UAB NAACP Chapter
UAB Chapter of the
by Adrienne Donnell
The Birmingham Times
Originally posted 2/26/2004
For 95 years, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has continued to protect and enhance the civil rights of African Americans and other minorities. The organization was legally banned from the state of
After the ban was lifted in 1964, during the civil rights movement, chapters were formed from
Years later, in 1986, the
When Brian McCoy transferred to UAB last year from Miles College, he was surprised to see that there was not a chapter of the NAACP, considering that there are more Black students there than at Miles. “I actually wanted to be a member at Miles College,” McCoy stated, “I learned a lot that I didn’t learn in high school such as the Brown vs Board of Education case.”
McCoy expressed that he wanted to start this chapter because of the racist image that
On December 31, 2003, the UAB chapter of the NAACP was officially reactivated on the campus. McCoy, 20, was elected the President on February 3. He is also a member of other political organizations on campus such as the Black Student Awareness Committee and the Uplift Coalition. He has a double major in Political Science and Broadcast Communications. He affirms that this chapter is securing a permanent residence on this campus. He plans to do this by making members step up in leadership roles and planning events instead of only a few people conducting everything. They also plan on having events that people are familiar with. On March 7, the newly reactivated chapter will present their very own, first annual Image Awards. The ceremony will reward students and faculty that deserves recognition for the work that they do but hardly get acknowledged by UAB. The event will take place in the UAB Great Hall at 7 p.m.
Currently, the chapter includes 53 members and McCoy expects the membership to continuously grow.
In a short period of time, these students have already been featured on 98.7 KISS FM, held a forum with former presidential candidate Carol Mosely Braun, as well a forum on interracial dating. They recently held a concert called the Gospel Classic. The event showcased acts such as Quincy Elder and the New Hope Baptist Church Choir. The finances from such events are used to build up a stable account for the organization.
For more information about the UAB chapter of the NAACP, log on to www.UABNAACP.com
RACIST LETTER DISCOVERED AT UAB RESIDENCE HALL
POSTED: 5:47 pm CST March 19, 2004
UPDATED: 8:59 pm CST March 19, 2004
UAB freshman Eduardo Mason (pictured left) found a letter taped to his dorm-room wall containing alleged racial slurs Wednesday morning. UAP police are investigating the incident.
"There was a letter with racial slurs and cursing and the phrase, 'Hanging 'em all' on it and I was kind of shocked at first and I took the letter to the residential assistant on duty," Mason said.
UAB President Dr. Carol Garrison, who was alerted to the letter Friday morning, says it won't be tolerated.
"I expressed to the students how disappointed I was that it had occurred here and it indeed went against everything this institution stands for," Garrison said. "I outlined for them the steps we're going to take in terms of moving forward."
Those steps include a convening a diversity committee meeting to meet after the spring break, Garrision said. That committee was set up at the beginning of the school year.
Meanwhile, local members of the NAACP say they will not sit by idly.
"We are a real active civil rights organization on campus and a force to be reckoned with when things like this happen," said Brian Mccoy, UAB NAACP president.
Many students expressed surprise and shock over the incident.
"I came to this school because I thought this wouldn't happen and for this to happen here, that really hurts my heart," said freshman Marcus Davis.
Two black students and two caucasian students lived in the dorm room where the letter was posted.
RACIST LETTER DISCOVERED AT UAB RESIDENCE HALL ACTED ON
UAB Gospel Choir Director Receives Racist-Threatening Letter
UAB choir receives threatening, racist letter
News staff writer
UAB police, the FBI and postal authorities are investigating
a racist, threatening letter mailed from
"This sort of communication, even though it comes from outside our university and state, violates UAB's core values; we find it deplorable and we are very supportive of law enforcement's efforts to identify the anonymous writer," UAB President Carol Garrison said Wednesday.
The letter, mailed from
The UAB Gospel Choir has recorded two albums and appeared
widely. Most recently, the choir was featured in "America Beyond The Color Line With Henry Louis Gates Jr.," a
documentary that aired nationwide on public television stations. In the
documentary, a white
Brian McCoy, the NAACP chapter's president, noted that it has been only a month since a threatening, racist letter was found on the door of a dorm room shared by black and white students.
