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Folk Alliance vs. NAACP

GUEST 13 Aug 01 - 11:45 AM
Rick Fielding 13 Aug 01 - 11:53 AM
GUEST 13 Aug 01 - 12:48 PM
DebC 13 Aug 01 - 12:57 PM
GUEST 13 Aug 01 - 12:58 PM
jeffp 13 Aug 01 - 12:58 PM
Sorcha 13 Aug 01 - 01:04 PM
katlaughing 13 Aug 01 - 01:07 PM
jeffp 13 Aug 01 - 01:08 PM
GUEST 13 Aug 01 - 01:10 PM
katlaughing 13 Aug 01 - 01:14 PM
GUEST 13 Aug 01 - 01:17 PM
Tedham Porterhouse 13 Aug 01 - 01:18 PM
Sorcha 13 Aug 01 - 01:19 PM
katlaughing 13 Aug 01 - 01:26 PM
GUEST,PeteBoom (at work) 13 Aug 01 - 01:27 PM
SINSULL 13 Aug 01 - 01:31 PM
GUEST 13 Aug 01 - 01:32 PM
GUEST 13 Aug 01 - 01:37 PM
Tedham Porterhouse 13 Aug 01 - 01:42 PM
katlaughing 13 Aug 01 - 01:50 PM
GUEST 13 Aug 01 - 01:55 PM
Tedham Porterhouse 13 Aug 01 - 01:57 PM
SINSULL 13 Aug 01 - 01:57 PM
GUEST 13 Aug 01 - 02:00 PM
GUEST 13 Aug 01 - 02:04 PM
katlaughing 13 Aug 01 - 02:04 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 13 Aug 01 - 02:12 PM
GUEST 13 Aug 01 - 02:22 PM
Tedham Porterhouse 13 Aug 01 - 02:26 PM
Tedham Porterhouse 13 Aug 01 - 02:33 PM
GUEST 13 Aug 01 - 02:46 PM
DougR 13 Aug 01 - 03:04 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 13 Aug 01 - 03:10 PM
GUEST,Toledo 13 Aug 01 - 03:17 PM
GUEST 13 Aug 01 - 03:27 PM
Tedham Porterhouse 13 Aug 01 - 03:30 PM
GUEST 13 Aug 01 - 03:41 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 13 Aug 01 - 03:48 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 13 Aug 01 - 03:49 PM
GUEST,Russ 13 Aug 01 - 04:03 PM
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Grab 14 Aug 01 - 08:40 AM
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sophocleese 14 Aug 01 - 09:25 AM
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Rick Fielding 14 Aug 01 - 11:46 AM
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catspaw49 14 Aug 01 - 12:26 PM
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harpgirl 14 Aug 01 - 12:55 PM
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Subject: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 11:45 AM

The NAACP has a current boycott against the Adams Mark hotel chain because of its discrimanatory treatment of African American guests and staff. There is information on the boycott avaialble at www.naacp.org.

Today, the North American Folk Alliance announced that it will ignore the boycott and hold its February 2002 conference, as scheduled, at the Adams Mark Hotel in Jacksonville, Florida.

I always thought that folk music people and folk music organizations had principles. I guess it ain't necessarily so.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 11:53 AM

That's a bit disturbing. Can anyone else supply more info, and perhaps the Alliance's point of view regarding this issue. Is there more to this that we don't know?

Rick


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 12:48 PM

I think there is widespread belief among folkies in general that they are more virtuous and enlightened than the rest of humanity. I've seen scant evidence of that in my 30 years around folkies, who I find to be much more conservative than the political Radical Left with which they are often associated.

Knowing who is involved in the positions of power at Folk Alliance will tell the real story about this. Rank and file folkies don't make these decisions, the FA leadership does.

BTW, the accusations against the hotel, if proven to be true, are pretty awful. So folks should remember, they do have the right to start a folk boycott of the conference, if they choose to act in solidarity with the NAACP boycott.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: DebC
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 12:57 PM

This is from the Folk Alliance email list. It is an explanation from Phyllis Barney, Executive Director of Folk Alliance. Deb's Disclaimer: I am not stating an opinion on this issue, just passing along the information from FA.

The NAACP at their annual meeting in July did reinstitute their boycott of the Adams Mark hotel chain. They had previously called off their 1999 boycott in the face of a settlement with the hotel arrising from the incidents that happened at the Daytona Beach Adams Mark Hotel during the Black College Reunion. The settlement was apparently thrown out in court, which brought about the reinstitution of the boycott. This last weekend there was a call to picket Adams Mark hotels nationwide to draw attention to the boycott.

Our meeting partners for the Jacksonville conference, the Network of Cultural Centers of Color, and Folk Alliance have been working on this issue since the story broke a few weeks ago. The Executive Committee of Folk Alliance and the NCCC Board both agree that while difficult, we have to move forward with our meeting plans at this facility in Jacksonville.

As you know, we booked in Jacksonville in to the Adams Mark hotel because our Pittsburgh location went under the wrecking ball. We booked during the time that there was no boycott in force. We are under contract with the Adams Mark, a contract that would cost us considerably (up to $300,000) to walk away from. Folk Alliance does not have the funds to do this. In addition, there is little chance of finding another location at this late date, meaning no annual conference. Without a conference, our organization is in serious jeopardy.

We are writing a joint letter to the Adams Mark chain, and a letter to the NAACP indicating our position. We are not alone in this. The Black Theater Arts Festival met last weekend in South Carolina at an Adams Mark - because they were under the same contractural situation that we are under. We are urging the hotel to enter into discussions with the NAACP right away, and to resolve the issues that are still on the table. If both organizations commit to resolution, they will have one prior to February.

While they are working together, we will be addressing the boycott issue in our programming, as NCCC Executive Director John Thorpe is planning a panel on artist responsiblilites in the face of calls to action/boycott. In addition, we have options open to us while in Jacksonville for creative and visible ways of drawing attention to the issue. So we can be part of a positive statement while we are there.

Phyllis Barney, Executive Director North American Folk Music and Dance Alliance


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 12:58 PM

Whoooaaa! There goes the neighborhood!

Found this at the conference website:

NETWORK OF CULTURAL CENTERS OF COLOR & FOLK ALLIANCE

Two Conferences in One!

For many years our two organizations have sought mutual points of interest and concern. Our two boards of directors convened in Washington, DC to explore issues surrounding arts advocacy and possible collaboration. From that meeting came a commitment to convene in the future. That future is now.

Cultural inequity is an ongoing issue for cultural centers of color and artists who perform folk music. It is this shared disenfranchisement that led to our two organizations desire to come together in one conference. The possible collaborations and possibility for networking are really limitless.

Through panels, workshops, showcases and the Exhibit Hall, we'll have a chance to meet, exchange information, and move forward on partnerships and collaborations to strengthen both organizations.

End quote

Talk about your hypocrisy! Sheesh!


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: jeffp
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 12:58 PM

So, do you have any facts to supply? Or can you point us to anyone with the facts?


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: Sorcha
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 01:04 PM

I believe DebC just did. Seems to me like everyone concerned is working on the problem.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: katlaughing
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 01:07 PM

Here is the latest press release from the NAACP site. It seems the hotel chain doesn't want NAACP picketers around its hotels.

July 27, 2001

NAACP STANDS BY ADAM'S MARK BOYCOTT IN FACE OF LAWSUIT BY HOTEL
Constitutional precedent says NAACP has right to boycott the lodging company

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) today said it stands by it boycott of the Adams' Mark hotel chain in the face of a lawsuit filed Friday by the HBE Corporation, owner of the Adam's Mark hotel chain. The suit is an attempt to prevent picketing by the NAACP at its hotels and to force the civil rights organization to halt its political boycott of the chain that was announced earlier this month.

NAACP President and CEO Kweisi Mfume said: "This lawsuit is a blatant attempt to stifle the voice of the NAACP and others engaged in legitimate public criticism of this company's discriminatory practices, and we will vigorously defend against it. The mission of the NAACP is to speak truth to power, and we will not be silenced by this heavy-handed attempt to shut off public debate. The First Amendment was designed to protect against just this kind of censorship."

Federal and state officials and various citizens, along with the NAACP, have accused the hotel chain of racial discrimination. Although the hotel chain is currently operating under a consent decree entered into with the Department of Justice, it has refused to date to publicly acknowledge its wrongful conduct or to settle the remaining discrimination actions against it.

The lawsuit, filed in federal district court in Baltimore, names as defendants the NAACP, NAACP Board Chairman Julian Bond, and Mfume. Adam's Mark said it intends early next week to ask the Court for an injunction prohibiting the NAACP and its members from picketing its establishments or otherwise calling for a boycott of the company's facilities.

Mfume said, "The lawsuit filed today can be traced directly to complaints regarding Adam's Mark hotel chain's discriminatory practices toward African Americans, including particularly its treatment of guests at its Daytona Beach,

Florida hotel during the Black College Reunion weekend in 1999."

In 1999, the NAACP, the Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights, and three private law firms filed a lawsuit on behalf of several guests at the Daytona Beach property. The plaintiffs allege they were forced to prepay for rooms and amenities; wear non-detachable, neon-orange identification wristbands; and enter the hotel through barricades staffed by a heavy police presence. The plaintiffs also allege that the hotel refused to allow its African American guests to unload their luggage in its covered entryway and refused to rent to them anything but the most basic rooms, reserving its better rooms for employees and police officers staying at the hotel.

After the guests filed suit, the Florida Attorney General moved to intervene on the guests' side, and the U.S. Department of Justice filed a separate lawsuit of its own arising out of the Daytona Beach incident. In March 2000, the St. Louis-based company agreed to settle these lawsuits and would have paid out over $8 million and implemented anti-discrimination programs and training, but the federal judge hearing the case declined to approve the proposed class-action settlement. Since then, Adam's Mark has refused to support the settlement on appeal and has refused to proceed in good faith to settle the State of Florida's and the guests' case, which remains pending.

Adam's Mark did, however, enter into a settlement with the Department of Justice that resulted in the court's entry of a consent decree. Although the hotel agreed to undertake certain training of its employees and to be subject to monitoring for compliance with the terms of the decree, Adam's Mark refused to admit that it had committed discrimination or to apologize for its conduct.

Earlier this month, the Florida Commission on Human Relations concluded that there was reasonable cause to believe that Adam's Mark had unlawfully discriminated against African American guests during the 1999 Black College Reunion. The announcement by the Commission, coupled with the failure of Adam's Mark to negotiate in good faith a settlement of the lawsuit brought by the NAACP, prompted the NAACP to renew its earlier call for economic sanctions against the chain on July 11, 2001.

The hotel company responded by threatening to sue the NAACP if it did not call off the boycott and, although the NAACP pointed out to Adam's Mark that its protest is fully protected by the Constitution, the hotel company today filed suit.

"The Adam's Mark lawsuit flies in the face not just of long-standing Supreme Court precedent," Mfume noted, "but also in the face of the very purpose and meaning of the First Amendment to our great Constitution. Instead of trying, through a meritless lawsuit, to shut us up, Adam's Mark should stand up, squarely admit that it has done wrong, publicly apologize to those who were the victims of its discriminatory conduct, and explain specifically what it is doing and will do to correct its behavior. That is what we have sought, and what the hotel company so far has refused to do."

The United States Supreme Court repeatedly has upheld the right oforganizations like the NAACP to engage in non-violent economic boycotts as a means of political protest. Some twenty years ago, in the NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware Co. case that grew out of a racial dispute between African American citizens

and white merchants, the Court unanimously held that "speech to protest racial discrimination is essential political speech lying at the core of the First Amendment." The high court further ruled that those who engage in non-violent picketing and other forms of communication as part of a boycott may not be punished, or held civilly liable, for doing so.

"Until Adam's Mark publicly acknowledges responsibility for its wrongdoing and comes to terms with the plaintiffs in the pending discrimination lawsuit, Mfume said, "the NAACP will continue to call on all persons and organizations who support the principle of equality under the law to stop doing business with the Adam's Mark hotels."

Founded in 1909, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its half-million adult and youth members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities and monitor equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.

###


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: jeffp
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 01:08 PM

Thanks, Deb. You must have posted while I was writing. From the Alliance's release it appears that things are not as cut-and-dried as Guest's posting made it out to be. Hence my request.

jeffp


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 01:10 PM

No--DebC did NOT just post "facts." She just posted the Folk Alliance's justification for ignoring the boycott. Those aren't facts at all.

