NASHVILLE, TN — The newly-elected NAACP branch president here accepts and extends President-elect Joe Biden’s point about last week’s insurrection; It makes unification easier. The branch president says more Americans recognize complaints about racism are valid.
“Understanding seems to help us move forward to healing,” Sheryl Guinn said the day after her election to a post she’s held since succeeding two branch officials. “The more light that’s delivered to inequality makes people reflect … and realize there’s validity to complaints” about racism.
Biden was asked if the events made his job easier or harder. Easier, he replied. “My over-arching objective is to unify this country. There’re two ways people are inspired: by inspirational leaders; and by terrible leaders. What this president has done is rip the Band-Aid all the way off to let the country know who he is and what he’s about and how thoroughly unfit for office he is.”
Jan. 6, the soon-to-be former president whipped up his campaign rally-like crowd into a mob, saying he’d join them on Capitol Hill, but went to the White House and saw on TV what’s now led to his impeachment by a 232-197 vote of the House of Representatives. Five other House members didn’t vote.
Guinn said, “Sometimes people think that we are, with me being a Black person, that we are harping on the past. When things like that happen at the Capitol, people realize these things truly exist. It’s one part of the conversation that we don’t have to overcome. It’s not in the past.”
A confederate flag was carried by at least one person in the Capitol who apparently attempted to interfere with certification of the 2020 Presidential election.
Preferring not to dwell on the Nashville branch’s past, Guinn said its members have been through a “tumultuous” time.
The prominent Nashville-based attorney won with 126 votes (52.3%). Her challenger, Dr. Judy Cummings, pastor at New Covenant Christian Church, got 115 votes.
Guinn said she wants to “turn over a new leaf and not condemn” previous leaders. However, she will seek an audit of branch funding as she consults with association members, Guinn said. Audits are a “normal course of business.” She advocates voter registration, citizen education and membership drives.
Cummings congratulated Guinn, adding “There are a lot of justice issues in Nashville that need to be addressed and I am sure you will organize the branch and assemble an amazing team to address each of them for the sake of our people!”
Election results show: Marilyn Brown, unopposed, was elected first vice president with 215 votes; Jackie Sims was elected second vice president with 132 votes (56.9%) over Ludye Wallace’s 100 votes; and Vanita Lewis was elected third vice president (51.5%) 120-113 over David Conner.
Unopposed, attorney Robin Kimbrough Hayes was elected branch secretary with 223 votes. With 225 votes, Dr. Blondell Strong was unopposed and elected assistant secretary.
Elizebeth Overton was unopposed for treasurer and received 209 votes. Also unopposed, Lisa Hammonds was elected assistant treasurer with 211 votes.
Elected branch executive committee members are Monet Brown, Nancy Cooper, Sonnye Dickson, Jacquelyn Favors, Brenda Gilmore, Patricia Goldthreate, Arnold Hayes, Betty Hardy Hines, Timothy Hughes, Charles Kimbrough, Dionne McClain-Smith, Annette Moore, Ronnie Whitney, Tara Williams, and Richard Wineland.
Voting was on-line from 7 a.m. Jan. 10 to 11:45 p.m. Jan. 10. There were 248 ballots submitted, or 54% of 461 eligible voters.
It was the third time the branch tried to elect officers. The first was stopped by officials of the Tennessee State Conference of the NAACP as it found irregularities attributed to one candidate. The second attempt was foiled by the Christmas morning explosion here that interrupted Internet service.