January 9, 2015
Cornell William Brooks
NAACP President and CEO, Cornell William Brooks, is described as “a pioneering lawyer and a civil rights activist” by his peers at the NAACP, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. He is the 18th president and was appointed in May of 2014. Since May, he has been actively working with the nation against police brutality.
On Bob Schieffer’s CBS show, Face the Nation, Schieffer interviewed Brooks about his position on the Michal Brown shooting.
“Michel Brown’s death feels like more than an individual tragedy. It feels like a generational assault for many of these young people,” said Brooks.
Brooks continued to discuss the NAACP’s concerns about the reaction of Missouri governor, Jay Nixon to the shooting: “The governor’s response was to a security crisis rather than a social justice crisis” said Brooks.
Brooks said that people will call for systemic change because of this and the other shootings around the country. He said that people will begin to look for police forces that create an atmosphere of safety and equality for everyone. Although, on most media, Brooks is in support of the victims of police brutality, he also shows sympathy for unjust and needless violence. On his Twitter account, Brooks commented on the police shootings in New York. “The tears of grieving families are colorless–not black, brown or police blue. All lives matter. Condolences to the Ramos & Liu families.”
In an article that Brooks wrote for Newsday.com, he discussed the seven-day, 134-mile march lead by the NAACP.
“Profound sadness can only begin to summarize the indescribable heartache rippling across the country in the wake of two grand juries deciding not to indict the two police officers in the killings of unarmed African-American men, Michael Brown and Eric Garner. But undaunted typifies the resolve of the NAACP and millions across the world who will not allow these tragic events to dissuade us from pursuing justice” wrote Brooks.
The Ferguson shooting happened three months into his term as NAACP president. Brooks’ background in law and civil rights helped prepare him for taking on police brutality so soon in his term. In his biography on the NAACP website, Brooks is described as a man who came equipped with all the credentials for a job of this caliber.
“A graduate of Head Start and Yale Law School… a civil rights attorney, social justice advocate, fourth-generation ordained minister and coalition-builder, Brooks’ life and experience exemplify the NAACP’s mission to secure political, educational, social, and economic equality for all citizens.”