And they use the most predictable means of "defense" for choosing to ignore the boycott: trotting out a group of Uncle Tom's to take the flak for them.

Despicable. Absolutely despicable.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: katlaughing
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 01:14 PM

It seems to me they are trying to make the best of a bad situation. $300,000 for a folk group is nothing to just blow off. I hope thoough that they can work something out with the NAACP to make it a really educational opportunity. Despite the boycott, I think it would be fitting for members of the NAACP to attend, a sort of "get in their face" kind of thing which could really focus attention on the nefarious deeds of the hotel chain. Exposure is the only thing which might make such things change.

It is regretable that they are already locked into that site for the conference, but unless a philanthropist steps in and offers to back them for their loss, it would be bad managing to lose those funds.

kat


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 01:17 PM

kat,

I believe that was already decided in favor of the NAACP. This too, is from their website today, and as I understand it, is in relation to the suit you cite above:

Q: Why did the judge who heard the case in federal district court rule in the NAACP's favor?

A: The judge rejected the Adam's Mark hotel's attempt to stop the NAACP's boycott, saying that the chain's request for an injunction would unconstitutionally restrict the NAACP's First Amendment right to free speech in an incident in which substantial evidence exists that racial discrimination did occur.

Q: Was Adam's Mark involved in any other incidents regarding racial discrimination before the NAACP, the U.S. Department of Justice and the State of Florida filed suits in 1999?

A: Yes. From 1991 to 1999 they were found guilty in two lawsuits of based on based on racial discrimination claims.

End quote


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: Tedham Porterhouse
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 01:18 PM

I have vivid memories of being 21 years old in 1963 and being one of many thousands gathered on the mall singing along to the likes of Peter, Paul & Mary and other folksingers before Dr. King made his legendary and inspiring "I have a dream" speech.

I remember folksingers being at the forefront of the civil rights movement, of leading marches and boycotts. Now, they prepare to have a convention at a hotel under boycott by the NAACP. FOR SHAME.

Phyllis Barney makes the excuse that the boycott was not in force when the Folk Alliance moved the 2002 conference to the Adams Mark Hotel. However, the incidents that led to the boycott occurred in 1999 and were the subject of an earlier boycott by the NAACP long BEFORE the Folk Alliance booked this facility. That should have presented the Folk Alliance with a bright red flag.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: Sorcha
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 01:19 PM

I just figured that since Guest is so up in arms about this that it would send FA the bucks to cancel their contract. I seriously doubt that calling the Centers of Color people Uncle Toms is going to help much of anything.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: katlaughing
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 01:26 PM

Granted, Tedham, they should have done some homework, but what would you have them do about the $300,000? I would think losing that kind of money would spell the end of the Alliance? It would be a grand gesture and one which is morally right, but the world literally does not function in black and white...too many gray areas. Use it for an op to teach, get in their faces, make them uncomfortable, put them on notice and let the whole world watch.

kat


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST,PeteBoom (at work)
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 01:27 PM

Good point, Sorcha, if GUEST would cough up the 300G's that would release FA from its contractual obligations I bet they'd be willing to find an alternative location.

At the same time, demanding that AM admit they, as an organization, did something worng is HIGHLY unlikely. They may admit any number of things up TO that, but not that the organization as a whole did anything wrong. (Remember the Denny's fiasco a couple of years ago?)


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: SINSULL
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 01:31 PM

This is a tough one. I personally have not set foot in a Denny's since their racist behavior a few years back. I personally would boycott this chain for recreational or business travel. If I were attending this conference, I would arrange to sleep and eat elsewhere but would support the group's decision to honor its contract in view of the financial loss the cancellation would incur.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 01:32 PM

I agree Tedham Porterhouse. And I'd sure like to see "proof" of their losing $300,000 if cancelling this far in advance. Money shouldn't be the deciding factor in this case, principle and ethics should be.

But that isn't the point. Folk Alliance could send a powerful message, not to get some incredibly positive press which could have a much more beneficial effect on the organization in the long run, by cancelling the conference for 2002, in solidarity with the boycott.

By choosing to go ahead with the conference, I think the organization has just signed it's own death warrant as an effective folk music organization anyway.

CNN.com is already reporting that one United Negro College Fund banquet being given by a small college in Memphis (I think) scheduled at the Adams Mark there for the end of August, has been cancelled. Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis had been scheduled speakers, and they have said they won't attend any functions at Adams Mark Hotels.

If other small organizations with events booked for the coming weeks can decide to take the financial hit on principle, why not Folk Alliance, who has six months before the conference is scheduled to convene?

What a crock Phyllis Barney! Do you think we all fell off the peach truck yesterday?


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 01:37 PM

Sinsull,

With all due respect, if you chose to attend the conference, even while staying and eating elsewhere, you would be breaking the boycott.

Is it worth it to break an important boycott like this, just to "honor a contract" with a racist hotel chain?


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: Tedham Porterhouse
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 01:42 PM

kat,

I've decided to support the boycott and that means this will be the first FA Conference in nine years that I'll have missed. Therefore FA will be minus my $350 registration fee. And I'll think long and hard about renewing my membership, that's another $60.

I know that my thinking on this is not unique among FA members. It seems to me that FA is looking at a $300,000 loss because of a stupid blunder, or a possible mass defection of members on an issue of principle.

I think the organization would be in a better position to rebuild if it acted on the principles that have underlied the folk movement for many decades.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: katlaughing
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 01:50 PM

Fair enough, Tedham. Thank you. That does change my mind. I do think the boycott is the ethically right thing to do and to support. If the org. can handle losing the money on the contract AND its members will stand up for it and support it in THAT action, then I say more power to the members who follow their conscious and do not attend.

Question, though? Have you let them know why you will not be attending? Is there a grassroots movement among memebrs to do so and really get behind such an effort? seems to me that would be the way to get them to change their minds.

All the best,

kat


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 01:55 PM

Here is Adams Mark's response to the NAACP court victory last Friday:

http://www.adamsmark.com/news26.htm

My 1:32 p.m. message should have read:

"Folk Alliance could send a powerful message, not to mention get some incredibly positive press which could have a much more beneficial effect on the organization in the long run, by cancelling the conference for 2002, in solidarity with the boycott. "

And I think Tedham's message above illustrates that point.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: Tedham Porterhouse
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 01:57 PM

Kat,

I will be sending a message to the FA today about my decision. This issue just surfaced yesterday on the FA e-mail group and I already know of several other people who will not be attending the FA Conference in Jacksonville because of this issue.

I think it will be very telling for the future of the FA when some of the high profile FA members who were active in the civil rights movement make themselves heard on this issue.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: SINSULL
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 01:57 PM

You are twisting my words. "Honor the contract in view of the financial loss. If the boycott were to cost the Folk Alliance its very existence, breaking the contract is not an option. Going ahead with the conference and working with black groups to put the issue "in their (Adams Mark Hotels) face" is an acceptable alternative.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 02:00 PM

I think members should be given the opportunity to express their disagreement with FA leadership on the FA website, atthe very least.

This was a highly presumptuous move on the leadership's part--shows they aren't very connected to the membership. You'd think they would have at least polled the membership to see what kind of backing they had for such a controversial decision before making this announcement.

Good God, the pickets only started over the weekend, and FA already had press releases at the ready on Monday morning?

That tells me they always intended to go on with the conference, regardless of what ANYONE said, did, etc.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 02:04 PM

Sinsull, I didn't mean to twist your words.

We don't all share your apparent belief that FA is such a valuable organization that it should continue to be supported (and sustained by its membership, grant monies,etc) in light of such a decision as the one they've taken in this instance.

Because an organization's mission is to support folk music, doesn't mean it is automatically deserving of support,even without this sort of controversy.

Not everyone in the folk world is an enthusiastic supporter of FA.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: katlaughing
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 02:04 PM

Thank you, Ted.

Guest, just a question. If you are a member of the FA and you could post on their website, would you let them know you were a member by adding you name, so that your message had more impact? Just curious.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 02:12 PM

Breaking the contract would also mean that there would be a court fight over the contract, which could end up costing much more than the $300,000 if the Folk Alliance lost. Obtaining a suitable site at this late date not only would be expensive, but would probably entail losses from attendance more costly than boycott by folk individuals at the current site would. None of the postings explain why the $8 million settlement was thrown out. Was the award, and the case of the complainants, considered unjustified? I am sure that the FA organizers and their legal consultant have considered the problems involved. Knee-jerk reactions do not help.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 02:22 PM

Here is the address of Folk Alliance's mailing listserv archive:

http://archives.his.com/fa-worldmusic/

The most recent message on the archive is last Thursday.

It is quite simple to join the listserv to voice your opinion about this decision, and read what list members have to say about it.

Folk Alliance also has regional conferences which can be boycotted. One can also write to the sponsors of the FA conferences, and express their views.

There are also a number of excellent media outlets for expressing points of view within the folk world--think in terms of your local radio programs, newsletters, etc. who might also give people a forum for discussing the issue.

I think its important to involve local NAACP folks in the conversation too.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: Tedham Porterhouse
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 02:26 PM

One of the problems with the Folk Alliance is that while its an organization of "grass roots" kind of people, it operates in a "top down" kind of way. Its major decisions are often made behind closed doors with little or no input from the membership. Decisions are presented as final.

Even members of the FA Board of Directors are often out of the decision-making loop. A former board member that I know told me that the board had no input into such issues as to where to hold the conference.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: Tedham Porterhouse
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 02:33 PM

Guest,

The archive address that you gave is for a World Music discussion group that's hosted by the Folk Alliance.

The address for the Folk Alliance e-mail group is http://archives.his.com/folk-alliance/. I think you have to be a member of the Folk Alliance to subscribe.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 02:46 PM

This type of behavior isn't limited to this instance or to the FA. Sing Out, that long-time left-wing bastion, is using a scab printer because union shops charge too much.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: DougR
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 03:04 PM

Kat: Do you suppose "guest" has a name? He/she successfully avoided addressing your suggestion in his/her reply.

It would seem to me, were I a member of FA, that I would want to know a lot more about this situation from the FA than is contained in that press release to members before I cancelled attending anything. I would want to make direct communication with the leadership of the Folk Alliance to find out what is going on.

The NAACP has perfomed a tremendous service for minorities in the this country through the years, but that does not mean that it is "right" in every instance.

DougR


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 03:10 PM

Guest seems to be short on facts.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST,Toledo
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 03:17 PM

Could we stay on topic, and leave Guest identities out of it? They have nothing to do with the subject being discussed, or the quality of the information being provided by guest(s).

I've followed the links provided in the guest messages, and every one of them is legitimate.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 03:27 PM

Tedham,

It doesn't appear to me that one must be a FA member to join the mailing list. This is from the Folk Alliance's listserv page:

Folk Alliance List Serve

Folk Alliance hosts a list serve for its members and other interested people. To join the list, send an email message to majordomo@lists.his.com and write:

subscribe folk-alliance

by itself in the message body. (To receive the digest version of the list, write 'subscribe folk-alliance-digest'.).

To leave the list, send a message to to same address and write:

unsubscribe folk-alliance

in the message body (or unsubscribe folk-alliance-digest').

There is a web-accessible archive of the messages from this list at http://archives.his.com/folk-alliance .


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: Tedham Porterhouse
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 03:30 PM

I stand corrected. Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 03:41 PM

At a panel discussion on "Music and Politics" at the Folk Alliance 1999 conference, several panelists and audience members agreed that the folk scene had become too insular and musically conservative.

I would hope that at least some of those folk performers with FA associations, who are also known for having a strong social conscience, will come out in opposition to the executive committee's decision. Steve Earle, who gave such a passionate performance on the above mentioned panel, immediately springs to mind. But there are many others.

Let us hope that enough pressure can be brought to bear on the FA executive committee by the membership, well-known folkies, and conference sponsors concerned with losing business, that they will change the decision to hold the conference at Adams Mark, and violate the NAACP boycott.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 03:48 PM

The statement by the Folk Alliance posted by DebC seems satisfactory to me, at this time. Finding a suitable site at reasonable cost, especially at this late date, is unlikely. The action by the NAACP in reinstituting the boycott occurred after the negotiations for the site. I would still like to see the reasons why the Court judge threw out the settlement. Was the award unjustified? Did the Florida papers report any information about this decision?


