Black Journalist Accuses Oakland NAACP Of Betraying The City After Calling For ‘Tough-On-Crime’ Tactics
A journalist for the San Francisco Chronicle is accusing the Oakland chapter of the NAACP of backtracking on its progress, the Daily Mail reports.
Justin Phillips, who writes a weekly column for the publication, rejected a letter from the organization condemning the “progressive policies and failed leadership” of the city and demanded more officers on the street who combat crime.
Phillips wasn’t too fond of the viewpoint and, in response, said the letter was a “betrayal of NAACP values in the city.”
“From the revolutionary spirit of the Black Panthers to the impactful Black Lives Matter protests, Oakland’s legacy is steeped in Black defiance against oppressive systems,” Phillips wrote.
“The Oakland NAACP’s recent actions are a stain on the rich tapestry of progress woven by generations of the city’s sons and daughters.”
He called for the resignation of Oakland chapter President Cynthia Adams, who spearheaded the letter calling for the city to issue a “state of emergency” to conquer the rising crime numbers. Phillips, who started the column in 2021, continued, saying it’s time for some new blood in leadership.
“It’s time for the Black community in Oakland to have new voices speaking on its behalf, ones that are actually dedicated to dismantling systemic racism and advocating for true liberation,” he said.
“The Oakland NAACP is not up to the task, and the stakes are far too high to continue to gamble on their misguided leadership.”
Other Bay Area-based activists stand in solidarity with Phillip’s call to action. Host of the Black Business Roundtable podcast and community activist Doug Blacksher said the chapter isn’t aligned with the city’s values and it’s time to “break the silence.”
“The Oakland branch is currently using its position to hijack the legacy of the historic organization and using it as a weapon—a weapon!—against their opposition,” Blacksher said.
The NAACP’s July 2023 letter was supported by Bishop Bob Jackson of the Acts Full Gospel Church and highlighted recent crimes, including women being targeted by “young mobs,” according to Fox HTVU 2. They claimed residents are scared to leave their homes.
“African Americans are disproportionately hit the hardest by crime in East Oakland and other parts of the city,” the letter reads. “But residents from all parts of the city report that they do not feel safe.”
The Alameda County District Attorney’s response painted another picture: “We are disappointed that a great African-American pastor and a great African-American organization would take a false narrative on such an important matter.”