Photo from Don Allen's Facebook, used under First Amendment Fair Comment
and Criticism, (OMG check out this NAACP member hanging with the GOP) blog post
by John Hoff
For those who don't want to read my entire, detailed article below, here's the skinny from an informed source about why IBNN blogger Don Allen was really kicked out of his Second Vice President position with the Minneapolis NAACP:
And now settle in for the rest of the story, folks...
What Has He Done Now?
Months can go by without JNS blog paying much attention to IBNN blogger Don Allen or his doings. I did report on the fact of Don's election as Second Vice President to the Minneapolis NAACP, around the time some anonymous commenter was pushing old mug shots of Don Allen on this blog. And once a year I make a point of mentioning how Don Allen made a public promise to get to the bottom of the odd death of Major Topps, but didn't.
I do THAT because I believe Don Allen, if he sincerely tries, is more likely to get that information than, for example, JNS blog. I might say, in a cheeky and critical blogger manner, things about Don Allen getting to the bottom of the story about Major Topps...
But when it comes right down to it I believe Don Allen has closer relationships with the people who have answers than I do, and Don Allen could get the information if he made a pure effort, free of petty mercenary motives.
And it's information which desperately needs to be aired.
But, generally, I pay little attention to Don's activities for simple lack of interest. Plus I figure any time I view one of his blogs, it's doing some kind of spy tracking thing. (Shrug, rolling eyes upward) My honest view. Truthfully. So I don't look at his blogs much even when I feel the urge.
This Blog Post Is All The Fault Of "Jordan North"
RECENTLY, however, Don Allen's name came up in conversation (rumor had it Don was aggressively interested in the identity of sparkly new JNS guest blogger "Jordan North") and this caught my long slumbering attention.
I thought to myself, hey, what's up with Don these days?
Agendas! Get Yer Tasty, Red Hot Political Agendas!
There are times this blogger is keenly aware I'm being used as a tool by people with an agenda, and the information I'm being given is part of that agenda. In the case of Don Allen, I'm fairly certain those old, deeply buried mug shots were kicked toward this blog by political enemies of Allen within the NAACP, which is only a handful of names.
But you know what? Everybody kicking this blog information has some kind of agenda, even if it's something as simple as, "I think if Johnny writes about crime it exposes the individuals behind Northside crimes, and that's good."
Everybody. Has. An Agenda. So generally I just publish the info, if it's relevant info, and if the agenda behind the info seems rather odd or specific, I just call it out. Click here for recent example.
But since I reported on the fact of Don Allen's election, now I feel an obligation to follow up with coverage about his shocking termination from the position of Second Vice President.
First, of course, I looked to see if anyone else was reporting on this matter of Don Allen's termination. Most of the time this blog is unwilling to simply repeat information published by others. We always seek something new to ad to public discourse on matters of public concern. So I thought, well, has Insight News written anything?
Nope. At least nothing I can find on their site, which leaves plenty to be desired.
(BTW, where is the SEARCH FUNCTION for Insight News? Oh, wait, you go all the way to the bottom, you click on "archive," THEN you can access a search function. Which only searches...the years 2010 and prior? This has got to be one of the worst search functions for an online newspaper I've ever seen. How on earth does Insight News expect to accomplish ANYTHING when their post-2010 articles can't be easily searched out? End of techno-geek rant. Step it up, Insight News, I say these things in love)
Next, I figured the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder (oldest minority owned business in the state of Minnesota) might have written something. Turns out MSR wrote about the NAACP swearing-in ceremony, which included Don Allen, by they've said nothing about the shakeup.
This silence is notable and odd.
Facebook And Five Minutes
I figured I could get some pretty good information about what was happening inside the NAACP with a query or two via Facebook message. Sure enough, I did. My source--who is very deep into the nuts and bolts of the Minneapolis NAACP, beyond that I won't say anything--provided the quote at the top of this article.
Further, source sayeth as follows:
The McAfee mentioned by the source is, of course, Reverend McAfee the Minneapolis NAACP President, one of the most powerful figures in North Minneapolis religion and politics; whose own family is sometimes a source of personal embarrassment and what must surely be personal demons, click here for recent example.
