What good is it in having a Black president who won’t discuss eliminating the scourge of racism? Isn’t it time Black Americans ask why the U.S. isn’t participating in the latest round of World Conferences against Racism? Of all the racist policies that exist in the world today, why aren’t Black Americans demanding that this nation support honest and direct dialogue on race and racism and its manifestations and consequences? By withdrawing from the upcoming UN Conference on Racism scheduled for September in New York, the Obama administration is mimicking Bush administrations rather than moving forward in the 21st century. The fact that “the president of change” won’t bring himself – or us – to the table for an honest discussion about race says a lot about his willingness to lead the nation on the subject.

The World Conferences against Racism are international events organized as a force to combat racist ideologies and behaviors. Four conferences have been held so far, in 1978, 1983, 2001 and 2009. The 1978 World Conference against Racism was held in Geneva, Switzerland. The major focus of that conference was South Africa’s apartheid policies of racial segregation and discrimination. Curbing “apartheid” continued as the theme during the 1983 World Conference against Racism. However, things got off track during the 2001 conference held in Durban, South Africa. Titled, "World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance," significant time was spent on the Israelis’ treatment of Palestinians. Midway through the conference, Canada, the U.S. and Israel walked out over a draft resolution that criticized Israel and compared Zionism to racism. During the 2001 conference, the European Union also refused to accept demands made by Arab states which criticized Israel for "racist practices." Then, the European bloc, led by the U.S. and Israel, decided to boycott the 2009 World Conference against Racism.

World Conferences against Racism have yet to eradicate racism, or its legacies. In the conferences, the Europeans have denied any responsibility for slavery or any role in crimes of colonialism. The Durban Review Conference occurred in April 2009. The tone of the conference was set on the first day when Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad condemned Israel for being “totally racist” and accused the West of using the Holocaust as a "pretext" for aggression against Palestinians. When Ahmadinejad referred to the Holocaust as an "ambiguous and dubious question", European Union delegates left the room.

While the Africans and their requests for reparations go wanting, the U.S. and Israel have spent the past 10 years objecting to what, they say, equates Zionism with racism. It’s a deft political move that pleases Jewish groups. “We are gratified at President Obama’s decision to boycott the so-called Durban III,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Congressional Black Caucus chair Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), said the CBC was "deeply dismayed" by the president’s decision. But, former Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney has brought widespread attention to the matter by “imploring” the CBC “to spearhead the participation of the U.S. in the United Nations World Conference against Racism.” There is reason for the American Black electorate to join in questioning the administration’s commitment to racial justice and adherence to bygone administrations’ avoidance of mechanisms designed to combat racial discrimination. It’s time the Obama administration moves beyond glib assurances that the U.S. “remains committed to the global fight against racism at home and abroad.”

Racism has been a major American issue since the colonial and slave eras and has existed for centuries. The nation’s institutional system of racism results from the social caste system that sustained, and was sustained by, slavery and social segregation. Although the laws that enforced this system are no longer in place, its basic tenets still stand and result in Black Americans being confronted daily with racism. Instead of daily disregarding racism, we need to increase awareness about racism and demonstrate that it is far from being over. It’s time that Blacks showed similar lobbying muscle as the Jewish lobby in these matters. (William Reed is available for speaking/seminar projects via

See related:

William Reed Columnist

Video/Pictures – Rocky Mount NAACP Freedom Fund Banquet Speaker Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II Saturday, June 18, 2011 7:00 PM

Click on picture to watch video (Total 1 hr. 57 mins.)


The Rocky Mount NAACP under the direction of Rev. Andre Knight President held it’s 36th Annual Freedom Fund Banquet. Speaker: Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II NAACP North Carolina State Conference of Branches/National Board Member.








Click on picture above to view pictures (Total 198).


Click on picture above to view pictures (Total 19).

See related:

NAACP Pictures Rocky Mount Telegram 

Education cuts targeted at local NAACP banquet – Source: The Rocky Mount Telegram

Local NAACP chapter lambasts state budget cuts

The Talk About A Charter School In Edgecombe County Is Probably Coming From John Westberg Being Removed From SouthWest Edgecombe

The talk about a charter school being started in Edgecombe County is probably coming from a group of folks whom are mad with the Edgecombe County Public Schools System. Some are mad that John Westberg was removed from SouthWest Edgecombe because of a testing probe. Westberg was moved to North Edgecombe and made a Dean of Students a position that no one could relate to in the county school system.

Sources say Westberg will no longer have a contract with Edgecombe County Public Schools as of June 30, 2011.

So in regards to the letters to the editor concerning the division of and the support of a charter school, it should be clear that the charter school is stemming from the Westberg saga. This is my opinion because he is being looked at running the school.

See more:

John Westberg Former Principal SouthWest Edgecombe 

Let’s discuss having a charter school 

‘Do we really need a charter school in Tarboro?