We understand that Mr. Johnson, as President of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), serves at the pleasure of the National Board that appointed him. But we also understand that this national association is, and always has been, as strong as its members. The members are hardworking volunteers who have replicated themselves in service for more than 100 years. Within each Chapter or Branch, people have been elected to serve as presidents of those units because of the faith in their service and leadership. We know that Mr. Johnson understands these principles and, therefore, when he speaks we assume he is reflecting the desires and goals of the national organization and its local leadership.
Knowing that Mr. Johnson is aware of everything said here, it is difficult, if not impossible to understand how he could offer an endorsement of Cindy Marten, Superintendent of the San Diego Unified School District, for Deputy Secretary of Education in President Biden’s cabinet without talking to, calling or attempting to communicate with the President of the San Diego Branch of the NAACP. The Branch President, Mrs Francine Maxwell, has followed not only Cindy Marten’s deplorable track record, but has worked closely with parents and members of the education community of San Diego for many years. The leadership of Mrs. Maxwell in the education concerns of the San Diego community extends years beyond her membership and service to the local NAACP. It is her record of service and commitment to the education of the children of San Diego that makes the community so respectful of her monitoring of the San Diego Unified School District and its failures and disservice to both parents and students.
Mr. Johnson is guilty of tweeting and making statements in support of Superintendent Cindy Marten without so much as the courtesy of a conversation with his local chapter. This is harmful to both the NAACP’s credibility and the hardworking people of the San Diego Chapter and the community it serves. We believe that Mr. Johnson owes both an apology to the San Diego community and a personal telephone call to Mrs. Maxwell as his local Chapter President. A president who has raised more funds and added more growth to this local chapter than any of her predecessors for more than a decade.
Mr. Johnson, we might be in a pandemic, but if you can find your way to do a stellar Image Awards program which was truly outstanding, then you ought to be able to find time for a telephone call to a most deserving local Chapter President, regardless of what happens to Cindy Marten. As NAACP members, we hope that you will use this as a teachable moment and also communicate personally with your other Chapter Presidents, which we understand you are not doing and have not done.