NAACP Gave Sterling Civil Rights Awards for Cash

The NAACP is like Motel 6 for civil rights.


If Rush Limbaugh ponied up some cash, the NAACP would throw him a party too.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) accepted multiple grants over a period of several years from Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, and publicly defended Sterling even after some in the African-American community complained about his alleged racism.

Sterling, whose racist remarks about black people were published this weekend by TMZ, personally awarded Leon Jenkins, president of the NAACP’s Los Angeles chapter, with multiple grants through his Donald T. Sterling Charitable Foundation and gained protection from Sterling in the press.

NAACP’s LA chapter was financially supported by Sterling’s foundation, records reveal. Jenkins, representing the NAACP, received a grant from Sterling’s foundation at the 2013 Donald T. Sterling Charitable Foundation Gala just four months ago, where Jenkins was photographed accepting his award from Sterling.

Jenkins also accepted a grant from Sterling’s foundation in 2010 at Sterling’s foundation’s charity summit at the Sterling World Plaza.  The Los Angeles NAACP was listed as one of the 25 charities supported by Sterling in promotional material for the event.

Now Jenkins might return some of the money, but probably not all of it, and is totally open to accepting more money because the NAACP is like Motel 6 for civil rights.

The group gave Sterling a humanitarian award in 2009. Asked if the NAACP would ask Sterling to return it, Jenkins said no.

"This is not a Heisman Trophy, dude," Jenkins said.

Asked if there was room for forgiveness, Jenkins said Sterling would have to spend time to prove to the African American community that those words don't reflect his true feelings.

"I think there's room for forgiveness," he said. "I wouldn't be a Christian if I said there wasn't."

“We are negotiating with him about giving more moneys to African American students at UCLA, and so we are in preliminary discussions,” Jenkins said.

[Updated at 2:23 p.m.: He said the group would return money from Sterling but did not say how much.]

But don't worry, Leon Jenkins is absolutely serious about fighting real racism by people who don't give him money.

After three years on the market, the greeting card giant Hallmark quickly pulled a graduation card after half-baked claims were made by the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP that the card is racist.

Starring the Hallmark-designed characters Hoops and Yoyo, the controversial card contains a small speaker from which the cartoon cat and rabbit exclaim: “This graduate is going to run the world, run the universe and run everything after that. Yeah, whatever that is. And you black holes? You’re so ominous.” A few seconds later, they add: “And you planets? Watch your back.”

Apart from the audio, the card reads: “You’re graduating? Well then, it’s time to let the world know what’s coming. But not only the world. NOOOO! We’re talking the entire Solar System.” It additionally boasts: “Watch out, Saturn, this grad is going to run rings around you.”

Despite all the astronomical references, the NAACP members insist Hoops and Yoyo are advocating violence against “black whores,” not “black holes.” That’s what they claim the card says.

Drug stores chains such as CVS and Walgreens also called Leon Jenkins to apologize for having it in stock. Jenkins says he is going to have a sit-down with CVS to “look at how they can do some… things for the black community.”

Do some things? It sounds like Jenkins might have tipped his hand.

Two things come to mind as a motivation for this greeting card controversy: a cry for attention or set-up for a shakedown.

Keep up the good fight Leon.