to us. Wells Fargo was then successful in establishing a predatory loan effort that yielded them much more money than I am sure they originally thought. We therefore need an ear and a voice at the table that is more discerning and not afraid to speak out or offer an opposing view. Please attend and speak for us. Provide new prespectives as we know you will keep our best interests always at the forefront.

  11. Mark

    I was in the investment business for most of my career and saw good and bad people on both sides as buyers and sellers. IMO 90% of people who took out these loans knew exactly what they are doing. Al Sharpton admits to scamming people by staging phony civil rights protests for a fee, and you question whether to work with Wells Fargo. I’m a white guy who has spent a decade of trying to help people in need (mostly black) become self-reliant and I’m ready to give up because of people like you who continue to play the race/victim card. I’ve yet to see anyone in life become successful by focusing on the fact that they are a victim. You work your butt off and you can do better than your parents… My parents and your parents didn’t buy cars on credit. My parents took out a loan to buy a $10,000 house lived in it their whole life, and saved every penny they could. We had one couch, two carpets my whole life. Black America’s problem is not Wells Fargo. Al Sharpton and others who continue to sell victimization and the few like you who benefit significantly from “the race problem” are doing far more harm than the endless “predators” who you claim are victimizing your constituents.

  12. Tony

    I would like to know if the NAACP ever answered the questions in your article? If not, I think you asked very important questions that need answers:

    1) How much money did Wells Fargo give to the NAACP?
    2) What is it getting in exchange for that money?
    3) Exactly how is it planning to change its operating practices? Has it made any formal legal commitments, or just a vague promise to “partner” with the NAACP (we all know what it means when a company “partners” with an organization)?
    4) Why are there several city and state governments around the nation who have NOT settled their lawsuits with Wells Fargo? (An amended complaint was just filed against the company by the city of Baltimore, which has seen dramatic abandonment allegedly as a result of Wells Fargo’s lending practices). Is the city seeing something that the NAACP has chosen to overlook? If so, why?
    5) How is Wells Fargo going to be held accountable by the NAACP in the future? If it is getting money from the organization, it is only logical that the group be expected to properly monitor Wells Fargo’s behavior.

  13. muataa wefe

    “Stay close to your enemies” is wisdom that still resonates – thus, I approve of the interaction with Wells. It allows the N Double to monitor and keep us present with a known offender – what could be better than that? To simply let them run amuck again doesn’t seem to make sense. Leverage is what this is.

    The question I’d like to see you ask them is the what is the number of senior executives in strategic decision making positions that are people of color? And what is there commitment – have them show you the strategic plan – to get to a point where there is a statistical impact? Having representation inside the monster is equally important – and currently the number in any financial service discipline is below granular…

  14. Give a BRIEF explanation of the purpose and connection between The NAACP and Wells Fargo (in layman’s terms.) Who is really going to benefit??

  15. Soul Sistah For My Folks

    All black leaders should be invited and all invited black leaders should attend. Concentrate on what you all have in common and know that you will have differences. If you can’t even get together to simply meet, how can you criticize President Obama for doing the best he can. I hope the President will do more, but I know that he has not forgotten us and he is not out to further hurt Black America. Remember he is the President of America and not just out for Black America. We hired him to play a century old white boy’s game and he can’t just go in and change all of the rules in favor of you and me. It is up to our Black Leadership to stay strong and work harder than you ever have. This is the first time in America’s history that we have some since of Federal Protection. If the Black Panthers started up again with the same goals to feed, clothe and educate our people do you think President Obama would allow the Federal Government to take the actions of the past? He can not solve our problems. He can give us a window of protection while you guys meet openly and come back with a plan of action that all of America, black and white can benefit from. It’s not about us versus them, it’s about us and them. We have to continue down the road of LOVE that Dr. King and all of our Elders and Ancestors paved with their lives. I don’t want to hear about the division among our Black Leadership. Who is dividing you? It’s time to get this thing done! Make our Ancestors proud Dr. Boyce go to that meeting with an open heart and show our young African Males that you can sit at the table without going to war, verbally or silently. If not you then who? I’m not concerned with the blame game and don’t want you to get distracted by it. We all know that we’ve been taken advantage of and it will continue until we, our Black Leaders come up with a plan to educate our people on what we need to do. Stay focused on solutions. Much Love

  16. Rose

    Please go to the meeting and be our ears. What are they talking about??. Will this partnership help “Black America”? I deal with Wells Fargo and their employees do not want to give you their full names and do not want you to know from which city they are calling you. They send you a letter but want you to respond to another city. It is like dealing with some secret society.

