Marion Brothers

Marion Brothers

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Radio Personality Michael Baisden Challenged

Michael Baisden
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)


  1. Hi Eddie,

    I read your email. Thanks for the information. There is a reasonable fee for representing a juvenile in any case. I looked at the fees that were paid in these cases. They appear to be excessive without looking at their actual billings. Each attorney got in excess of $30K. I understand that they had to appear in the media and at other outings in the process. It's great that funds are being raised, but there needs to be some limit and monitoring of the payments made per case. I am glad that some Black lawyers are benefitting from the Jena 6.

    The fact remains that education is necessary. I tried to get my book to Baisden, but no one has responded. I also tried to get in on his radio show to talk about some of the issues. I even tried through some of the people who will be on his platform this weekend. I understand that more money is going to be given to the lawyers from this weekend's fundraiser. Let's talk.


    1. lol you forgot to switch your account when commenting

  2. I have many issues with how ColorOfChange publicized the Jena 6, but their handling of the defense fund seems beyond reproach. Other such funds would do well to follow the example set by ColorOfChane.

  3. Although I didn't initially agree with going public against Baisden there may be some merit. I'm still concerned that there seems to be a set-up in how all this is coming about. this type of public discourse bothers me. I reluctantly posted about this situation on my blog. "Michael should put up or shut up,' but at the same time, we should not be trying to go at him personally. two wrongs have never made a right. We should check ourselves, and not be ready to lynch two brothers because they appear to have made mistakes, calculated as they may appear to be. Hold them accountable but be forgiving. Anything less would be unfortunate and wrong.

  4. Thank you for your letter, Mr. Griffin. I was outraged when I first read about this at P6.

    I went over to Color of Change, and registered my support to them. They have been doing serious work for the community, and I would hate to see their reputation hurt by false allegations.

  5. ColorOfChange hurt their reputation themselves because they got involved in the Jena 6 case. The Jena 6 committed a crime and ColorOfChange did not report the truth about that crime. Instead ColorOfChange posted lies on the internet and called a vicious premeditated 6 to 1 gang attack a mere "schoolyard fight". That was wrong and ColorOfChange needs to investigate the truth about Mychal Bell and the other gang members and report the truth of the Jena 6 crime.

  6. Sorry Anonymous, I can't get past nooses. I'm quiet sure, at 17, I would have kicked butt too. You just don't go around dangling nooses in front of black folk and expect nothing to happen. How would you react if the Mafia hung a noose outside your door. umm? Makes it kinda hard to eat supper, wouldn't you think?

  7. I'm glad you're keeping this alive. Accusations like this, lies, can't be allowed to stand. It's time for a public apology.

  8. Peace. I know the brother with Change of Color and he is a great and honest man. This is the bull that we as African men must stay away from. The Head Nword In charge attitude is still working overtime. Go to for the facts. This is used as a ploy to confuse and frustrate the masses to not support these types of efforts financially. This was done with the MMM also. You’ll know that one of the first strategy the oppressor class uses to control is to create dissension and negativity with a minority group toward each other to keep them unorganized and not unifying which we are doing exactly their plan. When will we learn from this game of divide and conquer. This situation should be worked out as serious men who love their people instead of this bull.

    PS. I think the reason why we do not spend and support our causes is because we are not taught at an early age about money and capital. We are taught to be consumers and wasteful spenders. Even those who profess to be of a conscious mind set still have challenges about money and finance.

  9. Please check and respond to the “Opportunity For Black Bloggers” post at the Afrospear google group. I need some immediate response and thought I might reach you here quicker than you may have checked the group.

  10. Eddie, Thanks for speaking out on this and sending me the email.

    I have responded on What About Our Daughters? To these ridiculous allegations from Baisden. Do not let baisden get away with issuing this half hearted written apology he attemted to slide under the door as he headed out for the weekend.

    He was bold enough to slander color of change live on air, his apology needs to be LIVE on air as well.

    Also, what do the jena 6 need with $1 MILLION Dollars? show me some unpaid legal bills in the amount of $1 Million Dollars.

  11. “You’ll know that one of the first strategy the oppressor class uses to control is to create dissension and negativity with a minority group toward each other to keep them unorganized and not unifying which we are doing exactly their plan.” Anonymous

    The real divide is will and should not only be whether or not we will fall into the trap of “divide and conquer”, but whether or not we are to reject the instructions of the oppressor to attack our own people. Opinions of ridicule are acceptable in private, but it is very important not to attack your own people in a time of war. This is where the real divide is.
    Unity is of quintessential importance when battling the oppressor, but those of us who turn to attack us, when the line has be drawn should not be tolerated, and should be dealt with accordingly.

  12. I am so glad that someone has finally put Michael Baisden under the spotlight. What does Michael really stand for any way. he talks a big game because he has a big audience. He demoralizes women and condems Christians. He's currently promoting his mentorship program...but my question is...are all those people he's soliciting to mentor our children the type men and women we want mentoring our children. Does he have accountability in place for the people he's bringing on board. What are the credentials and quality of his mentors???