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 03:49 PM

Sorry about the double click

it's okay, that's what joeclones are for:-)


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 04:03 PM

Laying it on the line for principal is not easy, convenient, or cheap. Never has been. There are always good practical reasons for avoiding the issues. Thank god for the people who have been willing to pay the price.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST,From Florida
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 04:04 PM

I'd like a show of hands of all those who were in Florida for the Black College Reunion. It turned into a riot and many hotels/motels were property damaged. That is why hotels are choosing to NOT participate in the activities. Had it been called the "White" College Reunion or "Jewish" College Reunion, and the results been the same, the Adams Mark, et. al., wouldn't be renting to them either. I am neither a bigot nor a conservative, but facts are facts.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 04:16 PM

Dicho,

It appears you are more interested in being a confrontational and antagonistic, than in educating yourself about the "facts" about this boycott. Sitting back and taking cheap shots at other posters for not presenting "facts" while you refuse to get off your sorry ass and go educate yourself about the issue is pure laziness, indolence, and utter bullshit. It also means that your opinions in this thread are worthless, because you have no knowledge or information to contribute to the discussion.

There is all kinds of information on and off line about the case and the history of the lawsuits.

Yes, lawsuits PLURAL. The NAACP was joined by the U.S. Department of Justice and the State of Florida, both of whom filed separate lawsuits against Adams Mark regarding this case, saying that the hotel chain violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (public accommodations law guaranteeing every citizen the right to use equally hotels, parks, restaurants and other public places).


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 04:46 PM

I'd like to hear from the likes of Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, Tom Paxton, Si Kahn, Odetta, Linda Tillery, Kim and Reggie Harris, etc. on this issue.

Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee are on record as supporting the boycott. Their son, Guy Davis, is a Folk Alliance member. I'd like to hear his position.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: DougR
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 05:20 PM

So. GUEST is a flamer.

DougR


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 05:20 PM

Guest Russ,

And do you suppose its any coincidence the only defense the FA makes of their action is that the cost of doing the right thing is prohibitive for them? ;-)


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 05:31 PM

No, guest is not a flamer. Flame baiting by Dicho was met with strong language by guest.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 05:58 PM

I don't know anything about this from this distance, but sometimes maybe there's a role for an ignorant outsider.

I wouldn't have thought that $300,000 is all that much. Even on financial grounds I'd imagine that, if the effect of going ahead with this conference is to alienate a whole mass of members and patrons and so forth, that's likely to be even more destructive. Doing that is the kind of thing that destroys organisations - financial crises are the kind of thing that can waken them up and give them renewed vigour.

The National Folk Festival in England had to be cancelled this year, because of the Foot and Mouth epidemic. These things happen. I'd have thought the sensible thing for the Folk Alliance would be to cancel, and throw efforts into organising a fund-raising benefit or benefits to cover the cost.

And I know you're a litigious lot in the States, but why should there be any court case about it? The booking is cancelled, there's a penalty to pay, presumably covering the cost involved in renting the facilities, less the money which the company will presumably make by letting some of them out to other people. How it that different from any of us cancelling our holiday bookings because we've changed our minds? Or go the whole hog, don't cancel the renting, just cancel the conference and nobody goes. And of course, if the management of the FA (great initials) don't want to do that, presumably a lot of the members will do that themselves anyway.

(And I don't want to make a thing of it, because it goes round in circles - but I make it 15 posts by GUEST plus the one that started it. Is it correct to assume that there is one GUEST so far on the thread? Or 16? Or something in between.)


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: catspaw49
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 06:12 PM

Still somewhat short on facts and long on supposition and innuendo, but it is a fact that Adam's Mark has had two violations of CRA64 and the current picketing (here too) is well documented, legal, and defined.

Whether anyone else has an ulterior motive or whether riots occurred is either supposition or a personal view of reality. News reports do not document "riots." There was some trouble, but was it a riot? Really? Not important to the issue of whether AM was once again in violation of CRA64. That alone is enough to make anyone consider what staying at an AM means, like Denny's, Dairy Mart, or others.

The question is the position of the FA on the issue and taking unilateral action without consulting with the membership. Look at the roots of the FA and the people who started it. If it has wandered so far from those roots and the membership still values them, is it past it's usefulness? Quite possibly. Perhaps it's time for a change in leadership. Perhaps it's time for a new organization. I certainly don't have answers here, but failing to support the NAACP and continuing to support AM is certainly telling.............but again, I too can only guess.

I am bothered by the lines saying "we MUST have a conference to survive" and that "no other arrangements can be made and we're worried about the money.".....words to that effect. Every one of those is an overcomable condition and if the attitude is that bucks are more important than rights and non-support of an actionable business, than I would conclude that the FA has forgotten where it came from. Taking a stand for a belief is never easy nor is it anything but costly......always been true.

Could be that the folks in the FA are less interested in issues than they once were. Time for a new organization, perhaps, for those who still are. If the argument is "Gee, the FA still does a lot of good and we'll fold this time to keep it alive,".........then it's roots are already dead.

Spaw - Commie Pinko


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 06:16 PM

You may assume anything you like McGrath. The number or identity of guests posting here is of absolutely no importance or consequence in this thread. Everyone seems to be doing just fine discussing the issue without knowing who is whom, and focusing instead on the issue we are all interested in discussing here.

And the reason you felt it necessary to bring up that contentious issue again here was...?


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 06:47 PM

I sit 2000 miles away, so getting information is not easy. I don't believe that it has been covered in the local papers. The Miami Herald site only gives abstracts- the latest says that the $8 million suit review comes up in November. Certainly guest is not providing information on why the settlement was overturned. From what I can see so far, the FA is getting a bum rap from people with emotions but little thought. If the other guest "From Florida" is correct in his comments, perhaps the Adams chain has a legal position. There is little point in further posting since guest (who started this) has shown that he cannot present rational, factual arguments.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 06:51 PM

Guest - (if that is your real name!) You bring up some good points but relax! The only way to win supporters to any cause is to get them to trust you, not alienate people with abusive retorts.

As for the anonymous postings. It absolutely is important and has consequence. The Klan used to wear hoods to hide their faces. I think a lot of people mistrust or ignore voices they can't recongize. People who have the courtesy to stand up for what they believe in are more apt to taken more seriously then an anonymous crank.

Sorry guest, I don't mean to sound negative, but you have inadvertently clouded the real issue at hand.

You did a very important service to all of us by bringing this issue up here at Mudcat. Many of us may not have been aware of the situation. Thank you for making us aware!

Ron


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 06:56 PM

Well it's not a particulary important thing GUEST - but three times on this thread so far there have been consecutive posts by GUEST following directly on GUEST.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 07:02 PM

So it make life easier to following the argument to know whether for example these are contributions by separate people, or a second post by the same person. Like I just did here.

It's just that that kind of thing focuses attention on the messenger, rather than on the message. And the message, or rather the topic is what is of interest here.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 07:20 PM

Ron,

Thanks, but I'm neither upset or hysterical. The response I gave was perfectly appropriate to Dicho's provocations.

As to using the Klan analogy for anonymous posting in Mudcat, you couldn't be more inflammatory. To equate my or any other anonymous guest's contributions to the actions of the Klan is indefensible.

BTW, the Klan still wears hoods.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 07:25 PM

Dicho,

It isn't my or anyone else's responsibility to spoon feed you information, or otherwise provide you with information you are perfectly capable of finding on your own.

This is at the bottom of barrel of specious arguments of the day.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 07:28 PM

catspaw,

I believe the so-called "difficulties" Adams Mark spoke of are best viewed in the context of "kids on spring break in Florida" types of disturbances, certainly no rioting as you said.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 07:40 PM

Guest -

I certainly did not make my statement as an analogy to any ones contribution here on Mudcat. That is ridiculous and inflammatory!

On a subject like this, an anonymous poster could have obvious ties to either Folk Alliance or the NAACP. Why should we listen to someone who can't stand by their name?

Ron


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 07:43 PM

Ron,

See "file anonymous guest complaints here" thread please.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: Sorcha
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 07:49 PM

From the NAACP offical site:

Q & A for Adam's Mark Pickets August 10-11, 2001

Q: Why is the NAACP calling for a massive, all-out boycott of the Adam's Mark hotel chain?

A: The NAACP is boycotting the Adam's Mark hotel chain because in 1999, the NAACP, (on behalf of some hotel guests and visitors) the U.S. Department of Justice and the State of Florida filed separate lawsuits against Adams Mark, saying that the hotel chain violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (public accommodations law guaranteeing every citizen the right to use equally hotels, parks, restaurants and other public places). These lawsuits were filed after people attending Black College Reunion Weekend in Daytona Beach, Fla. alleged that as guests at Adam's Mark, they were forced to wear non-detachable, neon orange identification wristbands, forced to enter the hotel through barricades and a heavy police presence, and rented only the most basic rooms. Although, Adam's Mark initially agreed to an NAACP's $ 8 million settlement, the trial judge refused to approve the settlement on procedural grounds. That decision is on appeal and Adam's Mark has refused to support the appeal, or to otherwise settle the guests' and the State the State of Florida's case, the NAACP called for an all-out boycott of the hotel chain at our National Convention in July.

(Please note that the settlement was not approved by the judge because of "procedural grounds". Nothing more is said anywhere about which procedures or whose procedures were not correct)


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: mousethief
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 07:50 PM

Who's that clip-cloppin' over my bridge?


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: mousethief
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 07:54 PM

Seems to me that in this country, we are innocent until proven guilty, and the courts have said that Adam Mark's previous "Guilty" conviction (so to speak) was somehow incorrect. I'm willing to wait for a final ruling before deciding that A.M. is a hotbed of 21-century racism. Until the legal dust has settled, the righteous indignation against the Folk Alliance seems misplaced.

alex


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 07:55 PM

I'd think the Klan analogy was essentially about the undeniable fact that if someone stood up at a public meeting swathed in white robes, people would see the costume and wouldn't hear what the person inside was saying, however sensible and humane that might in fact be.

In that kind of context the effect would be to concentrate attention on the individual, though not on their words. Not the anonymity of self-abnegation, but the anonymity of someone seeking to draw attention to themselves rather than contributing to an exchange of views. At least that is how it would be interpreted, and predictably so.

But it really would be better to talk about those kind of things in another thread about those kind of things, and there are bound to be more of them (and there are maybe some interesting ideas there to be unravelled and explored. But surely not here.)

Reverting to the Folk Alliance - could someone explain where it fits in, and what does. Is it analogous to the English Folk Dance and Song Society? Or Comhaltas ? If it crumbles or splits what difference is that likely to make?


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: catspaw49
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 08:14 PM

First, let me revert to some info on "Adam's Mark." I would urge you all to go to THIS WEBSITE........Read.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 08:27 PM

McGrath,

The Klan has nothing to do with this thread or the boycott. Period.

FA was founded by some Californians active on the folk scene, who felt folk needed professionalizing (and no, they haven't been universally praised for their "mission"). The annual conference is done somewhat similarly to South by Southwest, if you are familiar with that one. Its an opportunity for performers to network for gigs, to get signed to a label, get representation, hawk their wares,that sort of thing.

Its unlikely the organization could be split. The leadership (ie executive committee) is still largely under the thumb of the founders, as I understand it. More likely the dissenting membership would be disenfranchised, as happened in the KPFA case. And considering where you sit, you likely aren't familiar with that one either.

So suffice it to say, a lot of people don't like the rough equivalent of folk suits at FA dictating to the folk community at large, which they do not represent. I can't see anything positive coming out of this for FA. Nothing whatsoever. They appear to have boiled the tar and brought the feathers.

As to the conference being necessary, no--I'm quite sure the NA folk community can get on quite well without them.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: mousethief
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 08:27 PM

Thank you, Spaw. I stand corrected.

Alex


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: Sorcha
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 08:32 PM

Good heavens, Pat. I stand corrected also. Garrun-damn-tees I'll never stay in one of their hotels. I was just trying to keep an open mind about the whole thing, but that site blows that away doesn't it? "Old South image" indeed.....!!!! My enlightenment for the day I guess.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: DougR
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 08:34 PM

Hear, hear, Alex! I agree with you! (there will be a brief pause while Mousethief recovers)

The executive committee of most nonprofit organizations is charged with the responsibility of making decisions for the organization it has been elected to represent. There will ALWAYS be folks who disagree with the decisions made by that group.

GUEST may have a perfectly legitimate grievance but the Executive Committee's side has yet to be heard from here in the Mudcat. We have only heard GUEST's views.

If I were a member, I would want to know more about why the Executive Committee's decided as it did before making a decision either way.

I have a feeling those of you who are members will be hearing from them directly(through the Executive Director) very soon.

