13901 Midway Road, #102 - 437
Dallas , TX 75244-4388
Re: Broadcast of Jena 6 Fundraising Improprieties
Dear Michael Baisden:
As a writer and international advocate of the Right of the Child, I commend you for your conscious raising work on behalf of the Jena 6. But I am disappointed at your allegations against Color of Change, an organization which has a long and impeccable history of struggling on behalf the oppressed and dispossessed. Now people’s spirits are dampened by the allegations. You have created an air of suspicion across the nation.
Let’s be clear and fair about on-air allegations and the damages it can cause to a movement still struggling to free the six Jena youth. And, while we are at it, let’s call up the integrity of everybody involved.
First, it is reported that $10,000 was donated by David Bowie to the Jena Defense Fund and that the money is unaccounted for. But according to this NAACP press report:
“We are gratified that rock star David Bowie was moved to donate to the NAACP’s Jena campaign,” said NAACP National Board of Directors Chairman Julian Bond. “Mr. Bowie shares our outrage. We hope others will join him.” It is evident that Bowie ’s donation went to the NAACP’s Jena campaign.
As for the other monies, Color of Change has provided images of cancelled checks made out to the Jena 6 defense lawyers. (See images of deposited checks and family authorization for payment).
It is not unusual for the good that people do to be evil spoken of. But we never expected it to be from you.
We note that you are sponsoring a Foundation Charity Fundraiser on November 9 and 10. And, we assume that, because it features Marcus Jones, father of Mychal Bell (one of the Jena 6) and two of his lawyers (Louis Scott and Carol Powel-Lexington), that the fundraising will be on behalf of the Jena Six defendants.
Will Marcus Jones say that he did not authorize payment to his son’s lawyers in the amount of $35,339.78? Will Louis Scott deny receiving $33,150.00? The documents speak for themselves. And, what does Color of Change get for its diligent fundraising effort?
Other people have criticized Marcus Jones as an “absentee father”, who only came back into Mychal Bell’s life after the Jena 6 publicity. And, we have resisted taking the bait. But does Jones thank groups like Color of Change and Afrospear bloggers who have relentlessly elevated this case, long before radio stations got involved? No! Instead, we, as bloggers, are now cast under a cloud of suspicion.
There is nothing that says that the monies raised by the Foundation Charity Fundraiser will go to the Jena 6 defense, and nothing said about how equally the funds will be disbursed. At least, Color of Change has provided each defendant with the same approximate amount. What would Marcus Jones have- that all the funds to go to his son’s defense?
There is no honorable way to clean up this mess of your creation, except to give Color of Change the right to present its proof to the public, on the same airways where they were slandered. They should also be included in all your future fundraising effort on behalf of Jena 6, even if no more than to help you, Michael, restore your integrity on the airways. Or shall you challenge us and persist in this lie, believing the airways are more powerful than the blog? Truth will always win.
Eddie Griffin (BASG)