"We are just shocked again," McCoy said. "We are happy that this didn't come from this area, but we are sad it had to happen again to the campus."
The chapter has a meeting with Garrison scheduled for May 12.
UAB’s choir not the only target of on-campus racism
UAB gospel choir director Kevin Turner received a threatening, racist letter on Monday that included the words “bomb,” “castration” and derogatory terms against people of color.
“This sort of communication, even though it comes from outside our university and state, violates UAB’s core values; we find it deplorable and we are very supportive of law enforcement’s efforts to identify the anonymous writer,” UAB President Carol Garrison said Wednesday.
Since March 2004, two other notable occurrences involving racial sensitivity have been reported to UAB’s chapter of the NAACP.
The first complaint was against Russ Fine, a UAB Professor of Medicine. During the week of March 2, Brian McCoy, president of UAB’s NAACP, explained that he received a complaint from Kelvin Benion in regard to Dr. Fine’s repeated use of the term “nigger” on his morning broadcast.
“When this term was used on the show, Mr. Benion, the man that is filling the complaint with the FCC, contacted us that same day,” stated McCoy.
During the week of March 20, Eduardo Mason, a freshman at UAB, removed a note from a neighbor’s door in Rast Hall that contained racist language. He also reported the incident to McCoy.
UAB police, the FBI and postal
authorities are investigating the letter that was addressed to both the choir
and the choir director. The letter was
The UAB chapter of the NAACP is scheduled to meet with Carol Garrison on May 12 to further discuss how to prevent and report matters of this nature.
Concerning Benion’s complaint to the NAACP about Fine, the show addressed an article entitled “‘Illegal:’ Slur or accurate label?” by Rick Badie of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution from January 28.
The key parts of the article that Fine’s show addressed state, “For Jerry Gonzalez, the term ‘illegal immigrant’ packs as much vitriol as some racial slurs I can’t speak for other immigrant groups,” he said, “but on behalf of the Latino community, many people I speak to on a day-to-day basis think it serves to dehumanize the person, makes them less than human. Similar to the way the ‘n-word’ was used to dehumanize African-Americans.”
Dr. Fine stated, “We had a compelling show that dealt with an article published in the (Journal-Constitution).
“The article and our subsequent program discussed charges by a private group out of Atlanta representing Hispanic elected officials and their assertion that the terminology ‘illegal aliens’ was racist, a racial slur and the moral equivalent of the term ‘nigger.’
“We took great exception with that assertion and said there was absolutely no comparison. One was a legal term the other was a racial slur.”
Fine went on to explain, “To illustrate how outrageous and inappropriate their comparison was, I chose to use (explaining why beforehand) the term ‘nigger’ instead of the sterile, politically correct term ‘the n-word.’
“There is nothing illustrative about the ‘n-word,’ and disguising it in politically correct shorthand minimizes its mean and degrading impact when used in the context of the Hispanic spokesman trying to convince people that the term ‘illegal alien’ is as bad as the word ‘nigger.’
“It is not and the comparison is outrageous. I chose to use the term, explaining the context of its usage to the audience, to demonstrate the preposterous and outrageous nature of the comparison...”
McCoy stated that he did not think the term “nigger” should be used by blacks or whites. “But it means something different when it comes from (a white person’s) mouth. Some try to disguise discrimination and bigotry but when a European descendant speaks those words, (they are) not trying to be a friend of an African-American,” said McCoy.
In relation to the letter found in Rast Hall, there were two black tenants and two white. The incident remains under investigation
An independent poll of students conducted in a March 2004 Broadcasting Fundamentals class at UAB suggests that most Black students are adamantly against a white person using the term “nigger.”
Some white students agreed that the term should not be used.
However, a few white students felt that the term could be used depending on the context of the word.
Jamesia Williams , a communications major at UAB, said, “It is not okay for white people to use the word ‘nigger,’ not even to prove a point.”
McCoy added, “I think that UAB students should not be afraid of each other as they are now. It’s time for us to experience different cultures, different views and opinions.”
If you have any information about the investigative cases, please contact:
UAB Police Department
Brian McCoy, President
Michael S. Fitts,
Advisory Board Chair
For in-depth information on the controversial broadcast, please visit Dr. Fine’s Web site:
MAY 12, 2004
UAB Chapter of the NAACP Meets With UAB President