North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP
114 W. Parrish Street, Second Floor
Durham, NC 27701
Rev. Doctor William Barber
Dear Reverend Doctor William Barber:
I would like to address your outrageous comments as reported in a press release by your organization and other union related groups.
According to a February 16, 2009, press release issued by the Change to Win federation, you, in your leadership capacity with NAACP, were quoted as saying:
The agents of the large corporations behind this phony group have, we believe, underestimated the North Carolina media and North Carolina people, thinking we are so uninformed we will fall for this sophomoric manipulation of treasured symbols and words in our rich North Carolina civil rights history...the only 'Prosperity' the 'Americans for Prosperity' are interested in is more millions of profits for the rich corporate owners who fund this phony outfit.
Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is an active grassroots organization with over 40,000 members across North Carolina. Last summer over 1,500 of our members attended our Take Back Our State Rally at the North Carolina General Assembly.
Over 600 of our "phony" members attended our two grassroots events this week opposing the misnamed Employee Free Choice Act, also known as the Card Check bill. We have regular meetings across the state in REAL places like Raleigh, Greensboro, Wilmington, Jacksonville, and Siler City. Perhaps you should attend one of our meetings and meet these real life members of our "phony group", as you called it at one point, and a "phony outfit" in another.
As the North Carolina State Director of Americans for Prosperity, it is my job to fight for the principles of our organization and, in this case, when our members are so outrageously insulted by a high profile figure as yourself, it is my job to stand up for them. Your release called our efforts on "card check" dishonest. I request you provide me with written examples of anything we have done with regard to this issue that is dishonest. I defy you to find an example where AFP has been dishonest on this issue in any way.
On the merits of the issue, it is curious to me that you think it is ok for one group of people (potential union members or union bosses) to be able to vote away or “veto” other people’s right to a secret ballot in union organizing elections. What other fundamental individual rights are you willing to see voted away from one group of people by another?
It is worth noting that according to the manual prepared by the Annual Elections Supervisory Committee of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) “All voting shall be by secret ballot” (Page 7) in NAACP leadership elections.
Americans for Prosperity, works on many issues that advance individual freedom and economic opportunity for all citizens. While our stance is different from the NAACP on the issue of "card check," we worked with NAACP members to defeat the proposed Durham Meals Tax, last November. This regressive tax was defeated by wide margins in the Durham community. Americans for Prosperity led the way in defeating the tax. The thousands of yard signs placed in Durham County by AFP members were no more "phony" than the real life members who placed them.
Finally Reverend Doctor William Barber, as a fellow Christian I am shocked, dismayed, and disgusted by your personal attacks on the grassroots Members of Americans for Prosperity. Unlike you, we would never question the sincerity or beliefs of your members. While at times our legislative agenda differs from your legislative agenda we do not insult your members and gladly work with them when we have agreement on issues.
As a man of God I know you aspire to do the right in this world, as do I. I offer you an opportunity to right this wrong. Should you choose to do the right thing and author a letter of apology to the 40,000 members of Americans for Prosperity, I will pass it along. My contact information is below.
As we move forward I ask that you refrain from insulting the honest beliefs and actual existence of the hard working members of Americans for Prosperity.
North Carolina State Director
Americans for Prosperity-North Carolina
(office) 919-839-1011 ext 3
200 West Morgan Street
Raleigh, NC 27601