NAACP banned from marching in Muskegon's Memorial Day Parade
Officials say all 'political' groups are prohibited this year; local branch says organization is non-partisan
Officials from the local branch of the NAACP say that are “shocked and in disbelief” after being banned from participating in this year’s Memorial Day Parade in Muskegon.
The decision to keep the local branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) out of the upcoming parade came from the Greater Muskegon Memorial Day Committee, who made a unanimous decision this year that prohibited any political group from marching in the event.
“It took me back because I didn’t understand why, and when I called them back they said it was because we are a political organization.”
That is Eric Hood. He is not only the President of the local branch of the NAACP, but also a Muskegon City Commissioner, as well as a veteran. He says, the NAACP holds no political affiliation.
“We fight for people’s civil rights. We are not on either side of the fence,” Hood said. “We are non-partisan. That is my answer.”
Newly appointed Greater Muskegon Memorial Day Committee chair Steve Allen defended the decision while speaking with WGVU.
“I did not know if they (NAACP) were a fraternal organization, so I Googled them,” Allen said. “And their mission statement said something about being political. And that was a red flag for me. So I took their (application for the parade) to the committee and they said ‘no.’”
Hood’s response? The NAACP has been around for over a hundred years, has been in the Muskegon Memorial Day Parade for as long as he can remember, and the very notion that someone had to “look up” what the NAACP stands for is a clear indication just how ignorant the decision to ban the organization from the parade is.
Meanwhile, the committee is already getting pushbacks. Muskegon Mayor Ken Johnson sent a letter urging the group to re-consider its position. For now, Allen says, the decision is unanimous and final.