It appears with harsh critic Don Allen gone, McAfee has consolidated a position of unchecked power within the local NAACP.
There's No Way This Was About Eleven Bucks
Don Allen's blog, through an author named "Damian Packard" (if any such person really exists and isn't merely a monicker of Don Allen) says about the same thing as my source; this termination was never really about the minor issue of when dues were received.
"Damian Packard" says as follows:
After a lengthy investigation by a private firm, it turns out that Allen’s election win is still valid because the Minneapolis NAACP received his $11.70 in December 2013. “I thought this was a new beginning. People that have never worked together before were going to raise hell on behalf of the black community of Minneapolis and make immediate changes. I found out very quickly [and knew already] it was not about the people, it was about the money for those folks who only know how to victimize the poor, homeless and helpless,” said Allen.
("Damian Packard," quoted above under First Amendment Fair Comment and Criticism)
Don Allen's blog, in the months since his election to Minneapolis NAACP Vice President, has a lot of material about NAACP issues not just locally but in various locations around the nation, and in one other article Allen claims he was terminated because of his "whistleblowing," (it should be two words) as follows:
As a former member of the Minneapolis NAACP executive (Second Vice Chair), I can speak as an authority on who is actually calling the shots for the local branch and why other board members are not copied or kept in the loop on very important decisions made by current president (until November 2014), the controversial Jerry McAfee (No seminary information available). McAfee is not the freedom fighter or preacher you would expect for the black community.
On letterhead that I created before having my post vacated due to a technicality brought on by my whistleblowing, someone other than Jerry composed a letter to the MSFA.
"We Have No Control Over What Don Does, That's Why We Need To Deal With Him"
Another source to JNS blog--and believe me, I'm invoking Minnesota's journalistic shield law RIGHT HERE AND NOW--shared communications authored by Reverend Jerry McAfee, including the following, date of writing unknown:
We have no control over what Don does, that's why we need to deal with him. What I do need is a compilation of all the things he's printed and said. I think once we release our direction people will be excited.
(The meaning of that last sentence cannot be deciphered by JNS blog. The communication continued as follows)
Any lawsuit is immediate grounds for dismissal, there will be no progress without contention and if you've... (The copy of the communication provided to JNS blog is truncated at this point)
On February 10, (presumably 2014) at 5:11 PM Reverend Jerry McAfee wrote as follows:
He's not totally suspended yet, he was ejected from that meeting, (...)
(It thrills JNS blog to see the relatively polished writing skills of Reverend McAfee. If only he would preach some grammar from that pulpit!)
OMG Fur Is Going To Fly
There are other things happening behind the scenes which this blog can't discuss quite yet and, truthfully, I don't know if I want to be standing nearby when the fur starts flying. Maybe sometime afterward I will stand nearby and say, in effect, "Looky here! Dramatic evidence fur has FLOWN, dear readers!"
The whole situation is a big, complicated mess and this blog ends up in the middle of it because, other than Don Allen HIMSELF, nobody is writing about what on earth is going on inside the local NAACP after this major shakeup.
Don Allen may have selfish and mercenary motives for keeping Reverend McAfee honest, for leveling criticisms at the NAACP from inside the NAACP, and Don Allen may have many personal failings of which I, of all people, am keenly aware after my unhappy relationship with Allen as erstwhile co-defendant in Moore v. Hoff. (This is the first time I've used "erstwhile" in a sentence and I'm very excited about it!)
But WHO ELSE is going to make sure Reverend McAfee doesn't run off with complete power within the local NAACP if not Don Allen? Nobody else wants that job or dares to reach for that job.
This is an important matter of local public concern and nobody--not the local community papers and certainly not any big media--are writing anything about this controversy. Don Allen himself is writing about it (and this alleged "Damian Packard") but Allen is clearly a participant with his own agenda.
Of this much I am certain: The true reasons for terminating Don Allen should be openly stated by the Minneapolis NAACP. When flimsy false reasons are put forth, members of this organization and even far flung, unconnected members of the general public merely HEARING of these strange and convoluted circumstances can't help but think...
Something smells rotten inside the Minneapolis NAACP.