The Scott Sisters where released and no one should have a doubt that the victory was inspired by black bloggers, black internet activist and blogtalk radio host. But more importantly it was inspired by the Scott sisters mother, Evelyn Roscoe, who fought for 16 years for their freedom.
Let's not forget Nancy Lockart, a black woman who many are calling a mordern day Harriett Tubman, who lead the Internet grass root effort for the past 5 years, day and night working to educate the public about the Scott Sisters while the NAACP ignored their plight for over15 years.
OK, there is a lot of conversation across the black side of the internet about the Scott Sisters being freed and how the African American Internet helped in getting the story of the Scott sisters known. There is a learning curve for people from the right, left, and the middle of black political thought.
The fact of the matter is there is a changing of the black gate keeper guard. There was a time when the NAACP gate keepers were old house negroes, now it's young house negros. A new face with the same old game. Supress black activism, and when black activism works, claim it as thier own. No matter what pictures you may see with NAACP President Ben Jealous standing behind the Scott sisters, in a photo op, remember this...
The NAACP can afford to jump on a plane to Mississppi, because of it's white benificators, and say they were ALWAYS behind the Scott Sisters. Yet the fact is, they were Johnny-Come-Lately, to Free the Scott sisters movement. They can also "style and profile" with the Scott Sisters and probably set up a fundraising effort like they set up with the Jena 6, and steal as much as they can, saying it is administrative cost. Be warned my good friends... The NAACP speaks with fork Tongue. As Yobachi from the blog Black Perspective.net noted the NAACP is looking to cash in on the Scott Sisters Plight. Check out what Yobachi had to say:
"The NAACP is ratcheting up their personal publicity machine. Actually they’re providing more publicity to the fact that they showed up on the scene at the last minute after more than a decade of local grassroots organizing, and 2 years of blog based advocacy, then they ever did in favor of bring the Scott Sisters plight to the American consciousness in an effort to free them.
One of BlackPerspective.net’s sister blogs, The Jena 6 Blog, got mentioned in a couple of different places in the past few days regarding a post I did in 2008 about NAACP swooping in to collect money on behalf of the Jena 6 when it started to become a popular story, then spending half of the money on themselves. This was after the NAACP demanded that the rural town with a population of a couple hundred black people, including children, first start a dues paying NAACP chapter before the NAACP would even begin to help." More HERE
But, there are some people who have a different few.
Take for instance Internet Blog Talk Radio host Black Achievement USA who talks about The Scott Sisters Are Freed: Now What Are The Lessons. He writes: I wish the Scott sisters all the best as they fight to re-acculmated themselves to "free" society. The homecoming is a major adjustment for the Scott family as well as the Scott Sisters. Basically, the Scott sisters have fierce battle for a good life. I would like to say that some of the people around the Scott Sisters did them no good and we on blog talk must not create an atmosphere that is not helpful. The Honorable Governor Haley Barbour and the good people of Mississippi must be respected and thanked for their decision to grant the Scott sisters "an early parole."
AAP says: The NAACP is under a microscope regarding their bogus last minute attention to the Scott sisters freedom movement. Take for example black bloggers, including Jill, over at the blog, Jack and Jill Politics, who has experessed concern at the way the NAACP has dissed black Bloggers over Scott Sisters and Haley Barbour ...
Candidly I have questioned the motives of the Johnny-come-lately national office of the NAACP. It's interesting that the national office of the NAACP knew about the Scott Sisters for over 15 years, and did nothing until after the mother of the Scott Sisters, along with Nancy Lockhart, built a national and internatioal movement to free the Scott Sisters, then about 6 Months ago, the national office of the NAACP found a way to try to be the national spokes people for the Scott Sisters. Claiming all sorts of victories, although they were not actually "pardoned" and they will be on probation for life.