  17. philip s. scott

    ask him why the NAACP is not more outspoken on inner city issues and opposing the way our tax dollars are sent overseas while the inner cities crumble??

  18. You rant for a man (Obama) whom is clearly a new brand of ‘Uncle Tom’.

    What you believe about him and what he is doing are totally mind boggling. Politicians in general are not to be trusted. Politicians who made their way with help from secret benefactors are very questionable.

    It is my summation that Obama is serving a purpose for this Euro-Elite American power, and in their scenario of this neocolonialism push, a black face is appropriate for the ‘black’ countries they are knocking down.

    As for Wells Fargo. It is a ‘Euro-Elite’ banking industry known for making money at the expense of anyone but themselves. There is money to be made but the benefits will never be aimed toward helping ‘blacks’ no European power cabal has ever been compelled to help anyone and are generally brutal towards ‘blacks’/African-Americans.

  19. Wells Fargo? Are You Kidding Me??!!??

    The way this country has functioned since its inception has been to make the Euro-Elite rich and powerful at any cost. If they must starve millions to death or murder thousands with bombs and guns and machetes they will. If they can turn people on each other to make themselves richer and more powerful they will.

    The question becomes which ‘blacks’ will go with this vile program and make themselves wealthy in the process, and which ones will find some strategy to bring the African-American out of this newest dark-ages era.

    As the Euro-Elite are clearly using their ‘Obama’ as their “front-man” in their concerted quest against a multitude of African Nations. I’ve gotten my answer to my thoughts of “what was their purpose for bringing Obama on”? I knew that there were important reasons for them to use a black face as their whimsical leader figure, I just wondered how many different reasons there were and how many ‘blacks’ would be negatively affected!

  20. Ron Bower

    Just a thought. Predatory lenders make their money through ignornce of the system on the part of the consumer. Wells Fargo should be providing funds to improve the education of youth on how to RESPONSIBLY operate in the financial world. As a 6-12 grade teacher I can tell you that the same ignorance of good financial practices is being passed from generation to generation at home. NAACP, in concert with partners like Wells Fargo, should act in a positive manner by: (1) Advancing (remember it’s in their name) the people it represents through providing fiscal and monetary education in the schools, in the community colleges and in the general public; (2) encourage their constituents of the need for an viable education which allows them to compete in the financial markets, whether it is real estate, investing, credit, or smart spending. Most ecomonic advisors who have the welfare of the people in mind are in agreement that poverty is not a lack of money but rather a lack of understanding on how to use the money you have. Why can some people get by nicely on $20,000 a year and others can’t do it on $80,000.00 per year? It is how they spend their money.

  21. Obama is not there to help you or me. He is there to help the Euro-Elite in their quest to conquer more African and middle-Eastern nations.

    He is the perfect picture of good Christian, family man, intellect, and good looks. He was chosen by “The Man” to be their ‘Face’ as they brutally attack these countries. It should be obvious that, that is what he is for, because that is what is happening and on our home front things for ‘blacks’ have gone from bad to much worse for millions, not to mention the multitudes who are passing through the justice system at an alarming rate with no organizations speaking loudly enough to hear anything.

    What we are hearing now is about a meeting with another Euro-predator banking system and the NAACP. I haven’t heard anything positive about the NAACP for decades. Now the things I’m hearing are suspect. I suggest you try to follow the money. Of course that is the impossible task next to making this country right with African-Americans.

  22. Marvin A. Smith

    It is truly amazing that in the year 2011 we are still expecting the NAACP to actually serve the interests of the African American community when it has been operated by white people since its inception! Other than Reverend Al Sharpton, Minister Louis Farrakhan, and you, there are few people representing the interests of African American people! Ask President Ben Jealous when he expects the NAACP to really begin to truly represent the interests of African Americans. The NAACP is a disgrace to the African American community! As long as white people finance the NAACP, they will control it! Its pejorative (colored) name tells you a lot about what it represents! Tell President Ben Jealous too, that we expect the NAACP to always be on our side!

  23. Eleanor Rigby

    Do NOT attend. If this is a partnership—-it is one that is unequal. When are we going to stop attempting to pacify these people? No more bones
    for us, just gourmet food from now on.