And I can assure you McGrath, I certainly know of NO nonprofit organization in this country that could easily "eat" $300,000 in this country. Particularly a national service organization as this one apparently is.

DougR


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 08:37 PM

Mousethief,

Apparently the word of the NAACP isn't good enough for you.

Is there a sufficiently white organization you need to hear this information from before you accept that Adams Mark hotels have a long history of institutionalized racial discrimination?


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 08:44 PM

Doug R,

Since you apparently haven't bothered to read this thread (and so presumably don't mind your ignorance showing), I would direct you to Deb C's post of 12:57 p.m. wherein she quotes the Executive Director's justification for violating the NAACP boycott.

You might also like to read the messages here from Tedham Porterhouse, a Folk Alliance member who has been contributing to this thread.

You may also follow the story on the Folk Alliance email list, which you may join with ease by following the instructions provided on their listserv page, provided by Guest in their 3:27 p.m. message.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 08:55 PM

Catspaw is the first to come up with something that is not a position statement put out by one of the two principal litigants. The fact that the National Bar Assn. is withholding custom from the hotel chain until a decision is made is an important point. The Folk Alliance is still in the frying pan. If it is a small group, they cannot afford to lose money or engage in litigation to protect their stake. Contracts not honored are to lawyers what rotten fruit is to fruit flies- you lose even if you win. Americans are litigious; it has become a game and the ridiculous monetary awards only extend the time taken up in the courts, at great taxpayer expense..


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: catspaw49
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 09:26 PM

Dear Guest, you too could do with some reading of the thread before you dis ol' Mousethief. At 8:27, he posted this:

Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: mousethief
Date: 13-Aug-01 - 08:27 PM

Thank you, Spaw. I stand corrected.

Alex

This was after reading the link I posted to the OAH site, an organization of many colors.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 10:10 PM

Right catspaw, read the link you posted. I may be in the minority, but I always read the links other posters provide of this sort.

The problem I'm having with a few posters here is what appears to me to be a presumption on their part that the word of the NAACP should be treated as suspect regarding racial discrimination against African Americans.

The OAH reflects a diverse constituency, it is true, but they don't represent African Americans exclusively, as the NAACP does. This case is about racial discrimination against African Americans specifically. So one wonders why the NAACP suit against the hotel chain is viewed with such suspicion, particularly in light of the previous judgments against the hotel chain in question for similar civil rights violations.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: DougR
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 01:40 AM

I did read the whole thread, rude guest. I did not, however, read the link Pat provided. I just read it and it seems to me that Folk Alliance either did not have access to that information, or they must have believed that the situation had been corrected when they booked the hotel. The charges against the hotel were made in the 90s. Isn't it possible that the hotel has in the intirim taken corrective measures?

Or perhaps, rude guest, it is your position that even if they have, they should still be punished for past transgressions?

DougR


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: Art Thieme
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 02:27 AM

I'd feel much better about trying to make up my mind on this if I knew who the hell GUEST is---who he/she represents---how his or her ox is getting gored and why they have chosen to gore our ox.

It seems like a very convenient way for other agendaed people to create havoc here in folkieland while we are conveniently caught between Iraq and a hard place.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST,..gargoyle
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 02:27 AM

I'm all FOR the boycott.....

You won't find my black, sorry ass seattin' in them seats, at them thar conference gatherin'.

If it is still within "current" memory....it ain't "folk." This was corporate bigotry at its worst.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 05:35 AM

I don't get it - whether you are an individual or an organisation, if you book a room or whatever in advance and then you decide to cancel it, where does the litigation come in?

You just pay up whatever the appropriate amount is, which can't very well be more than the amount you would have paid anyway. How's it different from buying something and then throwing it away? If I buy something in America and decide to bin it, I can really get sued by the people who sold it to me?

And though $300,000 is a fair old sum, if the alternative is to lose its membership I'd think that could be a lot more damaging. Anyway organisations come and go and die and get reborn. They aren't what matters.

(And the point I was making wasn't about the Klan as such, it was about "anonymous" clothing. But that's a matter better left to another thread anyway.)


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 07:18 AM

I expect people to come to these discussions informed. If you aren't informed about the subject, it is easy to do. This story has been around a long time. The NAACP story was carried by all the networks and mass media in the US over the weekend. One can enter any number of keywords at Google, and find a lot of objective and subjective information about this case.

When people come into threads about subjects they clearly know nothing about, and selectively start attacking a poster who's opinion/position they have decided they don't like, is flame baiting and trolling.

Flame baiting and trolling has consequences.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: John P
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 07:39 AM

Is there any way we can discuss this subject while completely ignoring the posts from our rude guest? I am as outraged as the next person about the whole FA / NAACP thing, but I am equally outraged by a rude, stongly opinionated person who hides behind his anonymity while insulting anyone who doesn't immediately fall into lockstep with his opinion. I thought the comparison to the Klan was, in some ways, apt. I also think that comparisons to obscene or crank phone callers are apt.

Imagine yourself in any social gathering, perhaps a meeting of your local Folklore Society. There is a person there that no one knows who is delivering strong opinions while flinging insults at other people in the room. She repeatedly refuses to give anyone her name. What is your response?

And no, this comment does not belong in another thread. The rude behavior is happening in this thread.

John Peekstok


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: John P
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 07:44 AM

As for the Folk Alliance, I'm not a member and wouldn't have gone to the conference anyway. I went to one several years ago and quickly decided that they were pursuing a completely different agenda than I am. Their deciding not to move or cancel their conference certainly confirms that decision for me.

John


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: Grab
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 08:40 AM

$300,000 is a lot of money for your typical organisation. Even if the Folk Alliance was collecting millions a year, it's still a lot of money, and non-profit-making organisations generally work with pretty tight budgets to ensure that the money they collect goes to benefit their cause - in fact, being an officer of the organisation and hoarding money instead of using it for the stated purpose of the organisation is a good recipe for having legal action taken against you! They doubtless will have a cash buffer, but $300k is a big hit. I couldn't find details of the NAFA budgets on the web, so I couldn't say exactly what proportion it would be.

Incidentally Guest, why do you say that NAFA are lying when they say that they can't move the booking for the reasons they gave? What evidence do _you_ have against them? Remember that hundreds of ppl have paid for this already.

An acceptable move for NAFA would be to poll its members to see what they reckon, with three options: (a) stay there, (b) cancel this year, or (c) move somewhere else, and every member pays an extra $350 (or more, since late-booking will be more expensive). (c) won't fly; $350 is a big hit anyway, and $700 for a conference just wouldn't be an option for most folkies. (b) is the highly-principled option, but if I'd paid $350 then I'd be pissed off if I didn't get something for it - the words "class action" spring to mind. And (a) is what they've opted for - it's financially safe, but gets brickbats from the more militant members.

I agree Guest, it does look strange that they've got the press release out on Monday when the news only came out on Saturday. It depends though; it may be that the NAFA management have been running themselves ragged all weekend trying to find an alternative, and second-guessing them like that is just kicking them in the teeth for their efforts. Just a thought.

As far as the AM issue goes, I quote:-

In 1999, the NAACP, the Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights, and three private law firms filed a lawsuit on behalf of several guests at the Daytona Beach property. The plaintiffs allege they were forced to prepay for rooms and amenities; wear non-detachable, neon-orange identification wristbands; and enter the hotel through barricades staffed by a heavy police presence. The plaintiffs also allege that the hotel refused to allow its African American guests to unload their luggage in its covered entryway and refused to rent to them anything but the most basic rooms, reserving its better rooms for employees and police officers staying at the hotel.

Re the coloured patches, at most well-organised conferences/gatherings I've been to the organisers give out coloured wrist-bands or badges to identify who's legitimately there, which makes it easier for letting ppl in and out of the facility without making it a mecca for gatecrashers. These are usually simple paper bands with a self-adhesive tag, so that once they're on, you can only get them off by breaking the band.

It also seems that the police had rented a portion of the hotel for their own use. Maybe the police had arranged with the hotel that these better rooms would be kept vacant for other policemen arriving later - this is not an unusual state of affairs. And is anyone surprised that there was a police presence when 100,000 ppl are gathered in one place? Hell, it would be incompetent not to have a police presence!

I will agree that forcing ppl to prepay and refusing to allow unloading outside the hotel is unpleasant, petty behaviour, and the management responsible for those decisions should have been reprimanded. Barricades - hmm, not good, but was this AM's decision or the police? Which continues to AM's defence of its staff when they should really have been dealing with the problem. Does anyone have access to the AM version of events, for comparison? Note that I'm not saying there wasn't discrimination against these ppl, merely that it'd be good to hear what both sides are saying about the situation.

For the benefit of at least one Guest, information comes from all sides. If you agree with it or if you don't, you can talk about it, but don't insult the ppl who are providing it. DebC got shot down for posting NAFA's press release, which was downright unpleasant. And if you've got more info, post it!

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 08:50 AM

Graham,

I think I've made my opinions clear on both the NAACP actions against the hotel chain, and on FA's decision to violate the NAACP boycott.

I am not going to engage in the "I don't think the hotel chain was wrong or racist" dialog.

As to information, as I said earlier, if you want information about this case, go find it. People posting their opinions in discussion forums are in no way obligated to "proving" their opinions are valid to those who disagree with them.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: catspaw49
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 08:52 AM

Couldn't possibly agree more John. If you look at the history of the FA, it has moved away from it's beginnings and over time and at this point seems to be just another "trade show." Because a significant part of the original idea was in fact the "showcase" concept, then perhaps I am wrong. It just seems to me that any "politicism" which was alos a part of it's roots have been diminished over time and are now pretty non-existent.

If this is the choice of the membership then the conference should go on and perhaps another organization will spring from the grass roots with similar goals of the original FA. Considering the Mission Statement of the FA at this time, I'd say the conference is a sure thing.

GOALS OF THE FOLK ALLIANCE

To increase understanding of the rich variety, artistic value, cultural and historical significance, and continuing relevance of folk music and dance among educators, media, and the general public.

To provide a bridge to and from folk music and dance organizations and needed resources, and to help those organizations link with their constituencies.

To influence decision makers and resource providers on the national, state, provincial, and local levels, insuring the growth of folk music and dance.

To support and encourage the development of new and existing grassroots folk music and dance organizations. To strengthen the effectiveness of folk music and dance organizations by providing professional development opportunities.

Nothing I see there would lead me to believe that any form of political activism is a part of that organization........in which case, the whole discussion here and elsewhere is moot.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 09:02 AM

I suspect that the option chosen by the FA may turn out to be the most self-destructive of all.

Cancelling would presumably mean that people would get their money back, or a credit for next years. And the FA would have a big hole in their budget, along with a lot of goodwill from people who maybe could help them towards filling it.

What I suspect will happen, because that's the way these things happen, is that they'll muddle along, alienating lots of members and probably provoking some of them into breaking away ("provos") - and then they'll either cancel later on (but too late to get the goodwill thta an earlier cancellation could get), or go ahead with lots of cancellations and lose a lot of money. So a challenging situation becomes a disaster for the organisation rather than an opprtunity.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 09:07 AM

I wouldn't say its moot at all catspaw. Folk Alliance HAS addressed the issue of music and politics (see guest post of 13 Aug 3:41 p.m.) in it's conferences. It has also attempted to drape itself in the garb of progressive, left leaning politics by choosing to honor (through lifetime achievement awards to the likes of Paul Robeson) and book politically active musicians like Steve Earle to appear at conferences to fill the seats.

They can't have it both ways with this one. Neither their progressive left membership or the progressive left folk musicians will allow that to happen without a fight, whether they are FA members or not.

One need not be a FA member to join the protest against FA's decision. One just need to have a functioning moral compass, a conscience which moves one to take action rather than just spout off in internet discussion forums, and knowledge of the facts of the case.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: catspaw49
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 09:13 AM

This seems what the FA is doing to change the world today. It's an issue but not hardly on par with Civil Rights:

Music in the Air

Music in the Air is an independent project organized to challenge the carry-on restrictions facing airline travelers. Musicians whose instruments usually exceed the 22-inch length are most vulnerable to Senate bill S1294. If passed, this bill (which is still in the transportation committee) will create an FAA regulation restricting carry-ons to 22x14x9 dimensions across all airlines. Lobbying efforts are underway to defeat the bill.

Music in the Air is distributing a survey, the resulting data to be used in negotiations with airlines interested in forming partnerships and alliances with musicians. Several organizations are working toward a positive outcome. The Traveling Musician's Union, Local 1000 has a copy of the survey on their website. Click to their home page for the survey, and fax it back.

