One last go-around with Mr. Afri’ka…
[ Editor’s Note: For several years, the Times was reluctant to include news and information about the un- chartered and unsanctioned Crittenden County NAACP due to their status as a rogue chapter of the nationally- recognized organization and the often caustic rhetoric of some of their leadership. However, once the group again became a member in good standing, we once again began including the chapter in the paper from time to time. Unfortunately, it would appear that we have made a mistake, as recent attempts to cover the group’s activities has resulted in a litany of unprovoked criticisms. While as a public entity the newspaper is certainly open to criticism, we are certainly under no obligation to simply continue to print such criticism or provide a forum for an organization that makes claims of racism and other atrocities against us. With that in mind, here, along with responses where deemed prudent, is what will in all likelihood be the final appearance of the Crittenden County NAACP’s Shabaka Afri’ka in the pages of the Times…]
Fwd: From Shabaka Afri’ka to Text the Times. A response to the article in Monday’s (January 29) Evening Times Paper referring to the status of the Crittenden County NAACP. First thank you for printing my response to the Times article in last Wednesday’s (January 24) paper. [ Editor’s Note: Can’t say I didn’t try] We at the CCounty NAACP were shocked that you allowed me Shabaka Afri’ka to set the record straight. Thank you. The Evening Crimes as we affectionately call you normally will not print any information which would suggest that the Crittenden County NAACP is a legitimate organization.
[ Editor’s Note: Not true. We ran a front- page story when the local group regained its legitimacy]
However I must say Mr. Editor that it is very hard to believe that “you were torn” about printing this “fracas” about the CCounty NAACP. [ Editor’s Note: It doesn’t matter what you find hard to believe] You get to “kill 2 birds with one stone”. Hubert Bass and I have openly challenged WHITE SUPREMACY and you as the journalistic voice for White Power politics in crittenden county (which includes most socalled Black leaders).
[ Editor’s Note: Just for the record, I am, and I quote, “ the journalistic voice for White Power politics” in Crittenden County? I just wanted to make it clear…]
Don’t like it one bit. Listen, I am not angry but this is the truth, and Mr. EDITOR, you know it. I have already heard that several men of the group just described are working furiously to make sure that Hubert Bass does not get reelected. [ Editor’s Note: Given Mr. Bass’s many caustic statements in the past, I’m not surprised]
Since all county positions will now go from 2 to 4 years with the next election yawl don’t want to have Bass on the quorum court for 4 more years. Yawl know that Bass I going to take the Marion/West Memphis School District boundary issue to federal court, and he will win. So yawl better stop him now.
[ Editor’s Note: I don’t know exactly who this “ yawl” is, but I assure you I am not a member of this cabal. You greatly overestimate my rel-evance and influence in this community] Mr. Editor, just how much money is at stake…. MILLIONS? Suppose Justice Hubert Bass, and just 4 others agreed that something should be done about this obvious 65 year injustice? Well they could stop the county treasurer from dispersing funds collected in milage taxes that go to the 3 school districts in Crittenden County. WOW!
[ Editor’s Note: Not true. That is not an authority granted to the Quorum Court by the Arkansas Constitution]
The Times’ overt harassment of Blacks in leadership positions is well documented. You hounded, dinegrated, and insulted former CCounty election commissioners Eric Darden, and then Pat Henderson in the paper everyday because they refused to obey White Power. [ Editor’s Note: If by “ harassed” you mean “ quoted,” then yes, I suppose] So Mr. Editor, neither you nor your paper has the moral standing to judge me, or Bass. JUST SAYING. Mr. Editor, if the Times wasn’t so clearly racist yawl could be a force for growth in Crittenden County. Remember, it was your publisher Alex Coulter who as a board member helped to run the hospital into the ground. GOOD LOOKING OUT ALEX? And wasn’t the CCounty NAACP And Hubert Bass who went out looking to get a new hospital for all citizens, not just Black?
[ Editor’s Note: While I’m sure the entire Quorum Court played at least some role in the quest to bring a hospital back to the county, you seem to suggest that had it not been for Mr. Bass, the plan would have been to bring in a hospital that wasn’t for “ all citi-zens,” and this entire section of this just comes across as reaching] You talk about a “fracas” between Bass and me. Trust me it pales in comparison to the outright hatred between senator Keith Ingram, and county judge Woody Wheeless. [ Editor’s Note: Irrelevance and unsubstantiated claims aside, is this what we’re working with now? “ Those guys hate each other way more than we hate each other!”] How much better off would poor Whites be if these 2 leaders would work together. JUST look at the drug problems, crime, and out-of-wedlock births that plague low income White neighborhoods. Mr. Editor if your paper spent more time mentoring all the fatherless White males in our community the crim rate would go down overnight. [ Editor’s Note: Just to show you what I have meant when I make accusations of divisiveness, just go back to the previous couple of sentences and take the word “ white” out. You could have replaced “ white” with “ black” and that statement is still completely accurate. Race is only an issue when it’s made an issue, and the radical faction of any race is the entity that makes it an issue] And yes Mr. EDITOR, you do raise some valid points from time to time, but I think that you would be a far better service to our community if you would tone down the bombastic rhetoric, and reach out to the people like me…
[ Editor’s Note: Where is this “ bombastic rhetoric?”
Seriously… one example?]
Find common ground. Mr. Editor, I am willing. What about you? [ Editor’s Note: No, thank you. I’m not sure there’s “ common ground” once you’ve been labeled, what was it? “ the journalistic voice for White Power politics in crittenden county”] Please call me at 870735-1212 or stop by the CCounty NAACP office located at 812 E. Broadway in West Memphis. Hours are 10:30 to 4:30 Tuesday through Friday. Meetings are held each 3rd Monday at the CCounty NAACP office. The time is 6 p.m. Mr. Editor, you are invited. Call me. By the way, watching White Supremacy fall apart under the leadership of its moral deginerate president is far better than any “fracas” with the NAACP.
— Shabaka Afri’ka.