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Los Angeles NAACP head resigns over move to honor Sterling

Don Sterling Won't Get An NAACP Award After All

By Justin Pritchard

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The president of the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP resigned Thursday, following scrutiny of his plan to give Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling an award for promoting civil rights.

Leon Jenkins was to present Sterling with a "lifetime achievement award" later this month. Jenkins rescinded that offer Monday after a recording surfaced over the weekend on which Sterling disparaged black men.

In a letter to the national leader of the nation's oldest civil rights organization, Jenkins wrote, "In order to separate the Los Angeles NAACP and the NAACP from the negative exposure I have caused the NAACP, I respectfully resign my position as President of the Los Angeles NAACP."

The decision to give Sterling a "lifetime achievement award" May 15 at the 100th anniversary celebration of the Los Angeles chapter had been questioned by some civil rights activists, who cited allegations of discrimination in Sterling's past.

The U.S. Justice Department sued Sterling in August 2006, alleging housing discrimination in the Koreatown area of Los Angeles. In November 2009, Sterling agreed to pay $2.73 million to settle allegations that he refused to rent apartments to Hispanics and blacks and to families with children.

Also in 2009, the year after Jenkins was first elected president in Los Angeles, the chapter honored Sterling with an award.

After the recording of Sterling having a private conversation with a woman became public, Jenkins backtracked.

"There is a personal, economic and social price that Mr. Sterling must pay for his attempt to turn back the clock on race relations," he said.

Jenkins explained that Sterling had been selected owing to his history of donating to minority charities and giving game tickets to inner-city children. The Donald T. Sterling Charitable Foundation gave $5,000 to the NAACP's Los Angeles chapter in 2010, according to tax records, and Sterling was listed as his foundation's only contributor. There were no records of further NAACP contributions in 2011 or 2012, the latest years for which records were available.

A telephone message and email left after business hours with the Los Angeles chapter were not immediately returned.

On Tuesday, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver banned Sterling from the league for life, fined the real estate magnate $2.5 million, and said he wanted the league's board of governors to make Sterling sell the team.

In a statement accompanying the resignation announcement, the national NAACP said it is "developing guidelines for its branches to help them in their award selection process."

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jdjackson1991 May 02 2014 at 8:53 AM

So Sterling says he doesn't want black people at his games and the NAACP has it in their name that they exclude all people but those who are "colored". HMMMMM shouldn't we be more shocked and offended by the NAACP who actively creates racism and segragation vs. some old guy with cancer?

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2 replies
Rona Griliches Isaac jdjackson1991 May 02 2014 at 9:35 AM

Just a note:- The NAACP was founded by a group of people whose complexions were black, brown and white. The NAACP continues to include members who are NOT people of color. There is nothing in the NAACP rules which discriminate against anyone of any race who wishes to become a member.

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1 reply
jstmerue11 Rona Griliches Isaac May 02 2014 at 9:52 AM

thank you for having the guts to stand up and speak the truth so tired of this poor me white culture when the whites from day have had it made due to color problem now is the rich whites are taking it away from the poor whites and middle class and trying to blame the blacks for the loss. well it has nothing to do with color it has to do with fgreed, the same thing this country was built on greed. anyway thanks

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twocylman jdjackson1991 May 02 2014 at 9:51 AM

Like it or not, this old dude said what he felt. All of us have said things based on how we felt at the time. What code should we all live by, if you don't have anything nice to say then don't say nothing at all, or should we be allowed to just vent , once and a while. Maybe this man had some bad experiences and this is why he said what he did. That gold digger ***** was more in the wrong for exposing a personal private remark . If the world is coming to where we are not allowed to speak our minds, then why do we have a constitution that says we have freedom of speech ?

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1 reply
jstmerue11 twocylman May 02 2014 at 9:55 AM

she did not expose the tape and for a man who has gained millions off the backs of those he does not want at his games hummm

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kdarmon58 May 02 2014 at 10:38 AM

All Sterling said was he doesn't want this gold digger to bring blacks to the games. And that he doesn't like blacks. I'm sure there are a lot of blacks that don't like whites. Sterling can like or dislike anyone he wants but because he said he doesn't like blacks he is lynched. The black people play the race card every chance they get but blacks can say anything they want about white people. Blacks just keep bringing themselves down and cause race relations to go down hill.

