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NAACP will be allowed to march in Memorial Day parade after all

Downtown Muskegon photo

Muskegon committee had banned group last week while labeling it as a "political organization."

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in Muskegon will be allowed to march in the upcoming Memorial Day Parade after the organizing committee banned the NAACP from the festivities a week ago.

The Greater Muskegon Memorial Day Committee reversed its decision after local leaders expressed outrage over the initial ban, while others called on area residents to boycott the event entirely.

Earlier this month, the committee had banned any group with political ties from marching in the parade with the goal of keeping the event non-partisan or creating political division. Groups like the NRA and Planned Parenthood were also banned, as were elected lawmakers.

Officials from the NAACP however expressed disbelief it had been labeled as a political group, considering that the organization has been around since 1909, and has never pledged its allegiance to any political party.

West Michigan NAACP branch President and Muskegon City Commissioner Eric Hood says, not only is the group not a political organization, but he is also a veteran, and says, many NAACP officials are veterans as well.

“Yes, that is correct,” Hood said. “I am a veteran, our secretary is a veteran, there are several members of our organization that are veterans; we are not the NRA; we are not Planned Parenthood. We fight for people’s civil rights,” he said.

After letters from area officials including Muskegon Mayor Ken Johnson and the Muskegon Democratic Black Caucus urging the committee to reverse its decision, the group voted in favor of reinstatement. The parade is set for May 29th from 9am to 10am.