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Folk Alliance vs. NAACP

GUEST,Frank 14 Nov 01 - 05:13 PM
Noreen 15 Aug 01 - 08:55 PM
McGrath of Harlow 15 Aug 01 - 08:08 PM
catspaw49 15 Aug 01 - 07:56 PM
McGrath of Harlow 15 Aug 01 - 07:37 PM
GUEST,Bill Hahn 15 Aug 01 - 07:28 PM
GUEST 15 Aug 01 - 07:23 PM
GUEST 15 Aug 01 - 07:09 PM
Jim the Bart 15 Aug 01 - 06:34 PM
Richard Bridge 15 Aug 01 - 05:58 PM
Tedham Porterhouse 15 Aug 01 - 05:26 PM
GUEST,Lyle 15 Aug 01 - 05:14 PM
Ron Olesko 15 Aug 01 - 04:58 PM
Tedham Porterhouse 15 Aug 01 - 04:37 PM
Ron Olesko 15 Aug 01 - 04:26 PM
GUEST 15 Aug 01 - 04:07 PM
GUEST 15 Aug 01 - 03:52 PM
catspaw49 15 Aug 01 - 03:36 PM
GUEST,PeteBoom (at work) 15 Aug 01 - 03:35 PM
harpgirl 15 Aug 01 - 03:34 PM
GUEST 15 Aug 01 - 03:25 PM
Wolfgang 15 Aug 01 - 03:24 PM
Ron Olesko 15 Aug 01 - 03:18 PM
harpgirl 15 Aug 01 - 03:15 PM
McGrath of Harlow 15 Aug 01 - 02:58 PM
GUEST 15 Aug 01 - 02:41 PM
Ron Olesko 15 Aug 01 - 02:20 PM
GUEST 15 Aug 01 - 02:09 PM
GUEST,PeteBoom (at work) 15 Aug 01 - 01:44 PM
GUEST,PeteBoom (at work) 15 Aug 01 - 01:29 PM
Richard Bridge 15 Aug 01 - 01:29 PM
GUEST 15 Aug 01 - 01:15 PM
Ron Olesko 15 Aug 01 - 12:50 PM
GUEST 15 Aug 01 - 11:26 AM
McGrath of Harlow 15 Aug 01 - 09:53 AM
GUEST 15 Aug 01 - 09:41 AM
McGrath of Harlow 15 Aug 01 - 08:10 AM
GUEST 15 Aug 01 - 07:56 AM
GUEST,Amy LA 14 Aug 01 - 11:31 PM
GUEST,Dorothy Parker's Evil Twin 14 Aug 01 - 11:01 PM
blt 14 Aug 01 - 04:03 PM
DougR 14 Aug 01 - 03:51 PM
catspaw49 14 Aug 01 - 02:59 PM
GUEST 14 Aug 01 - 02:39 PM
McGrath of Harlow 14 Aug 01 - 02:32 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 14 Aug 01 - 02:22 PM
mousethief 14 Aug 01 - 02:02 PM
DougR 14 Aug 01 - 01:49 PM
GUEST 14 Aug 01 - 01:34 PM
mousethief 14 Aug 01 - 01:32 PM
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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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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: 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: 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 - 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: 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: 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
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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 04:26 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: 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: 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: 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,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: 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
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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 02:09 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: 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,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: 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
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: 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 - 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: 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 - 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 - 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 - 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: 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,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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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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