Amid controversy, NAACP VP resigns

Daily Staff Reporter
Published January 30, 2006

This story incorrectly identified LSA sophomore Saddam Shalhout as Raheam Shalhout.

After a semester of controversy, LSA junior Alex Moffett has resigned from her post as vice president of the campus chapter of the NAACP.

The resignation appears to have stemmed from a rift with the state chapter of the NAACP. In her letter of resignation, she expressed discontent with the way the campus chapter is forced to function under the state chapter's regulations.

She said the legal ties to the state board render the campus NAACP "incapable of acting when action is most necessary."

"What is 'political action' with no action?" she wrote.

It is not clear whether the state chapter forced her out or she left on her own will as she claims. In the letter, she cited the state chapter's recent demands for the University to hold reelections as the immediate cause of her resignation.

Moffett announced her resignation through a formal letter she posted on her blog at

In the letter, Moffett also announced plans to form a new campus organization next fall called "The Collective."

Moffett said the group will "seek to address the intellectual, spiritual, political, and social needs of undergraduate, graduate and professional black students."

Moffett has been at the center of several campus controversies this year.

In October, Moffett publicly condemned the pro-affirmative action group BAMN for using middle- and high-school students at a rally to protest the Michigan Civil Right Initiative.

She told the Daily that BAMN has a "habit of tokenizing black students, young and old."

Previously, the two groups had presented a united front in their opposition of MCRI, a proposal on November's ballot that, if passed, would ban some affirmative action programs in Michigan.

At a Michigan Student Assembly meeting a few days later, Moffett and other NAACP members clashed with some BAMN members, engaging in a shouting match over the rally. Police arrived to break the conflict up.

During a particularly heated part of the argument, one BAMN activist shouted, "Alex, are you scared to be black?"

In December, Moffett was again at the center of a controversy about two political cartoons in The Michigan Daily that the NAACP believed were racist.

It is not clear exactly what actions Moffett wanted to take or did take that the state chapter took issue with.

The state chapter did not respond to phone calls asking for comment.

In the letter, she said she has never been one to "settle for garbage that is handed down to (her) . and to walk around, representing an organization that has done so . is unbearable."

Moffett and Riana Anderson, president of the campus chapter of the NAACP, both refused to comment.

The state chapter's "actions have continuously proven to be jealous and petty," Moffett said.

Moffett also hinted at internal conflict within the NAACP: "The fact that we have yet to inform our membership about what is going on within our organization is wrong."

Moffett's presence will be missed, said LSA sophomore Saddam Shalhout, a member of the NAACP.

"Alex Moffett was a great candidate," he said. "I voted for her."