North Carolina Newspapers

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Cfje Cljarlotte Bosft
THE WEEK OF MAY 22, 1997
VOLUME 22 NO. 35
NAACP to seek restitution from former N.C. president
By John Minter
10-year ban may also be levied
The NAACP will try to recover
nearly $600,000 from former
N.C. President Kelly Alexander
Jr. for alleged financial impropri
eties, sources in the civil rights
organization say.
Alexander has also been
banned from participation in the
organization’s affairs for 10
years, say the sources, who
requested anonymity.
Reporting on action by the
NAACP national board of direc
tors last weekend, the board
turned the matter over to gener
al counsel Dennis Hayes to recov
er as much as $585,000. Hayes
would decide if civil or criminal
actions are appropriate.
Alexander, son of former
national NAACP board chair
man Kelly M. Alexander Sr., was
suspended from the presidency of
the N.C. NAACP in May 1996
after questions were raised about
his handling of a cash manage
ment account at Merrill Lynch in
National NAACP officials could
not be reached to confirm any
action. The national board met
last weekend in Dallas, Tfexas,
and key officials were out of the
office this week,
secretaries said.
Alexander said
this week he had
not heard about
the board action
and could not
confirm the
results. It was
unclear if his
was suspended
or if he was barred from holding
T\iskegee Study’s legacy
Herman Shaw. 94, a Tuskegee Syphilis Study victim, smiles after receiving an official apology from President Clinton Friday in
Washington. Making amends for a shameful U.S. experiment, Clinton apologized to black men whose syphilis went untreated by
government doctors.
Blacks still distrust U.S.
medical establishment
By Herbert L. White
The Tuskegee Study of
Untreated Syphilis in the
Negro Male ended 25 years ago,
but its effects are still felt today.
President Clinton officially
apologized on behalf of the U.S.
government for the study,
which left 399 African
American men untreated for
the venereal disease from 1932-
72. Clinton extended the apolo
gy last week in a White House
ceremony attended by Tuskegee
survivors, and their families.
Although only eight of the par
ticipants are still alive,
Clinton’s words were meant to
bring an end to one of the
longest chapters of medical
abuse in American history.
“It is not in remembering that
shameful past that we can
make amends and repair our
nation, but it is in remembering
that past that we can build a
better present and a better
future,” he said. “And vrithout
remembering it, we cannot
make amends and we cannot go
Asking forgiveness for U.S.
transgressions and establishing
a center for bioethics at
Tuskegee University, the
Alabama school that served as
headquarters for the study is a
step in the right direction, said
Randall C. Morgan Jr. M.D.,
president of the National
Medical Association.
“President Clinton’s apolo
gy. . .does not excuse the tragedy
of the Tuskegee Study of
Untreated Syphilis in the
Negro Male, but it may help to
close this unfortunate chapter
in our nation’s history,” he said.
The Thskegee study started
as an experiment to gauge the
effects and spread of syphilis, or
“bad blood” among black men.
Even after penicillin was found
to be an effective treatment, the
drug was withheld from the
study group, ultimately spread
ing the disease to their wives
and children. Tbday African
Americans point to Tuskegee as
an example of the U.S. medical
community targeting blacks for
experimentation. From fear
that doctors will harvest blacks
for organ transplants to con-
See STUDY on page 2A
Review proposal bears
stamp of young author
By John Minter
Patrick Cannon’s youth made
him a lightweight when he joined
the Charlotte City Coimcil four
years ago.
But as Cannon prepares for a
likely run for a third term, he's
spearheading the city’s move
toward one of its most difficult
decisions - appointment of a citi
zens review board to oversee
police department actions.
The so-called Cannon
Amendment, with some modifi-
cations, is expected to pass when
the council considers it next
month. A council committee
which met Wednesday is fleshing
out details.
“We expect to make a decision
in the month of June, at our next
business meeting,” said Cannon,
the youngest person ever elected
to council at age 26 and at 30 is
still its junior member.
Bob Davis, chair of the Black
Political Caucus praised
Cannon’s handling of the citizen
See REVIEW on page 3A
Charlotte City Council member Patrick Cannon explains his plan for
a citizens review board to a group of ministers last week. Cannon’s
proposal has picked up support in recent weeks.
any official position within the
“If they suspended my two life
memberships and two golden
heritage memberships, I hope
they send my money back,”
Alexander said Monday. “As far
as I am concerned, when I
resigned from the state confer
ence presidency back in
November, that was it.”
State and local NAACP officials
said they were expecting written
notification of the board’s action
as early as this week.
Acting N.C. NAACP conference
president Melvin “Skip” Alston of
Greensboro said he had no offi
cial word on the board's action.
“I have had to accept it as
hearsay,” Alston said. “I’m glad
they finally brought this thing to
a conclusion, if they did. The
state conference has been deal
ing with it over a year now. We
are just glad to see that there has
See NAACP on page 2A
Despite objections,
exhibit organizer
will receive honor
By John Minter
Dawn Womack will be recognized for bringing the Henrietta
Marie slave ship exhibit to Charlotte despite a Mecklenburg
County commissioner’s bid to block a public acknowledgment.
Commissioner Darrell Williams pulled the honor from the
board’s agenda Tuesday after colleague Bill James complained
about some of the speakers invited to exhibit-
related events. Williams said he pulled the item
to avoid embarrassing Womack.
“I have the certificate I was going to give her
all ready signed by (chairman) Parks Helms,”
Williams said Wednesday. “I am going to give it
to her in another setting.”
Womack said the entire matter was “bigger
than it needs to be.”
“(James) is making big issue out of some
thing I think is insignificant,” she said.
While a part of her would accept the award in
any venue, Womack said another part wants to
challenge James. “If they are going to give an award, they ought’
to give it in the setting it was meant to be given,” she said. “We
shouldn’t let this guy make us back down and go to some private
The flap began when James, a conservative representing
District 6 in southeast Charlotte, spotted the proposed presenta
tion on the county agenda Sunday.
James says he had no problem with exhibits, but objects to hon-
See EXHIBIT on page 3A
Remap impasse
threatens to put
elections on hold
By John Minter
Charlotte’s City Council’s
impasse over redrawing its
seven districts continues after
a mayoral veto killed a
Democrat-backed plan Monday
If no agreement is reached,
the matter could end up in
court, which could cancel or
delay at least part of this fall’s
municipal elections.
The Democrats’ proposals
would add 30,000 new resi
dents to adjacent districts and
make little changes to district
Republicans are pushing for a
plan that would assure them of
at least one more district seat,
perhaps District 4, represented
by Nasif Majeed, or District 1,
represented by Sara Spencer.
Council member Patrick
Cannon, who represents
District 3, said Tuesday a com
promise may be reached.
“I would hope we will not
have to go to court,” Cannon
said. “That’s the last place this
city needs to be.”
Majeed, whose district would
be more white and more
Republican under the
Democratic plan, accused
Republicans of trying to upset
a delicate balance in the city’s
Cannon said he and Majeed
would face tougher campaigns
because of the annexation of
more white voters, which takes
effect July 1.
“Majeed is in a Catch-22 situ
ation,” Cannon said.
“Regardless of what happens,
District 4 is going to be an open
district. It will be fair game for
See DISTRICT on page 6A
Editorials 4A-5A
Strictly Business 7A
Lifestyles 9A
Healthy Body/
Healthy Mind 10A
Religion 11A
Sports IB
A&E 5B
Regional News 9B
Classified 11B
Auto Showcase 14B
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