  24. Christine

    First concern is Blacks and educcation. Blacks face raccism, biasness from finacial aid, scholarships, and instructors.
    Secondly, since Affirmative Action has been apart of the law in California, it has been difficult for Blacks to get jobs and high paying jobs.
    Many Blacks with a degree has struggled to provide for their self due to lack of hiring Blacks. There is I high population of Hispanic/Latino working.

  25. Christine

    Oh Yes, ypu should go to the NAACP meeting. But except no excuses and hold them to their responsibility to the cause of helping Blacks. Many of them are older and finacially set so they are just coast until they check out of life.

  26. Eugene Rhodes

    As a ‘Black’ person living in Detroit Michigan where ‘strange’ things are happening with all the ‘things’ gained from the past being ‘destroyed’ through political venues that relate to the effects of ‘raceism’ and power verses ‘powerless’ or should we say ‘Money gets political EARS while those without gets a busy tone or a voice recording’!!! I feel your meeting with Wells Fargo and the NAACP will only leave you feeling ’empty’ and leaving that meeting knowing that Wells Fargo ‘wants’ Black folks business but Wells Fargo ‘intends’ to do it there way!!!There way is to ‘continue’ making money from the ‘hopes and dreams’ from the working class ‘black and white’ using the ‘Law’ and the ‘Governments’ inability to control same! Big business has the ‘money” to influence elected officials while elected officials hide behind ‘ closed doors’ sessions destroying the publics ‘need to know’!

  27. James hall

    An interesting question, but I would say No! Why waste your time? With your background, I’m sure you could help the NAACPs’ “leadership” do a much better job in partnering with financial institutions, but I’m not sure they would listen. They sure as hell don’t locally here in St Petersburg, FL!

    BTW, I hold a MBA (’73) in corporate finance and operations analysis from Wharton/Univ of Penn along with BS and MS degrees in engineering from Tuskegee and Georgia Tech respectively with 30+ years of experience. When I attempt to engage the local NAACP chapter on financial matters, or any other matters, I’m simply told that “I do not understand the problems”. This is what I get from the local NAACP leadership who collectively have the most slender credentials of education and/or professional accomplishment. Even when looking at the larger organization and trying to make inroads there, I get the same sort of rejections.

    I’ve concluded that the NAACP, under present leadership, is simply no longer relevant to the Black community because their leadership at every level is only interested in their self interests which largely centers on personal financial enrichment! Same as the Congressional Black Caucus and several other “Black” organizations I could easily name! These people, many of whom are ill-trained Christian ministers, seemingly just love to cozy-up with white folks for the purposes of photo ops, self promotion and personal material enrichment at the expense of the Black community they allegedly represent! I suppose the Rev. Jesse Jackson is their leadership model.

    On the real side, what are your suggestions for ridding ourselves of the group identification tag, “African Americans”? I remember way back in the day, when Jesse Jackson unilaterally said that Black people prefer to called “African Americans” during a “Night Line” interview with Ted Koppel. I didn’t agree then and I don’t agree now. I am not a hyphenated American anymore than white people are who could be identified as “European Americans” but are not! I refuse to be called “African American” by anyone for any reason and have, upon occassion, had to physically persuade people to that effect!

    Good luck with your decision, but make within your own discernment!

  28. Roberto Robreno

    Big emphatic NO. My wife and I are victims.

  29. Rev Bill Bailey

    It does not hurt to meet with anyone. Meeting to communicate is not a compromise of principles. The NAACP is merely becoming victims of money people co-opting the movement. Cut-off or buy out the head and the beast is rendered ‘clawless.’

  30. jermaine

    Many of your subscribers feel as you do about this traitor based union. I say that you go and represent your thoughts and ideas which reflect the feelings of many.

  31. John

    I think you should let him know that we do not approve of this partnership, and that WF has no intention of building wealth in the Black community, they only want to continue the taking of our dollars to build the economic world of their people, and continue to leave us poor and begging. You can tell Mr. Jealous that the NAACP would be better served developing partnerships with Black owned banks, so that we can begin to re-direct our dollars to our communities, and start to build our wealth from within.

  32. Evangelist J.

    Why is the NAACP aligning itself with a bank that the Fed’s found guilty of money laundering? Drugs have been one the most destructive elements used to destroy precious people of color. Wells Fargo, only paid a fine for its illegal and unethical behavior, however, thousands upon thousands of men of color are incarnated for a criminal act of this nature. Unfortunately, many have paid the highest price with their lives. The bible asks a simple question to those (NAACP) who claim to live a righteous (honorable) life. What does righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? II Corinthians 6:14.

