The Illinois NAACP president has sent a “cease and desist” letter to a local chapter head who says he was threatened by the Obama for America presidential campaign.
“That letter is trying to push me into a position to support them or shut up,” President of the South Suburban Branch of the NAACP David Lowery told reporters.
Lower told local radio station WBBM last week that Louis Raymond, the Illinois political director for Obama for America, threatened him for not supporting Obama. Raymond was quoted to have said: “You know what? I know everything about you … We’ve been watching you, and since you don’t support Obama, we’ll deal with you.” Lowery said Raymond then hung up the phone. Lowery has since filed a police report.
Lowery said he is now in the process of responding to a letter for NAACP state President George P. Mitchell, which appears to silence Lowery.
Mitchell’s letter reads:
President Lowery, your comments today with radio station WBBM suggest many different things we should avoid saying and/or implying. We spoke earlier this day about what you termed as a ‘threat’ or action ‘to intimidate you’.
After listening to portions of the broadcast and communication from others, it appears as if you were overzealous in your comments and actions. The report on WBBM can easily be interpreted as you are speaking for the entire NAACP in your challenge to the President’s candidacy and political accomplishments. This implies a partisan position which is strictly prohibited as a leader of the NAACP.
You are to cease and desist in partisan comments about any candidate or political party. As you know the NAACP is non-partisan and we emphatically adhere to this principle. You will recall from various communications that some terms are clearly inappropriate and suggest political advocacy.
I regret having to send this admonishment, but it is necessary to clarify the NAACP position on partisan activities and to separate personal opinion from our expressed non-partisan position.
“You would fire me because I don’t support a Democrat president and we are not supposed to support any body?” Lowery asked.
“I think that they are way off base, because they are trying to silence me and it shows that they are being partisan toward the Democratic Party, when we are suppose to be nonpartisan. My job is to educate voters about all there options and let the people make a decision about who they want to vote for.”
Mitchell was not immediately available for comment about the letter.
The Obama re-election campaign issued the following response:
“Unfortunately there seems to have been a miscommunication regarding this conversation and we have since discussed with the campaign staffer in an effort to clarify the matter. The President continues to support the mission and principles of the NAACP and the work they do,” the statement said.
By; Robert Redding Jr.