I'm sorry for being so cynical and seemingly anti-FA, but there is a significant difference between folkies singing on the picket lines versus burning up the FAX lines.

Spaw

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST,Rude
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 09:13 AM

McGrath,

I think your assessment of 9:02 a.m. is dead on. I said it yesterday, and I'll say it again. I think FA has signed it's own death warrant with this decision.

If their leadership is that naive, I say they bloody well deserve what they get.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 09:16 AM

A number of participants in this thread seem to think that $300,000 is a high price to pay for principal. Just to pick three names at random, anybody remember Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman, and James Chaney? $300,000 looks pretty cheap compared to the price they paid.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: catspaw49
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 09:19 AM

My point is Guest that if the FA has moved so far away and only pays lip service........Why would anyone be surprised at the attitude they have regarding this?

Again, if the wishes of the membership are to maintain the "trade show" qualities of the FA (read the mission statement for other goals) and that's it, then what is past is over and not worth discussing since politically, the group is dead, all protestations and awards on their part to the contrary. I think that's where they are....just an opinion.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: sophocleese
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 09:25 AM

I would at this point in this fascinating discussion like to remind people that not every person on the net has unlimited time or budget or skill to search for information about a subject they are only just becoming aware of. NAACP may have been in the American news recently but not necessarily in the news around the globe. I am grateful for all of the links provided by various people in this thread and I am grateful to a Guest for bringing it up in the first place. Certainly if I were a member of the FA intending to attend the conference I would be doing a lot of research and thinking about this one.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 09:58 AM

I appreciate the suggestion Sophocleese, that not all users are US citizens, or have unlimited budgets for doing on-line research.

However, having lived both sides the pond, I also know that a great deal of the information available on-line is also available in public libraries. Via cable and satellite TV. Via international news programs on the radio.

I appreciate too that people posting to this thread who reside outside the US as well as inside the US, are hearing of this case for the first time. But considering the amount of time many of them seem to be spending in Mudcat, I doubt that tight budgets for on-line time is the reason for their not knowing the facts in the case.

Anyone who is interested in finding out more about the case needs to do just that. Research and reflection about the case, the boycott, and FA's reaction to it.

And yes, certainly, if one is an FA member or had plans to attend either one of the regional FA conferences coming up in the fall, or the national conference being discussed here which is schedule for Feb 2001, should be doing their research and reflection at this time.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 11:46 AM

I agree with Guest '958' on how crucial it is to collect as much information as possible before taking a stand on something this volatile. Since yesterday I've tried to cull as much as I can from the net, but the telephone has been the most illuminating source of info for me since then. The people I've talked to who use the annual Folk Alliance Convention as a networking device to help set up tours, are really conflicted. (no surprise there)

It would appear that many are trying to see the "grey" areas in this mess in order to attend, while still feeling they have a conscience. I think that for many of the "over forties" it's substantially more black and white, and crossing a picket line would be far more than just an annoyance.

I'll have a new album by then, and I'd like to make some Florida contacts (haven't played there in almost twenty years), plus it's fun to shmooze with folks you only see once a year, but from what I've found out so far, it doesn't look good.

Does anyone know if any prominent folkies (Seeger, Phillips, Paxton, etc.) have made any statements? I doubt if anything they might say would affect my decision (I'm gonna try and wade through the boring details of the action itself) but I'd certainly be interested in hearing what they had to say.

Bummer!

Rick


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 11:57 AM

I agree Rick, this really is a bummer. Especially in light of what this is doing to the membership, and the non-member occasssional and regular conference attendees.

The FA Executive Committee has put people in a really terrible position of having to cross a NAACP picket line to attend the conference. It really is just despicable.

Maybe the "under forty" set, the vast majority of who I'd guess have never walked a picket line or known anyone who has, needs this experience to awaken them to what is at stake beyond their own selfish self-interests.

In fact, that may well be the opportunity in this crisis. To awaken the consciences of a younger generation who have never been confronted with such a blatant case of injustice before, and forced to take a stand one way or the other.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 12:05 PM

Hmmmmm, good point GUEST 1157.

R.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 12:22 PM

As I age (ungracefully) I increasingly find myself in the middle of conversations I cannot believe I am having.

As I browse this thread I see the same pathetic rationalizations for inaction that I saw 50, 40, 30 years ago.

Don't do anything because:
it is inconvenient
it is expensive
you'll get in trouble
we don't have all the facts
the situation is not bad
the situation is not that bad
outside agitators are the real problem
ad nauseum


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: catspaw49
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 12:26 PM

Yeah, it's a point..........I'll believe it when it happens.

Rick, what grey areas are they trying to find? Being over 50 I see this pretty black and white, especially in light of both Adam's Mark reputation and the current mission statement of the FA. I think it just points up the lack of political action within the FA and that the organization has become simply another promotional tool, regardless of past history.

There is nothing wrong with a promotional tool. It is the hypocrisy of what many believed the FA was about versus the reality of what it is. There are a lot of folkies I can't see crossing a picket line for a promotional tool..........and once again, that's just an opinion.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 12:32 PM

I've got it! A Shadow Folk Alliance Conference!

Hey--we did it to the Republican and Democrat National Conventions--can you imagine how wonderful a sideshow we could make of a Shadow Conference? What fun it would be! How great the music, the jugglers and stilt walkers, the street hawkers and fighters, and the merry mayhem we could wreak in the shadows of Adams Mark Jacksonville?

Folkies could network, peform their own workshops, panel discussions and performances, and none would have to be left out in the cold except the cold hearted merchants of cash!


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 12:34 PM

I suppose one way to be around for networking and avoid crossing the picket line might be to go along and stand on the picket line. (And that's not a sarky suggestion, it's straight up - picket lines can be good places to be. Especially if there are people around who are into singing rather than shouting.)


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: mousethief
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 12:46 PM

I shouldn't do this, but I"m a sucker.

GUEST who posted at 13-Aug-01 08:37pm:

Your post is a flame, and it is not at all necessary to impute base motives to people on the list. If you are the same GUEST that is ranting and raving about members being nasty to GUESTs, you have shown yourself to be a hypocrite of the highest degree.

The color is not the issue. You have a fight between Joe and Bob. If you want to find out what really happened, sure you listen to Joe and Bob, but a third opinion is probably going to stand you in better stead. What Catspaw49 provided in the post 08-Aug-01 8:14PM was a third opinion.

Dragging color into it, as you did, was inflammatory, rude, racist, and hypocritical.

Alex


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: harpgirl
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 12:55 PM

That about settles it for me. I ordered a volunteer application so I could join the fun for the first time. I've always wanted to go to an FA conference. This one is in Jacksonville, only 160 miles from me, finally close. But if I have to cross an NAACP picket line to get into the hotel it is out of the question.

Only 300 folkies with a thousand dollars would be needed to buy the FA's way out of this hotel deal and park it somewhere else. Surely, a grassroots fundraiser to buy out the conference is possible before February.

But I live in Florida and I have not seen adequate coverage of these issues. I read a lot of papers and magazines, too. Guess I'll have to do some research.

But I might have to hold a session in Hanna Park to take advantage of the opportunity to play with so many old folkies!


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: Bill D
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 12:58 PM

have just sat & read this entire thread for the first time. Several thoughts come to mind:

1) this thread was started by a 'guest' with a provocative, loaded remark "I always thought that folk music people and folk music organizations had principles. I guess it ain't necessarily so."

2) this guest make NO effort to state what his/her interest in the matter is...member of FA?, member of NAACP?, 'interested 'folkie'...NOTHING...yet expects and/or asks those who might attend this meeting to honor a boycott. Do the 'facts' speak for themselves? sure...and like most 'facts', they give ambiguous messages. Several times, 'guest' simply states that 'X' position or 'Y' anology has no relevance to this thread/discussion. My goodness! So I needednt even bother to disagree?...*tsk*

3) there is a real and ongoing problem with assuming that ANY organization that you agree with in basic principle is always right on specific issues. Unions are good thing, but they do some stupid & dispicable things in the name of 'workes rights' at times...the NAACP's basic mission is one I agree with, but they are NOT always perfect...and the NAACP of 2001 is sure not the NAACP of the 1960s, which **I** was a proud member of!... yet, I find this remark from 'guest'.."Apparently the word of the NAACP isn't good enough for you. " NO ONES "word" is good enough for ME until I hear all the facts!..as has been said, the members don't make these decisions, the leaders do!
...(for the record...I marched with SNCC, CORE, NAACP and worked on various civil rights projects)

This is a thorny issue,,,NO one is totally right or wrong, and NO decision is easy or obvious here. One member, Tedham P, has made a personal decision...fine...let others do the same. But the FA is wrestling with it...the Hotel is wrestling with the accusations, the NAACP is off & on with their boycotts, the members of the FA are trying to decide..etc...

but....to BEGIN a discussion, not with "here is a serious issue you might want to consider"...but with "I always thought that folk music people and folk music organizations had principles. I guess it ain't necessarily so." is incendiary and unfair.

I will NEVER understand the admonition "You are either for us or against us"...sorry, 'guest'/or 'guests'...ther CAN be middle ground in most things...try LOOKING for it!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: mousethief
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 01:01 PM

Hear hear, Bill D.

Alex


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: harpgirl
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 01:01 PM

Rick, if you need some help making Florida contacts, just let me know! Please bring Duckboots and tour this winter!


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST,mouseythieved
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 01:02 PM

Alex/mousey protests too much. He is, after all, the guy who describes himself, here and on his own web site, as a "white male." I've read all the bios on Mudcat and Alex/mousey is the only one to define himself by race.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: Jim the Bart
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 01:22 PM

People are judged by the company they keep. The FA board has chosen to stand by its contract with the Hotel chain. Its reasons are its own. Looking in from the outside, we are free to make our judgements of the participants based on our perception of their behavior.

Based on the information that I have seen, I personally think that the FA made a huge mistake by selecting a hotel chain with a history of civil rights violations, whether or not there was a court imposed settlement in place when the agreement was entered into. Now, they have compounded that error by deciding that the economic issue is more important than the ethical. What a disappointment.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: mousethief
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 01:32 PM

Flaming guest flaming guest
Fly away home
You're not wanted here
And you're not acting grown

Alex


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 01:34 PM

Fact: the injunction requested by Adams Mark to prevent NAACP picketing of their hotels for consistent, institutionalized racial discrimination was denied last Friday. Adams Mark has chosen NOT to appeal this decision.

Fact: the NAACP reinstated it's boycott of the hotel chain, begun in 1999, in the wake of the decision last Friday.

Fact: the NAACP began picketing Adams Mark hotels over the last weekend.

Fact: first thing Monday morning, the Executive Director of the North American Folk Alliance released a statement saying that the North American Folk Alliance would not honor the NAACP boycott, and would go ahead with it's scheduled national conference in Jacksonville, FL at the Adams Mark Jacksonville hotel.

Take it from there middle grounders. Wallow indecisively in your moral middle ground. Don't decide which side you are on, since taking sides is an immoral stance to middle grounders.

Remember, no one is always right, so use that as an excuse to club everyone around you into polite, reasoned submission to the morally superior principals of grey.

We all know our middle ground anatomy: no backbone, and no guts.

Salute and applaud yourselves.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: DougR
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 01:49 PM

Bill D: You make excellent points in your post above,in my opinion.

And you, rude guest, are probably the only one in the Mudcat who has noticed that Alex included that in his bio. I really would be interested to know if ANY Mudcatter, who has read the bios noted that Alex included that in his? If he were African-American, should he be criticized because he included THAT in his bio? Italian? Irish? Spanish?

I don't know where you are coming from, rude guest, and wonder if Bill D might be correct. What IS your personal interest in this issue?

DougR


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: mousethief
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 02:02 PM

DougR, thanks for defending me. The bio I lifted straight from my web page bio. I was trying to make it sound (at least at the beginning) like a personals ad, hence the "white male" thing. Rude Guest obviously isn't familiar with either (a) personals ads, or (b) humour.

I mention Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder something like 5 or 6 times. And white only once. You'd think if my bio showed any prejudice it would be against neurotypicals and not people of colour.

Alex


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 02:22 PM

BillD sums it up about this thread. I wasn't going to post any more, but I had to applaud his thoughts. I tried to ask a question, got no answer. Like you, BillD, I take no ones stance on a point as gospel, especially if all the statements comes from a supporter of one of the litigants. The case is still in the courts, let it be decided there. In the meantime, I still consider the FA an innocent third party.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 02:32 PM

My gut feeling is that at least one of the GUESTs on this thread is just giggling around trying to irritate people, without giving a toss about any of the issues involved.

