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November 21, 2005

Derrick Wallace

Rarely do the actions of any of the officers of local NAACP chapters make national news. The switch from Democrat to Republican of Orlando's Derrick Wallace is a bold and brave move to be applauded.

"I've thought about this for two years," Wallace said Tuesday afternoon, just a few hours after returning from the elections office. "This is not a decision I made yesterday."

It is, however, a decision that rang out like a shot among political circles.

Republican Party leader Lew Oliver described himself as "extraordinarily pleased," while Democratic leader Tim Shea said he was disappointed.

Wallace, a construction-company exec, was candid about the fact that his business life was a big part of his decision to change.

"It's purely a business decision. Ninety percent of those I do business with are Republicans," he said. "Opportunities that have come to my firm have been brought by Republicans."

Wallace is just doing what makes sense, his is a perfectly rational and understandable change. We in the Old School understand that it is not a long walk from our front porch to the front door of the GOP, and we don't have to change our values or priorities to walk in that open door. We merely have to change our attitude. Wallace' example proves that it's not too hard.

McGeehee predicts a 40% chance of Oreo Storm.

As I've tried to follow this story around the 'sphere, I have found almost no mention of Wallace or his branch before. The national NAACP site only gives a PO Box and a phone number - his branch like hundreds of other NAACP branches, has no website. What's clear is that he has been doing business with Republicans for a long time and that nobody (here) knew nor cared. So it raises a particularly interesting set of questions. First, how does one get to be president of an NAACP chapter? Wallace is clearly a big shot, having run for mayor of the city, and he's clearly pro-business having supported two GOP candidates for mayor. When Republicans are mayors of the city, it's incumbent on those who want permanent influence to have an in with the Republicans. What's so crazy about that?

Anyway, there's a host of hateration going around that I'll catalog here when I finish my lunch.

Posted by mbowen at November 21, 2005 10:58 AM

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is a bold and brave move to be applauded

To say that it is a bold and brave move, to me, shows exactly how weak and starved for images some Black Republicans are.

The fact is, there are Republicans who are members of the NAACP. That's not a hidden fact, though it is one that is ignored.

When Shannon Reeves was president of the Oakland NAACP chapter, was it news? No.

Straight up, this is weak.

And considering that you responded to me that Black conservatives (yeah, making it synonomous with Black Republicans, sue me), don't do "role models" yet you are pointing this man out, says something.

I'm not hating. I just don't see what's the big deal.

Posted by: DarkStar [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 21, 2005 04:24 PM

I'm an advocate, sue me. If you ask me what's more important in the long run, that Aaron McGruder has a cartoon on TV or that an NAACP president goes GOP, I'd say the latter.

Now when I get to chasing down the notes in Technorati, you'll see that I will find blogs that will call him a Tom and a Sellout. I've already located them but I haven't had the minute to document it. So it might not be a big deal, but it's enough to get hated, and it's enough to get noticed by a dozen blogs.

Posted by: Cobb [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 21, 2005 04:48 PM

I don't feel like much like picking this scab. But I'm letting you off the hook.

Posted by: DarkStar [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 21, 2005 07:25 PM