It's candidly amazing how the NAACP and others have bought into the new form of Jim Crow Justice. You know what I'm talking about, The type of "Debt to Society" and the New Jim Crow justice that James Ridgeway wrote about in his article in the Mother Jones. He writes: "The Scott sisters will have to pay out money to maintain their freedom. Rather than pardoning Jamie and Gladys, Barbour suspended their sentences. According to Nancy Lockhart, a legal advocate who played an instrumental role in the sisters’ release, each will have to pay $52 a month for the administration of their parole in Florida, where their mother lives and where they plan to reside. Since they were serving life sentences, that means $624 a year for the rest of their lives. Both women are now in their thirties; if they live 40 more years, each will have paid the state $24,960." Read More HERE
The fact is a number of black folks, like Verite Parlant is Nordette Adams, a reader of the blog Electronic Village made some interesting thoughts about the NAACP when he wrote:
"I think the NAACP suffers from the curse of many older heralded institutions, old blood and lack of vision. They have a tendency to see themselves as the big star and others as the little twinkles, and so they cripple themselves by an unwillingness to embrace new ideas and people and form the alliances that will be critical for power in the coming age. They persist in functioning like gatekeepers more than community collaborators."
He went on to say, "Nevertheless, I believe there was some grandstanding and opportunism involved. I suspect that after the Shirley Sherrod incident, they began to listen to some of the criticisms thrown at them which are that they let women do much of the grunt work but tend to make men their causes celebres. That whole incident caught them with their pants around their ankles."
AAP says: Yes, I agree with those comments by the reader at Electonic Village, the involvement of the NAACP in the Scott Sisters effort was to bolster there own image.
The NAACP is no longer the big star while black bloggers the little twinkles. The Internet has provided an equalizing of the playing field. Yes, the NAACP can run from city to city like Jesse Jackson, 10 years ago, but this that leadership or stylin' and profiling?
The new big stars, black bloggers, blogtalkradio host, and black internet activist are working for positive progressive change. They have taken activism to the next level, with the help of two strong black women, Evelyn Roscoe and Nancy Lockhart. Two women who could see the possibility in spite of the NAACP. Nancy Lockhart and Evelyn Roscoe knew that they didnot want to cripple themselves by an unwillingness to embrace new ideas and people and form the alliances that were to obtain the Scott Sisters Freedom. They persisted, even when the old school gatekeepers called the national office of the NAACP wanted to be less than community collaborators. I'm Done!
But Johnathan Farley has more to say about the NAACP. He says:
"Thank you, NAACP!" Demophilos says from across the table at Starbucks, smiling. "The governor of Mississippi pardoned the Scott sisters." When he sees your expression, his eyebrows arch questioningly. "I'm uncomfortable with black groups campaigning for common thugs," you begin slowly, "when there are so many completely innocent people rotting in prison, to say nothing of political prisoners. But people like Kemba Smith, who carried drugs and guns for her boyfriend – they paid or are paying for real crimes, not for stealing bread." "Are they paying, or are we?" Demophilos says, with fire. "In urban America, besides the burned-out husks of buildings that were never rebuilt after the riots of the sixties, stand only taxpayer-built sports stadiums – and jails. More and more of them private. Corporations profit; we pay." Demophilos sits back in his seat, now seemingly exhausted. "You don't have to convince me," you say, defensively. "Listen, I still remember where I was when Geronimo Pratt was freed. I was on College Avenue in Berkeley outside my local bank. I looked at the headlines of the newspaper in a kiosk and started to dance.
"The bank's security guard, an African-American woman in her 40s, asked me what I was excited about.
"'Geronimo Pratt is free,' I said, out of breath. As you know, Pratt's conviction had been overturned after he spent 27 years in prison for a crime he did not commit, more time than Nelson Mandela.
"'How much time did he spend in jail?' the woman asked me. 'A year?' "My rush ended. I realised that, though we were only miles away from where the Black Panther party had burst into life, this black woman had no idea who Geronimo Pratt was. "But she knew who OJ Simpson was, and probably cheered, later, when Kobe Bryant was found not guilty." Your small coffees arrive. "That'll be $10.95," says the barista.
When she leaves, you say, "The NAACP has finite resources, and the public has a finite amount of empathy. So, why is this being wasted? In 2005, when Crips founder and multiple-murderer Tookie Williams was facing a death sentence, the NAACP staged 'die ins' to protest the execution." "Stop," Demophilos pleads. "The NAACP is not 'celebrating criminality' by calling for the release of blacks who received harsh sentences. It's fighting injustice."
"And an injustice anywhere, blah blah blah." Read MORE
Cross posted on African American Pundit
African American Pundit is publisher of the blog African American Pundit, he is a nationally recognized moderate independent African American blogger who addresses black American politics and social issues. He served as a credentialed blogger at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. He can be reached at AfricanAmericanPundit@gmail.com