Roslyn M. Brock, the chairman of the Board of Directors of the NAACP, admitted the organization “overlooked” Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s racism because he made “large donations” to the Los Angeles branch and would be developing guidelines going forward for how awards are given in the future.
The Los Angeles branch of the NAACP gave Sterling a humanitarian award and was slated to give him a lifetime achievement award in two weeks before the organization revoked the award after an audio recording surfaced in which Sterling tells a woman that was supposedly his girlfriend to not bring “black people” to his games.
The NAACP revoked Sterling’s award before the NBA banned him from the league for life.
Our NAACP chapter in L.A. is not blameless. Because of Sterling’s large donations to local charities, including the NAACP, they overlooked his worse than checkered history on race issues and gave him a lifetime achievement award in 2009 — and were about to honor him with a humanitarian award before his racist recording surfaced.
The National NAACP and all of our affiliates must be more discerning in our awarding of honors, which should be for true achievements in advancing racial equality. We are developing guidelines for our units to help them in their award selection process. We must not be seduced by mere financial support.