However maybe there are other GUESTs here who aren't like that. No need to assume that they are all the same person, with the same destructive agenda. Even if it's tempting to think that that is most likely.

But in any case, that's all fluff and nonsense. There are currently at least two special thread in existence all about anonymous GUESTing, and talking about it here is a pointless diversion. And if GUEST or anyone else wants to comment on what I've said, it really would be better to do it in one of those.

There's a real issue here, which is more important than that, and which clearly matters to a lot of people and this is the only thread where it is being explored, in between the drift about GUESTs.

harpgirl's response sounds sensible to me. In one of the largest countries in the world, and by far the richest, if it's not possible to raise $300,000 to avoid breaking faith with the principles on which an organisation is founded, folk music really must be really marginalised.

That shouldn't be the issue. Maybe there are other reasons why it could be right to go ahead with this conference in spite of all, though I can't imagine what they would be from what I have read here - but money just isn't good enough, I'd have thought.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 02:39 PM

Harpgirl,

I'm with ya. But considering the Executive Committee's decision, I think you'll be hard pressed to find 300 folkies willing to fork over $1000 a piece to save the FA from itself.

Or even one. ;-)


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: catspaw49
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 02:59 PM

According to the local NAACP head here in Columbus, based on a noon news report from either CMH or TVN, I didn't notice what I was on.......Yet another suit is being considered at the local Adam's Mark. When the ball gets rolling............then again, if you walk like duck, etc.

Bill, I have never said I have all the details of this and I didn't buy off on the original post either. There is still much for us all to learn and I'm sure more to come out. It is obvious that certain things "seem" to be true based on what I have learned....although that too is biased I'm sure.

What I'm equally sure of is that the same was true in your time and five to ten years later in mine. We base our decisions on the best info available. I think the real question for those who have a stake in this such as Rick, is what is the role of the FA and am I willing to support them by crossing a picket line. I am the first to say it is not an easy choice

The Folk Alliance undoubtedly made a bad choice based on the track record of Adam's Mark. That is to say they made it hard on their members.......I can't see where they currently have any political thoughts whatsoever and until this blew up they would have been happy to support Adam's Mark.

So what happens down the road? Too early to tell and most of us have no stake in it because we either don't belong (for whatever reason) or are not truly involved. At this point though, strictly playing the speculation game and still trying to garner more information, I have a hard time finding the middle ground.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: DougR
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 03:51 PM

McGrath: Yes, this is a wealthy (and generous) country, but raising $300,000 is not as easy as it might sound. First, as others have pointed out, the organization itself must be worthy of being saved. Second, if it got the membership into this situation because of a blunder, few people are willing to contribute to a cause to save it due to it's own stupidity. And as others have pointed out, folk musicians, as generous and as thoughtful as they might be, few would have $1,000 to spare for this cause, I believe.

I'm in full agreement with Dicho and Bill D. Since I have no stake in this, I'll have no more to say. I will follow the situation, however, because I will be interested to see how it plays out.

If I were a betting man, I would wager that the majority of the GUEST posts, McGrath, came from one person, particularly those that were what I consider to be rude. Further, it would not surprise me to find that you are right McGrath, and that GUEST has no interest in the subject other than to stir the pot.

DougR


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: blt
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 04:03 PM

Just read this thread for the first time. I was a member of FA for a year, then cancelled my membership because I personally could see no benefit from it; the organization appeared to me to be organized around an outdated business or corporate model, perhaps as an attempt to feel legitimate in these grass-roots trashing times.

This dilemma is certainly not new nor unique. Most organizations I've been involved with have faced a similar discussion, concerning how to make choices around oppression. I think it's somewhat disingenuous to describe the problem as "black or white" (language is always meaningful), or as if one simply goes down path A or path B. The "gray area" is an interesting place because it hints of such promise, yet it is easy to get lost here, too--the devil, they say, is in the details. It's also possible to avoid the whole mess altogether, the ostrich approach, which may be easy to identify as the wrong choice but yet remains ever so popular. So, what to do, particularly as a non-member of FA but as someone who loves folk music and is deeply involved in cross cultural transformation in this country?

Here's what I've decided to do: Support the boycott and support on-going cross cultural work in the folk world. For example, I do support any effort FA is making to combine efforts with the Network of Cultural Centers of Color. Write a letter to FA to explaining this and send a copy to the NAACP. Talk about(or discuss online)this case/issues with anyone I can. Think over the issues involved, compare this case with others, connect the dots. Once again, I thank the Mudcat for providing this space to learn about this case and to discuss it.

blt


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST,Dorothy Parker's Evil Twin
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 11:01 PM

People believe they are getting smarter nowadays, because. they are letting lawyers, instead of their conscience, be their guide.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST,Amy LA
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 11:31 PM

I have been reading this thread for 2 days now and I am surprised by the inaccuracies.

If the Folk Alliance breaks the contract with Adams Mark Hotel, they will have to pay the hotel because they have a signed contract with the hotel. So, whether the convention is held at the hotel or not, the hotel gets its money. Boycott or no. Sorry, but that is how business works.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Aug 01 - 07:56 AM

Guest Amy,

The purpose of the boycott is to prevent future customers from using the hotel chain nationally. The economic power of a NAACP boycott shouldn't be underestimated--it is why the hotel went to court to try and get an injunction to stop picketing and the boycott.

The FA conference wouldn't be a drop in the bucket for the hotel chain financially. But the potential for extremely negative publicity for both FA and the hotel, if the FA chooses to actually cross the pickets at the Jacksonville, are pretty much guaranteed. And the FA will become a pariah organization.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Aug 01 - 08:10 AM

All right $300,000 is a fair sum - but I've been working it out. $300,000, population nearly 300,000,000, makes kit easy. And I know most of them don't have any interest in folk music, the same would apply where I live.

I live in a town of 80,000. Apply those sums, and what it would add up - if all this were happening in England, the follies of Harlow would have to come up with about $80, roughly £50. Well, there aren't not very many of us, and we are mostly pretty skint, but I don't think we'd have much trouble in raising that kind of money.

And along with the cheque we'd probably send a strong recommendation that the people responsible for making this booking in the first place should be sacked, because they clearly don't appear to have got either their heads or their hearts in the right place.

And true enough, GUEST Amy LA, there's no way to avoid paying for the booking, or at least part of the cost. I suppose if the hotel booked out the facilities with someone else that would cut down the cost - but I'd think it would be better to keep the booking, and not use it, so that the facilities were standing empty, with the only folkies on the picket line outside.

That's all assuming that the information above is all accurate, and that a boycott is justified, which seems pretty likely. Maybe tgher are still arguments about things like that. But the money just shouldn't be an issue. The price of four CDs in a town of 80,000...


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Aug 01 - 09:41 AM

McGrath,

The issue isn't the money. It could be raised easily and quickly. The point is, the Executive Committee made a choice that isolated them and the organization from their main base of support, by choosing to violate the boycott for purportedly "economic" reasons. And then attempt to justify it by cloaking themselves in "solidarity" with the NCCC.

Experienced organizers know how this "race strategy" works. We've seen it a million times before, and will again.

Essentially, the EC made a decision not to be inconvenienced by the boycott. Now, very few people will be willing to give them any kind of support, financial or otherwise, because it was an idiotic decision to begin with. I think most experienced leftist folkies (at least the ones I've spoken with this week) feel they made their bed, so let them lie in it. I haven't talked to anyone who is willing to cross a NAACP picket line.

As to the younger members of the NA folk community, my kids and their friends, who are high schoolers, active musically and politically, and pretty savvy about this sort of thing, are even more up in arms about it than the older generation of folkies (their parents).

There may be a lackadaisacal attitude among the twenty & 30 thirty something gen-xers (although there isn't among my gen-x friends), but the younger kids seem to be really angry about this--nay, that isn't accurate--TOTALLY appalled (remember, they are teens!)


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Aug 01 - 09:53 AM

Paying to enable the organisation to pull out wouldn't be bailing-out the organisers, it'd be rubbing their noses in it. And a significant step towards getting rid of them.

Is there any indication whether the booking just reflects a lack of commonsense on the part of those who did it, or whether there is anything more behind it, such as someone gaining financially or in some other way?


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Aug 01 - 11:26 AM

North American Folk Alliance doesn't have a broad base of support, so there isn't any interest in bailing them out or rubbing their nose in their bad decision.

My guess is, most national folk acts will treat the NAACP boycott the same way they did the South Africa boycott. There were a few highly visible musicians,ie Paul Simon, who violated that boycott. But for the most part there was tremendous solidarity and resolve to keep the boycott intact.

I doubt there is that level of commitment to this boycott among many left leaning folkies, to be quite honest. NAACP is a pretty conservative, insular, and parochial organization, which organizes almost exclusively for its own constituency. Political folkies nowadays are much more diversified than they were in the past, when they were so strongly tied to the black American civil rights movement.

While some constituencies in the broader NA folk community still maintain strong ties to the Democratic National Party, and the Old Guard civil rights leadership who have assimilated themselves into the US mandarin classes, most progressive and radical left folkies, most of whom are post-revival at this point, just don't have the ties to the black American civil rights movement that the folk revival generation did.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: Ron Olesko
Date: 15 Aug 01 - 12:50 PM

1. The agreement with the hotel was made AFTER the NAACP lifted the boycott. The purpose of any boycott is to take business away WHILE the boycott is in effect - after the boycott, people are SUPPOSED to return to normal business operations - otherwise the boycott has no effect. What reason would a company have for settling a dispute if they are not going to return to normal business flow AFTER the settlement? IF there is no intent on returning the business, the hotel chain might as well keep their racist policies intact.

2. Since the Folk Alliance "apparently" entered into an agreement AFTER the original boycott was lifted, they have a committment to honor THAT agreement. HOWEVER, there is no reason why the hotel chain has to make any additional money. Folk Alliance members have to make their own lodging arrangements. Why not stay at a different hotel? Sure it may cost a few bucks more, but you are making the statement that you won't give the hotel your business. There is no reason to spend any additional money at the hotel during the conference - don't even purchase a beer from their bar! THAT would make a significant statement. One of the reasons a hotel chain holds conventions is not to simply rent a banquet hall - they look to get more money from registered guests and visitors to the hotel during the convention. SPEND YOUR MONEY ELSEWHERE!

3. Whether or not it was a bad decision to hold it at the hotel in the first place - it is too late. Somebody, or some group of people made a mistake. It is obvious from this thread that people have varied opinions about the necessity of a Folk Alliance in the first place. Freedom of choice. Those that see no purpose in the FA do not have to belong. Those that find the networking that goes on at a conference to be an important part of either their career or hobby - or if they feel it helps perpetuate traditional arts - then by all means they need to support the FA. However, they don't have to support Adam's Mark.

4. Crossing a picket line is very subjective. If you need medical attention and you have to cross a picket line of hospital workers - that is your call. If you walk cross a picket line to walk into a supermarket to buy a box of Ring Dings that you could purchase elsewhere - you've made a choice. If you enter a hotel chain with a clear understanding that you won't be adding any money into the coffers of the hotel - that is your call. This is the real grey area.

Ron


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Aug 01 - 01:15 PM

Ron,

I don't think it matters when FA made conference reservations. The salient facts are:

1. That the NAACP reinstated the boycott last weekend after winning a legal case brought against them by Adams Mark, who were seeking an injuction to prevent picketing and the reinstatement of the boycott.

2. On Monday morning, the Executive Director of the FA made a public statement saying the FA would violate the boycott, and hold their annual conference at the Adams Mark Jacksonville, as planned.

3. A whole lot of people in the folk community *will* honor the NAACP boycott. Some will refuse to attend the conference who had planned to attend. Some will not renew their memberships when they become due. And likely many national folk acts will never play a FA event again as long as they live. Some, perhaps many, will choose to attend the conference anyway, putting personal self-interests before politics. And some, perhaps many, will renew and/or join the organization. And some will cross the picket line come February if there is one, and likely will give a lot of their money to Adams Mark as part of their devil's bargain.

Everybody is free to do whatever they will. But I'm betting that FA pretty much put itself in the crapper with this one. Maybe I'm totally wrong about that, and they'll survive by recruiting/bringing in a more racist and conservative European American folk music constituency to replace the radical and progressive lefties they've lost.