  33. J Grant

    Yes – by ALL means meet with them!

    Hailing from the South, in North Carolina preditary lending was/is rampent.

    Our African-American seniors and many other people have suffered a great deal. Many have been forced from their properties by these under-handed theives! I know – I’m living and paying for two mortgages my now deceased mother was talked into at the age of 77. WITHOUT ANY LIFE ISURANCE TO PAY FOR THE then ” PAID FOR” property! She greived herself to death!

    What can the NAACP possibly do for the thousands of people that have been SWINDLED – sanction these unfair pratices? Or, negotiate a refinance for people that have been affected by these preditory lending pratices?

    Please NAACP stand up for what is fair!

  34. J Grant

    Hello Mark – What you said makes logical sense, But, like most people (regardless of color), if someone dangles money in front of them and offer options to pay off other debts at an affordable//resonable rate – people will leap at the opportunity!

    It’s the FINE PRINT that get most people tangled up in preditory lending practices – and YOU KNOW THIS TO BE TRUE!

    I’m African-American, and I don’t yell “victimazation.” However, I DO know for a FACT that my HARD-WORKING parent (just like yours – I had TWO parent), lived in an era where honesty was held in high regard. How is it a WHITE man sitting behind a desk, and can SEE a 77 year old widow- women coming into the bank during the time when preditory lending was rampant – and not see dollar signs? Tell me? It was DOGMATIC!

    The average income for ANY black person has always been less than those people of European descent – period. Dependig on the area from which you hail, income and economics vary. This is very true in low wealth communities, where the average income for two people living in North Carolina averaged $35,544.00 per household- and that depends on location. What can you do with that in a rising economy? I’m say – if you got to get to work, have a place to live, AND keep your credit in good report so you can borrow if the need should arise.

    No one I know bargins for unscrupulous lending practices – it’s just a situation they find themselves in!

    I like to see your reply

  35. Coach Russ

    My core values are FAITH, FAMILY $ FINANCES. Our community has been stripped of its identity and wealth. What is the NAACP doing in the 21st century to help us re-new our commitment to our GOD, OUR COMMUNITY and our rich heritage which we brought to this place? Like many banks, Wells Fargo has many tools and resources. Why not build a a national model of weekly financial faith classes to educate us about our money and where it is going? They could be conducted at churches or community centers. We have everything we need in each other, but until we connect in the spirit of love and unity, we will not reach our potential as a people.

  36. William Beckett

    I was a branch president and an active supporter of the NAACP. When the NAACP board selected Ben Hooks (a Reagan Republican) to replace Roy Wilkins and he forced my friend Margret Bush Wilson out and separated the Legal and Defense Fund from any involvement with the national organization, I switched my support to the Southern Poverty law Center and Morris Dees. I have never regretted this decision for a minute. The record speaks for itself. look at what SPLC has accomplished versus what the NAACP has accomplished since the days of Roy Wilkins, Thurgood Marshall, and Kivie Kaplan. The opponents of everything that the NAACP stands for KNOW that the NAACP is just a figurehead organization, existing only on memories and devoid of any realistic power on the 2011 American political landscape. The current lnational NAACP leadership is not even capable of supporting its besieged branches around the nation many of which are disappearing even as I type this.

  37. freesoul

    “CAPITALISM RULES”
    Down with all these FAKE ASS LEADERS, BLACK & WHITE..
    All of them have FAT Bank Accounts, even the Preachers.. Look at the Fake Mayor of NYC proclaiming to be a Savior, if he was a Savior why didn’t he WARN his NYC followers about WALL ST.. He’s a BILLIONAIRE & has gotten RICHER since being MAYOR (check the Forbes Billionaires list), just like Sharpton & all the Rich Devils (Tisch family too). NAACP is a JOKE just like 911.. Lol.. Like Wu Tang said “PROTECT YOUR OWN NECK”
    If you expect someone else to look out for you expect the same outcome,
    PEOPLE with SLAVE mentalities will always come up SHORT. Do your own biding & don’t rely on someone you have never met, Prez Obama included.. AMERICANS R SLAVES TO THE RHYTHM OF POLITICS, JUST LIKE SHEEP!!
    PEACE!

  38. D.a.g

    With your unique position in mind, I think it would be wisest to use the leverage ascertain from the spotlight on such predatory corporate financial institutions as wells Fargo; your expertise (finance) allows for significant latitude for your ideas to be placed in full light of day!

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