Archive for NAACP

Bearman Cartoon: Wizard of Odd

Posted in BearToons with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 28, 2009 by bearmancartoons

Christopher Smitherman is a former Cincinnati City Council Member and the current President of the local NAACP.  As a public figure (like many others) there are many times that I agree with him and times that I don’t.  But at least I tend to understand what he is saying until I find a recent press release from the NAACP

Huh???? I don’t get it. It starts talking about the budget but then veers off into talking about the Wizard of Oz.

Here is just part of it:

Smitherman says, “Will Mayor Mallory find his ruby slippers click them 3 times and show up at the finance meeting today?”

The Cincinnati NAACP is frustrated that a Scarecrow, a Tinman, and a Cowardly Lion have not been able to find the financial yellow brick road. The Cincinnati NAACP believes that city workers who are laid off deserve severance packages based on their years of service.  “The only hope that City Council has in exercising financial responsibility is in the leadership of Toto.  This means Cincinnati is in big trouble when I am looking for Toto to lead us out of this financial mess.  The Cincinnati NAACP is very concerned that 600 city employees could loose their jobs over the next 12 months and there seems to be no leadership at City Hall for these families.  The City Manager will ask the Wizard of Oz today how he can find $125 million to fund the Cincinnati Pension by January 2010? He will ask the Wizard of Oz how he can find $28 million in 5 months for 2009?  Last but not least he will ask the Wizard of Oz how he can find $40+ million for the 2010 deficit?” Smitherman says.

Was this a reference to something that someone on Council brought up? Who is the Scarecrow, the Tinman, the Cowardly Lion or Toto? I just didn’t get it…but a couple of lines were just classic enough to make the following cartoon.

7 27 09 Bearman Cartoon Smitherman Wizard copy
 

 

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Bearman Cartoon: Finney and Smitherman

Posted in BearToons with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 4, 2009 by bearmancartoons

4 3 09 Bearman Cartoon Finney and Smitherman copy

This editorial cartoon is going to need some background for all my non-Cincinnati readers and those who are from Cincinnati who don’t know what is going on.  I apologize for the length. 

*** The short explanation ***

If you don’t want to read it all the simple background is the white guy in front (named Chris Finney) said some anti-gay things in the past and the guy on the right just appointed him to leadership role in the NAACP.   When asked why sexual behavior should affect who can eat in a restaurant back in the early 90’s, he supposedly said “Because there may be some who don’t want their family dining next to a homosexual couple whose actions they find offensive.” Understanding this quote helps you understand the gist of the cartoon.
*** The Long Explanation ***

The Cincinnati Chapter of the NAACP is headed by its President Christopher Smitherman (shown on the far right), a former city councilman.    Christopher Finney is a local lawyer who is a member of a group called COAST which fights against what they deem as unnecessary government spending and taxation.  Finney has been a member of the local NAACP for three years as COAST and the NAACP teamed to prevent a sales tax increase to build a new jail locally.

This article from CityBeat (the local alt paper) has the best recap so I’ll quote from there.

Before voters repealed it in 2004, Article 12 prohibited Cincinnati City Council or any other city entity from enacting or enforcing measures to give “minority or preferential status” to homosexuals, in effect preventing gays from seeking protection against discrimination or hate crimes.

The amendment, pushed by people affiliated with Citizens for Community Values (CCV), including Finney, was unique: No other city in the nation had enacted such a measure. Article 12 opponents called the law unfair because no other category of citizen was specifically prohibited from seeking redress from their government.

After the amendment created a public relations nightmare for the city nationwide and caused $45 million in lost convention business, a coalition of city officials, business CEOs and Cincinnati’s Catholic archbishop led a successful repeal campaign.

Article 12 was CCV’s response to the city’s human rights ordinance after an earlier court challenge failed. During testimony in a 1994 court hearing, Finney was asked why sexual behavior should affect who can eat in a restaurant or be employed by a company.

Finney replied, “Because there may be some who don’t want their family dining next to a homosexual couple whose actions they find offensive.”

So now Finney who has been volunteering his lawyering skills to the local NAACP has been appointed to their Board (in a non paying job)

Of course the local gay community is upset that a civil rights organization would appoint someone who is so anti-gay.  Smitherman is upset with the local gay community because he feels they have never stepped up to support civil rights when its about issues that are important to African Americans.  So who is right?  IMO, both of them.

I have my opinions on hot topics such as abortion, gay marriage, global warming.  I am open to other’s views as they remain open to mine.  However, the statement Finney made was intolerant and the least he could do is comment on whether he still agrees with the statement he made so long ago and if not be able to renounce it so the NAACP and the local gay community could move forward in joint initiatives.

The Cincinnati Beacon has an exchange of emails between Finney and when given an opportunity to address it, the Beacon was told by Smitherman that he was the official NAACP spokesman and he had said all he was going to say on the matter.