But its still a good idea to keep spreading the word in progressive and radical left circles, IMO. There aren't too many die hard folkies in those communities anymore, but what the hell, its still worth a try to mobilize them against FA, in my view.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 15 Aug 01 - 01:29 PM

I wonder if the hotel could get additional damages then, if adhering to the boycott caused additional losses from loss of guest revenues (at the bar, etc) or from adverse publicity. You can criticise the FA for running scared, but that's easy to say if it isn't you who will have to pay out a damages claim.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST,PeteBoom (at work)
Date: 15 Aug 01 - 01:29 PM

AH HA! Ron O. raises several points - By MOST accounts, his first point seems to be accurate. FA booked the conference after the boycott was initially lifted, no? If there's no boycott, one would presume that there's no conflict.

However, if, like me, you are living in an area where most conference organizers have never HEARD of this particular chain, would it stand to reason that their package presented all nice and neat would include a disclaimer along the lines of "Oh, by the way, the little disagreement we had with the NAACP has been sorted out."?

How much research would you do if your instructions included "Find a reasonably priced place in one of these towns" and VOILA! Here's a place that looks pretty good! Would you even look twice? Of course, GUEST (the initial poster) would because that is the way it is when you're perfect.

Did FA make a mistake? Certainly. Is the much debated press release indicative of blind insolence? Not precisely, no - it is probably the result of "damage control" meetings over the weekend.

Were the PRECISE conditions and reasons for the revival of the boycott made to FA? Were the precise procedural issues from the court case made known to FA? I don't know, nor do I believe does anyone else in this forum KNOW. You may believe that the press and media publicized it - I don't remember hearing it this past weekend, however.

I do know that the organization I am with was sued for racial discrimination a few years ago. The basis was because three employees were dismissed with cause. They filed suit for wrongfull termination, which was thrown out when they lost the criminal case brought against them. THEN they brought in a group of CR lawyers and called a bunch of press conferences to publicize their complaint. The lawyers went away after seeing video tape of the evidence against them, and seeing massive amounts of evidence and testimony refuting the charges. Of course, those opposed to the suit were either Uncle Toms or racist/KKK/Neo-Nazis who controlled the media. Every once in a while these old charges resurface and it starts over again.

And THAT is why I am slow to jump on the discrimination band wagon - I nearly got run over by it. Let me see the evidence and documentation, and let me make up my own mind. Don't call me racist or imply that my legal concerns over a reaction over rule my support of civil rights. I may be slow to act, but then I am unstoppable.

Ask the kids a few years ago who accused me of being racist for not being offended by my ancestors owning slaves. I looked at them and said "My ancestors were too busy starving in Ireland to care what happened to your ancestors. Others were serving in Scottish regiments, doing their duty, INCLUDING searching for illegal slave trading. One great uncle lies buried near a small town in Pennsylvania where he fell serving in the 24th Michigan. Now, WHY should I feel bad about my ancestors owning slaves?"


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST,PeteBoom (at work)
Date: 15 Aug 01 - 01:44 PM

Of course, based on reading St. GUEST's most recent post, I wonder if GUEST has a pre-existing complaint with FA and is simply using this issue as a club to beat up FA and gain popular support. Is it hard being absolutely certain that you're always right? I know that I get concerned because I know I make mistakes, and so I worry about it when there is a big decision to be made. It must be easier to be infallable.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Aug 01 - 02:09 PM

Richard,

No, the hotel chain cannot collect lost revenue for cancelled bookings beyond the contracted amount because of the boycott. That would be a violation of the First Amendment rights of the parties who decide to cancel. Also, one need not give a reason for cancellation, unless you are trying to negotiate a settlement for less than the contractual amount owed. Anyone who wishes to can cancel reservations can do it simply by notifying the hotel. It is done all the time.

So the answer is no, Adams Mark can't file a lawsuit to collect "additional damages" from FA, even if they were to say their reason for cancelling is to honor the boycott. They can only receive damages if FA doesn't pay what is owed contractually.

As an events organizer with 20 years experience, I'd even go out on a limb to say that at six months out, I'm pretty sure the cost to FA for the bill wouldn't be near the $300,000 amount they suggested it might cost. That is more likely their estimate for both the Adams Mark contractual obligation owed for cancelling six months in advance, and the cost of setting up at another location.

Nowadays, events and conference managers have cancellation clauses written into the contracts, and you pay a certain percentage which increases the closer to the actual date of the event.

Pete,

I think there is a chance the previous personal circumstance you had may be coloring your judgment on the issue.

No one is suggesting anyone should be perfect.

In my mind, there really is no grey area. People will either ignore the boycott or honor it. It seems to me, some folks who keep invoking the grey area are people who still want to attend, but don't feel they should have to pay a personal price to do it.

This is just one of those circumstances, it seems, where folks who often get their desires met by obfuscating in grey, ain't gonna get away with it this time. Come Feb 2002, if the pickets are walking in front of the Adams Mark Jacksonville, crossing the picket line WILL put a person on Adams Mark side in the eyes of many in the folk community, whether the person crossing the picket line believes that to be true or not.

That's just the way it is.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: Ron Olesko
Date: 15 Aug 01 - 02:20 PM

Guest - you made a point "That the NAACP reinstated the boycott last weekend after winning a legal case brought against them by Adams Mark, who were seeking an injuction to prevent picketing and the reinstatement of the boycott" which is absolutely true. Again, my comment was that the FA booked the hotel WHEN THE BOYCOTT WAS LIFTED. If those of us who consider ourselves to be liberal wish to stick to our beliefs, it is important to work toward solutions. IF the boycott was lifted, the FA had every right to book the conference there - in fact they may have even had an obligation to work with them first. I repeat, if a boycott is to be effective, then live must be to return to normal. The NAACP's boycott is not meant to drive the hotel out of business - it is meant to get them to change policies and make restitution for wrongs they committed in the past. We have to move forward.

Pete Boom - you wrote "would it stand to reason that their package presented all nice and neat would include a disclaimer along the lines of "Oh, by the way, the little disagreement we had with the NAACP has been sorted out." Well, no. IF the problem had been worked out, why would they need to bring it up? When you travel to the South, do you see signs saying "that problem we had with slavery has been corrected?" It might have been nice if people from the Folk Alliance brought it up so that everyone who voted or made a decision could have worked with that information, but I don't think anyone was under obligation to provide it.

I think we should also remember that the FA isn't the only group using this hotel. I would guess they have 2 or 3 such gatherings PER WEEK by groups with less social commitment then the FA. Has anyone heard what these groups are doing? Not that it should influence our decision, but there might be some good solutions that we are missing.

I question at this point whether there will be a mass boycott by folkies at the FA. We still need to gather the facts and make an informed decision. There has been a lot of knee jerk reactions ON BOTH SIDES of this issue. Let's be glad that the FA conference isn't taking place next week and we have a little time to make decisions.

I don't know what I am going to do. I wouldn't write off the Folk Alliance just yet. While in this day and age the FA serves as a business group more than social activists, there are a lot of intelligent people involved who just might find a comfortable solution.

Ron


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Aug 01 - 02:41 PM

Ron,

First, we aren't all liberals, so I think you need to adjust some of your assumptions. I am a member of the radical left, don't appreciate being put in the same camp with self-declared liberals.

Second, the timing of the conference reservations remain irrelevant to me. What matters is that there is a NAACP boycott on NOW. That that inconveniences FA and people like yourself bothers me not one whit.

Thirdly, violating the NAACP boycott only matters to people who are concerned about their reputations in their own community. It seems to me, a number of folkies are "wrestling" with this only because they are looking for a way to have their cake and eat it too. It ain't gonna happen. If people cross the picket line, there will be repercussions down the road for at least some of them, if they are trying to make money in the folk music business. And they will almost certainly have committed political suicide. But if you are apolitical or anti-political, I don't see how that would matter anyway.

If those are all chances you are willing to take, go for it, and walk across the line and into the hotel.

Just don't expect the rest of us to condone your decision.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Aug 01 - 02:58 PM

It's hard to make sense of all the legal stuff, but the bottom line seems to be that the boycott was lifted after the Adams guys made a deal - and then, with the cooperation of a friendly judge they reneged on the deal, bringing the boycott back into efect.

Which I suppose provides a bit of comfort for the FA organisers, who can say they made the booking in good faith. I suppose they could argue that under the circumstances they shouldn't be expected to fulfil their contrac with Adams Mark, since it was made on a false undersatding. But, while that might be perfectly sound on moral grounds, that way they'd get into legal tangles that could end up costing more than they stand to lose if they pay up the penalty, and cancel the conference. So the only sesnible they can do is bite on the bullet, cancel, and back the boycott, and try to raise the money they stand to lose. Estimated at $1 for every thousand Americans.

Sounds in any case, whatever the (sweet) FA decide, the best music and the best people will be on the picketline. As is normally the case. (There are expections, such as the fuel protest in Britain last year...)


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: harpgirl
Date: 15 Aug 01 - 03:15 PM

I brought this up on the FOFF list and there have been several good responses. One person pointed out that if the issues are resolved before the conference, the boycott will no longer be operative.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: Ron Olesko
Date: 15 Aug 01 - 03:18 PM

Guest- since I don't have a clue who you are (although I can guess) I really doesn't matter whether my decision is condoned by you.

Now that you've identified yourself as "radical left" - I put you in the same catagory as "radical right" - you only see one point of view therefore this issue will only be one sided for you.

Timing is everything. Blindly following a boycott using only principle without looking at the facts to make a decision is not always the best route.

Please don't misunderstand - I admire the NAACP and have always respected their views. I just don't blindly follow any groups decision.

You shouldn't sterotype anyone's politics or beliefs - that is what the hotel did!

Ron


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: Wolfgang
Date: 15 Aug 01 - 03:24 PM

"It is time for NAACP membership, all Americans and all groups committed to civil rights to stop giving Adams Mark their money and business. It is time now to give them hell. Don't plan conventions there. Don't plan regional meetings there. Don't plan banquets there, and don't check in there," Mfume said.

This is from the NAACPs CEO. I read nothing about cancelling existing bookings at all cost, only not to make them from now on.

The FA has written a letter to the NAACP. Why not just wait about two weeks for an answer which could be anything from "cancel at any costs" to "go on as planned, but stop further business" or "go an as planned for now but be ready for a cancellation if there is no sufficient reaction from Adams mark".

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Aug 01 - 03:25 PM

McGraw, you've got it mostly right about the legal issues,but...

NAACP is one of three parties (the other two are the US Dept of Justice, and the State of Florida) suing Adams Mark over events which transpired at the Daytona Beach, FL. hotel during spring break 1199.

The lawsuit the NAACP was involved in is what is known as a class-action lawsuit. Adams Mark attempted to settle the three separate lawsuits with ONE settlement for $8 million, but the judge sitting for the NAACP case refused to approve the settlement. The legal reasons surrounding this are profoundly complex, and have to do with the different sorts of remedies being pursued by the different plaintiffs, ie the US Dept. of Justice and State of Florida are seeking remedies under civil rights statutes. A class action suit is generally for monetary damages and indemnity against future claims.

The original legal actions were taken on the one hand, and the political action, the boycott, was taken on the other. They weren't perfectly concurrent, and so the whole argument about when FA made the reservation is a specious one.

While the approval of the settlement offer from Adams Mark was awaiting action by the judge, the NAACP, as I understand it, called off the boycott. That may have been something they agreed to do in settlement negotiations. When the judge refused to approve the settlement, Adams Mark took their offer off the table, and the NAACP reinstated the boycott.

Adams Mark then filed a suit against the NAACP, to get an injuction blocking them from picketing and reinstating their economic boycott. The judge in that case ruled last Friday that an injunction would be a violation of the NAACP's First Amendment rights. That decision was in favor of the NAACP.

Over the weekend, in the wake of that decision, the NAACP began setting up pickets again, and getting the word out that the boycott was on again.

US Dept of Justice vs. Adams Mark, and State of Florida vs. Adams Mark, have not yet gone to trial.

FA hasn't said on what date the reservations were made, so it is impossible to know where in the above series of events that action fell. As someone also pointed out, none of us is privvy to the damage control plans of the EC last weekend, and so attempting to assign motives and intentions is pretty much futile at this point. Unless someone involved in the meetings/phone calls between FA EC last weekend decide to go public (unlikely), we will never know.

So it all becomes a circular argument of self-justification to those who keep saying the date of the reservation and the contractual obligation are what matters, not the fact that the FA just stabbed the NAACP in the back.

If there is a picket line to cross come February, I'm sure the northern turn out in Jacksonville will be considerable!


