Sunday, March 04, 2007

NAACP Honors Isaiah Washington

Yes, the NAACP Image Awards honored actor Isaiah Washington of "Grey's Anatomy" as Best Actor in a Drama. Clearly, voting on this award ended LONG after the NAACP was aware of Washington's bigoted comments. But obviously they don't care about that; calling some homo a "faggot" is old news and Washington already apologized and what could be better for the image of the black community than honoring a bigot? What a slap in the face to the black gay community and to the memory of the many gay black activists like Bayard Rustin who fought alongside Dr. Martin Luther King for racial justice and to the memory of Coretta Scott King who died just last year and made clear that she saw gay rights as the latest battleground in the fight to preserve civil rights for all.

It might be one thing for the BET awards or some other organization to say, hey, we're just talking about a TV show, not his private life. I'd still disagree, mind you. But we're talking about the NAACP, a group DEVOTED to fighting for equal justice for blacks, including gay blacks, and for the protection of the civil rights of all Americans. A group DEVOTED to fighting for respect for minorities has just celebrated and honored a man most famous for spewing hate just a few short weeks ago. It would have been nice if the NAACP had criticized Washington. But to honor him? That's shameful.

You can contact the NAACP toll free at 877-622-2798.
You can call the NAACP Image Awards at 323-938-5268
You can email the NAACP Image Awards at

Be polite, but point out the sad irony of a group fighting for the rights of a minority choosing to honor a man best known for spreading hate towards others. Is Washington persona non grata forever? No, if he makes a sincere effort and rehabilitates himself maybe in the future he could be celebrated without making a mockery of everything the NAACP is supposed to stand for. But to give him a top award just weeks after his vicious comments -- the sort of comments that should get a white man fired and rightly so if he said it about a black coworker -- is ridiculous. They should be ashamed and apologize for poor judgment that mocks their own stated goals.

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