In defense of Wilson and Phillips
County Councilman Sam Wilson, and to a lesser extent fellow member Vance Phillips, have made good copy for some newspapers and among the liberal press. What caused all the flap was when Wilson balked, later joined by Phillips, at making a $100 contribution from his special fund to the Sussex County Branch of the NAACP.
Sam was attempting to question the exclusions suggested by the word “Colored” in NAACP. His antics, if you would call it that, have brought great happiness to the liberals and that’s good. Lately they have not had much to feel smug or self-righteous about, and that’s important because that is how they find happiness.
Sam was not intending to spread happiness. He was simply trying to be a responsible steward for the taxpayers’ money. He was mindful that it was not his own personal money he would be allocating as his one-fifth share to help finance a trip to Las Vegas of local members to a convention to be held by the NAACP.
I know both Sam Wilson and Vance Phillips. Both are generous and caring persons in their own personal behavior. In Sussex County, where people have known each other for years in long stable communities, it’s the only way one can be - and that thoughtfulness extends across racial and income lines. It’s part of our culture and we don’t elect people to office if they do not share those values.
We can guess that Sam Wilson was only trying to tweak a straight answer from someone. But joyless, schoolmarmish Councilwoman Joan Deaver was having none of that. You would think that Sam was a schoolboy in her classroom and had just pinged her with a spitball.
Of course we all know, as did Sam, what the answer is to the question, “What color is that?” It’s simply any color but white, as stated in Webster’s Dictionary (and eliminates Caucasians). In an era when colorblindness is the guiding light and discrimination based on race is unacceptable, an allocation of public funds to a particular racial group to the exclusion of others is in itself discriminating. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t protest discrimination on one hand and then practice it with the other.
The plea is made that the NAACP was founded with white people and contains white members today. That is beside the point. What is material is the thrust and purpose of the group - and that is to help and advance people of color. Their name tells it all.
My native state is Nevada and I have personal knowledge of how they justify their liberal gambling laws. In its early boom years, Californians went there to extract the mineral wealth only to take it home with them. Now Nevadans want to get some of that money back and more besides. They are looking for the big spenders and high rollers.
The choice of the NAACP to have their conference in Las Vegas, Nev. might have raised an eyebrow or two. If Las Vegas is not exactly Sin City, it is neither grandma’s kitchen. It’s America’s capital of organized gambling and expensive recreation. It’s the destination of the high rollers - the place you boast about when you arrive home. The NAACP could have made a better choice, which is what Sam was implying.