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: harpgirl
Date: 15 Aug 01 - 03:34 PM

...maybe one of our guests is Willie Gary!!!!! If so, welcome! hg


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST,PeteBoom (at work)
Date: 15 Aug 01 - 03:35 PM

Out of Jacksonville? Why not do what I've done? Have the meetings in the parking lot or some really annoying venue where the folks from AM can see whats going on. Motel 6 could probably use the business...


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: catspaw49
Date: 15 Aug 01 - 03:36 PM

And there are possibly four others in the works being evaluated. Adams Mark is under the gun....which based on the DEO's comments, they should be......just an opinion.

Walk softly there Ron........Compromise may be often desirable and peace like, but it did not bring about the Civil Rights Act or end the war in Vietnam. Action is rarely brought about by compromisers. When the fight came to the streets, then legislation followed. Radicals bring change.....perhaps not the change they want, but without us, mid-roaders talk forever and very little of substance actually happens.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Aug 01 - 03:52 PM

Pete Boom,

If you want to show solidarity with the NAACP boycott, you have the choice of setting up anywhere in Jacksonville BUT the Adams Mark. And then, if part of your shadow conference was joining the pickets, all the better.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Aug 01 - 04:07 PM

harpgirl,

Its true there is at least a 50/50 chance that the boycott may be over by the conference date.

But the more salient point is that FA's decision of their *intention* to violate the boycott was announced at the opening of business on Monday, after the court decision was announced the previous Friday, and pickets went up over the weekend.

Why not write the letter to the NAACP, await the response and *then* announce?

Answer: the EC can better manage the spin this way.

The damage is already done. They can spin away, but everyone already knows which side the FA is on, because they shouted it from the rooftops on Monday morning.

And some folks have loooooooonnnnnngggg memories about this sort of thing.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: Ron Olesko
Date: 15 Aug 01 - 04:26 PM

Catspaw -

I think you have misunderstood my remarks. I am not knocking radicials - everything you said was very true. We could list a number of additional cases where it took radicals to bring about important change.

While the radicals may have been instrumental attention to Civil Rights issues and the Vietnam War, it took the buy-in of those in the middle to bring the issues to a head.

However, radical reaction is not necessary in every case. The NAACP DID call off the boycott at one point, apparently as part of the negotiations.

What I was trying to say is that we are 6 months away. Not a long time, but we are not at the point where we need to make a snap and possibly irrational decision. IT is good to see that people are sharing opinions and ideas here at Mudcat. Somewhere in all this we can each draw some conclusions.

The boycott is surely affecting dozens of other conventions and meetings that are scheduled in before the FA takes over that ONE hotel. Surely the boycott's success doesn't rest on the FA's handling of this AT THIS POINT IN TIME. If the FA conference was taking place next week, this issue would have a heightened sense of urgency. As it stands TODAY, we need to make our voices heard to the Adams Mark. In February, we may have to make another decision.

Ron


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: Tedham Porterhouse
Date: 15 Aug 01 - 04:37 PM

Ron Olesko wrote:

"I think we should also remember that the FA isn't the only group using this hotel. I would guess they have 2 or 3 such gatherings PER WEEK by groups with less social commitment then the FA. Has anyone heard what these groups are doing? Not that it should influence our decision, but there might be some good solutions that we are missing."

Ron,

It appears that the Republican Party went ahead with their fundraising event at the Adams Mark Hotel in Denver with Dubya in attendance.

On the other hand, the United Negro College Fund cancelled its event at the Adams Mark Hotel in Memphis. Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee who were scheduled to appear at the event in Memphis have gone on record in supprt of the boycott.

BTW, Mr. Davis and Ms. Dee are the parents of folk/blues artist Guy Davis, a showcase artist at the 2001 Folk Alliance Conference in Vancouver.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: Ron Olesko
Date: 15 Aug 01 - 04:58 PM

Tedham -

Thanks for the info. Do you know when were these events scheduled for?

I don't want anyone to misunderstand me - I am merely trying to find out information. One of the reasons I became attracted to folk music was because of the social committment of the music AND the musicians. At this point in time I have no intention of spending any of my money at the Adams Mark. However, I want to find out as much information as I can and I want to thank EVERYONE who has posted on Mudcat for bringing something to the discussion. It helps!

Ron


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST,Lyle
Date: 15 Aug 01 - 05:14 PM

I'm bothered by a lot of things in this action, but one thing more than most. It would appear that the $300,000 loss for FA is set in stone. Could ANYONE point out why that is so?? I have never seen a "contract" that couldn't be contested in court. Period. And in this case, it seems there is sufficient justification to contest and win. So why is FA using this as an argument??

Lyle


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: Tedham Porterhouse
Date: 15 Aug 01 - 05:26 PM

Ron,

My info on the Republican fundraiser was posted today to the FA listserv. It did not mention the specific date.

The United Negro College Fund event in Memphis was scheduled for this past weekend. Presumably, it was also "booked" when the NAACP was not in effect.

Lyle,

According to Phyllis Barney, executive director of the FA, most of the $300,000 covers a guarantee that festival attendees will book a certain number of rooms. Some FA members have suggested attending the conference, but staying elsewhere. What difference would that make if FA is left on the hook for those rooms?


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 15 Aug 01 - 05:58 PM

Guest, the contract may be complex, but the simplistic approach is that to cancel a booking unless the contract says you can is a breach. That much must be common to UK and US (don't know which state) contract law. From here on in I speak English, not AMerican. Damages for breach of contract include loss of profit flowing from the contract within the knowledge or contemplation of the defendant (Victoria Steam Laundry). This goes as far as damage of the type that is forseeable goes (The Wagon Mound - a tort case, but OK for contract on this point). The extent of the damage, and factors special to the plaintiff are the defendant's risk (The Liesbosch).

You say the First Amendment affects this, but how - it deals with freedom of speech, which is not in issue.

By the way, if you are a qualified lawyer, in which jurisdiction is that.

InOBU, are you reading this and can you comment on this aspect of the legal issues?


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: Jim the Bart
Date: 15 Aug 01 - 06:34 PM

I went to the DT to see if the words to "Which Side Are You On?" were there; of course it's just me, but I thought it might have some application here. Curiously, I found that the title of the song is there, but the words are not. Selecting the song takes you to the Phil Ochs tune "LINKS ON THE CHAIN", two pertinent verses of which I have pasted below:

Come you ranks of labor, come you union core And see if you remember the struggles of before When you were standing helpless on the outside of the door and you started building links on the chain, on the chain And you started building links on the chain.

And then in 1954, decisions finally made The Black man was a-risin'fast, and racin' from the shade And your union took no stand, and your union was betrayed As you lost yourself a link on the chain, on the chain As you lost yourself a link on the chain.

There are times when you have to make a stand if you wish to maintain your ethical credibility, especially when there is a cost attached. As I said in my other post, it is truly unfortunate for the leadership of the Folk Alliance that they are facing this situation.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Aug 01 - 07:09 PM

I was not going to put my 2 cents in on this one, but two postings made me change my mind. GUEST FROM FLORIDA posted on 8/13. I was at a hotel in Atlanta a number of years ago during the wknd you speak of---and again on Long Island a few years later.

Your comments are right on the mark (not the Adams Mark)---I will not repeat your comments since people can scroll up for that. The only difference was that the "rioting" was condoned. Banned the next year!.

On LI the State Police even allowed activities on tied up parkways that you would not believe---blocking exits into up scale neighborhoods. I would also mention that at that time only ---how do I say it diplomatically--ethnically proper tropopers were assigned. That was --I believe-1998. It was not repeated again. The activities of the participants and the the police assignments.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Aug 01 - 07:23 PM

The First Amendement is an issue in the NAACP boycott, and the legal case that Adams Mark brought against the NAACP when they attempted to reinstate the boycott.

The judge's ruling of last Friday cited the First Amendement issues as grounds for dismissal of AM's suit, asking for an injunction to prevent picketing at their hotels, and to prevent NAACP's boycott.

As to the contractual obligations--spare me, please.

Ever cancelled a reservation before?

Were you sued for damages for cancelling?

No, I thought not.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST,Bill Hahn
Date: 15 Aug 01 - 07:28 PM

Looks like I hit the wrong button, and for some reason I was listed as GUEST. I am not the GUEST we speak of ---my last line had to do with Long Island State troopers. So, onward.

What I had wanted to address was GUEST's comments about being a "left" radical.

We, fortunately, in this country, have moved into a gray area which is being adjudicated in legislation and in courtrooms rather than the streets. Perhaps that came about with the help of a lot of the "left" folkies and perhaps we are just more civilized. Whatever---but those who seek the anonymity of the Internet as GUEST and spout their radical beliefs are certainly not the ones to be emulated or respected.

FA is a business. No doubt. Yet, perhaps, a business that can help and promote exactly the type of causes and beliefs many of us hold. And if there are singers on the "right" and on the "left"==well, FA is there as is any other business group. From the AMA , NAB, etc; Pick an abbreviation.

As to the morality of what they do---that is for you all to decide in your own hearts and minds---though I think the heart only pumps blood.

As to GUEST--if it be only one person--which I doubt--you can certainly carry a huge flag and wave it in protest as people with real names go about doing what they do that is appropriate to their conscience.

My name is not GUEST It is Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Aug 01 - 07:37 PM

I'm pretty certain that American case law means that public boycotts count as an exercise of the rights covered by Freedom of Speech.

And anyone who signs any contract that doesn't include a right to cancel it - maybe with appropriate penalties - is a raving maniac. Of course there probably are a lot of them about in responsible positions, but they are still raving maniacs.


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: catspaw49
Date: 15 Aug 01 - 07:56 PM

Dunno' why this radical thing is bothering me, but................

Yes, Mr. Hahn, perhaps we are more civilized, but we got there through action....not inaction. The people at the far ends of the political spectrum may be completely nuts and way off base to you, barbaric even, but without that skewer, you ain't got a kabob. Certainly the reasonable leftists will eventually be prompted into action as are the rightists, but the catalyst for the action comes from the far ends and not the center.

As I said before, I think the FA as a politcal organization is dead....it wasn't huge to begin with. The statement that could and should be made at this time is to the effect that if the NAACP situation is not resolved the FA will not meet there. Solidarity.........mostly lost.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Aug 01 - 08:08 PM

FA is a business. No doubt.

I'd think there is some doubt. I looked up the large dictionary I keep handy, and the relevant definitions said: "a Commercial transations, trade, finance etc conytrasted with one of the learned or liberal professions or with the public services...b particular commercial enterprise"

Does an organisation that is defined as non-profit making, and which is commited to furthering goals which are not primarily commercial fall into those definitions? Well, maybe it does, but maybe it doesn't. Hence "no doubt" is going a bit too far.

Churches, political parties, trades unions, campaigning groups are they all businesses just because they have to try to avoid making an actual loss if they can?


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: Noreen
Date: 15 Aug 01 - 08:55 PM

Pardon me for interrupting, but this thread is rather long for ease of loading. I've started a continuation thread: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP Part 2 (click here)


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Subject: RE: Folk Alliance vs. NAACP
From: GUEST,Frank
Date: 14 Nov 01 - 05:13 PM

" Frequently Asked Questions: OAH and the Adam's Mark Hotels Updated 7 March 2000, 10:40 EST

5) Aren't the charges against Adam's Mark unproven allegations at this point?

Since 1991, the Adam's Mark chain has been sued at least seven times over charges of racial discrimination, including the two most recent lawsuits filed by the NAACP and the U.S. Department of Justice."

The question that I have is why didn't the FA research this? My suspicion is that they weren't interested. If this is the case, it doesn't speak well for the organization.

If it was short-sighted on their part and it is a costly mistake, the organization might still be in tact because there would be groundswell support for it if if did not cross the NAACP picket line.

I'm reminded of the "Hootenanny" TV show which refused Pete Seeger, the man who invented the word "hootenanny" as a folksing.

If I were a black entertainer I would be reluctant to appear at the FA conference in this hotel chain. As it is, I would personally not go there.

The NAACP is not a radical knee-jerk organization. It has a venerable history and has been accused of being conservative at times. This boycott is not a so-called "politically correct" issue. Even though the boycott was lifted from time to time, it is incumbent on the FA to have researched this hotel chain as to it's policies on racial discrimination.

It's too late for them to cry out "who knew?" They should have.

My advice to the FA. Cut your losses, regroup as an organization of integrity that honors African-Americans and try again. This time, update that mission statement.

Frank


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