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2 replies
Geo, kdarmon58 May 02 2014 at 11:08 AM

Yeah,right, we ENSLAVED ourselves for over 400 YEARS! You are horrendously ignorant!

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1 reply
Valerie Geo, May 02 2014 at 11:39 AM

You were never ENSLAVED so you don't have the right to jump on that wagon! Women and children were also treated as slaves but that's never discussed. The blacks and Muslims started the slave trade, try reasearching your history and not always blaming a white person! Many white people are the one's that fought for equality for all but again, that's never mentioned.

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gamay9 kdarmon58 May 02 2014 at 11:25 AM

kdarmon58: Very well put if you wouldn't categorize black people. Young black males are the most racist, but mature and intelligent blacks are not bigots, for the most part. Frankly, don't judge at all, but if you must, judge people by their character.

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Scooter May 02 2014 at 10:44 AM

The NAACP is just one big hypocritical contradiction. In the year 2014, it continues to call itself an association of "Colored Persons," yet the use of the term 'colored' is highly outdated and seen as racist in today's society.

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1 reply
gamay9 Scooter May 02 2014 at 11:21 AM

Scooter: Just semantics. If they change the name to 'African-Americans,' some would say that it is a misnomer because a white from South Africa can move to the United States and be called an African-American. Not all blacks are Africans and not all Africans are black. I say that anyone born in the U.S. and a naturalized citizen is an AMERICAN. I was born in the U.S. and my family is from Germany but I don't consider myself a German-American. 'ICH BIN EIN AMERICAN.'

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Lewis May 02 2014 at 10:46 AM

not sure what this guy did wrong. he was going to give an award to a guy who deserved it and got an award before. then that guy does something wrong that the naacp has no control over and he resigns over it. it was a mistake but not his fault.

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2 replies
Geo, Lewis May 02 2014 at 11:04 AM

It was NOT amistake, it was DISHONESTY & GREED!

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pvmeter Lewis May 02 2014 at 1:24 PM

The problem is that Sterling has always felt this way. Thanks to his girlfriend he is now out of the closet. Of course he is a racist. Most people already knew it. Now, everyone knows it. That is why the NBA and the NAACP had to make it look like they care. Its public opinion. Public opinion defined, Money. I think the NBA should give the fine money to the NAACP. I think they would take it. The end result is that Sterling still doesn't like blacks but money will make it easier for the NAACP to live with the fact. LOL

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chevsguy May 02 2014 at 11:05 AM

get the hell out of here NAACP you racist bunch of idiots... control your own issues before jump up on stage... life time ban for the NAACP... you outlived your use time yo go away

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reedonald May 02 2014 at 11:13 AM

Just shows you how out of touch organizations like the NAACP are and just how much they are willing to pander and prostitute themselves and their organization by offering a life-time achievement award to someone based on nothing more than how deep their pockets are. If this is how the organization works, then people should seriously reconsider giving anything to them in the future.

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cxrick May 02 2014 at 11:25 AM

What about Shaq making fun of a disabled kid?......

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1 reply
micen57 cxrick May 02 2014 at 1:28 PM

Well that's ok because he's black, and since he is a minority he can pick on a disabled kid . You know one minority to another

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krgallant May 02 2014 at 11:38 AM

OMG.... this is ridiculous! Why aren't they addressing the fact that his hootchy girlfriend is guilty of extortion? Those trying to climb over others to "buy" the team are probably guilty too -- and the ones that paid the hootch off. Sterling got what he got, the hootch needs to be investigated, and all of this periferal drama needs to S-T-O-P!!!!

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kevinjbarrett1 May 02 2014 at 11:41 AM

Glad he resigned,he's color blind.Can only see green.

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Sherman McDade May 02 2014 at 11:44 AM

Goodbye 1st amendment, hello George Orwell.

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