A call for a fair NAACP election

Dear Editor:

When I was a young teenager, I brought a trophy home to show to my mom, and she knew I had cheated to win it. She made me give it back and told me, “Murrays don’t celebrate cheating and winning by underhanded tactics. We win by our integrity, strengths, morals, skill and honest competition.”

At the NAACP election, many witnessed unfairness and outright cheating and lying. They were disenfranchised with the process and actually left before voting. Some of my supporters were even turned away from voting when they were card-carrying members of the branch.

The very first order of business at the general nominating meeting was a declaration by the national office representative that I was not eligible to run for office. This person rendered my candidacy illegitimate for more than an hour and a half, during which time many of my supporters left when they came to vote for me because they were told I would not be on the ballot.

After reaffirming that I was not eligible to run for office, the national representative collected the nomination forms and left the sanctuary to confirm the nominees and prepare the ballots. Maria Scruggs, the current president, who was also running for president went into the office and engaged in a private conversation with the national representative. A member opened the door to the back office and advised the national representative that they felt the private conversation was inappropriate, and she left the back room.

About 40 minutes later, the national representative returned and announced that he had been in touch with the national office and was told that I was indeed eligible to run for office, something that I had already told him and offered to show him an email validating my eligibility from the national office.

This all happened approximately two hours after the elections were scheduled to begin. We have no way of knowing how many of my supporters left during this next 40 minutes of delay, but the numbers were well over 50. I lost by 14 votes–do the math.

These improprieties disenfranchised many of my supporters, and I plan to remain a voice for them. These supporters along with myself have filed a complaint and grievance with the national office. We obtained the necessary signatures of many members of the St. Pete branch.

I vow to fight this injustice until the end. We are respectfully requesting for a new election with a better process for nominations and creation of ballots so that the voting begins on time and all members can exercise their right to vote.

We feel that given these facts, there is a reasonable probability that the outcome of the election will be different if a new election is held without the delays and distractions and other improprieties we experienced on Thursday, March 14. The election was tainted, and so were the results of the presidency. The NAACP is supposed to be an organization that supports and respects voter rights.

Ever since my mom made me give that unearned trophy back, her lesson about integrity has garnered my children and I many earned awards. At the end of the day, my integrity is very important to me. I stand for godliness and righteousness at all times. I’ve taught my children that, I lead by example and I surround myself with like-minded people.

At what cost will you go to in order to win? It costs zero dollars to have integrity, but integrity seems to be in low demand and low supply these days. Integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles and moral uprightness.

Make sure that the people in your inner circle have integrity. Sometimes you win by losing because you maintain your integrity and you keep your soul intact. I’m free. To win at any cost is not to win at all.

My supporters and I are not going anywhere. I feel God, who is a God of justice, is satisfied with our demand for fairness and righteousness–who wouldn’t be?

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