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Saturday, September 23, 2023

Blistering report that IRS revokes N.C. NAACP tax-exempt status

By Cash Michaels, Peacemaker Senior Contributor / September 1, 2022

Just over a month after the suspicious death of former N.C. NAACP Pres. Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman, and the dropping of the defamation/civil conspiracy lawsuit he had earlier filed against national NAACP Pres./CEO Derrick Johnson, current N.C. NAACP Pres. Deborah Maxwell, and several other N.C. NAACP members, comes a blistering story in the Raleigh News and Observer that reports that the state’s civil rights organization lost its tax-exempt status last May because it had not filed its #990 form for three consecutive years.

What’s “blistering” about the N&O story is that it points its finger at both Dr. Spearman and his predecessor, Rev. Dr. William Barber, by stating, “Organization bank statements reflect years of payments made to unidentifiable parties, with hundreds of thousands of dollars unaccounted for, according to the group’s current treasurer.”

Gerald Givens Jr., president of the Raleigh/Apex NAACP

For the record, “…the group’s current treasurer” is Gerald Givens Jr., president of the Raleigh/Apex NAACP, and a named defendant in Dr. Spearman’s defamation/civil conspiracy lawsuit prior to it being dismissed. Givens was also named as causing a “disruption” against Rev. Spearman, according to published reports and eyewitnesses then, during a meeting at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Winston-Salem in 2019, where police had to be called, but no arrests were made.
The N&O article doesn’t say that the paper actually saw “organization bank statements [that] reflect years of payments made to unidentifiable parties,” thus the article only refers to whatever “strictly confidential” presentation Treasurer Givens “…shared…from an “investigation” he conducted into the [N.C. NAACP’s] financial health and history at a meeting last February “…of about 30 state and national NAACP leaders.”

That report allegedly detailed “eight years of “very problematic” payment patterns, including “potential misappropriation of funds on multiple levels.” The N&O story went on to allege, “more than $1 million had been spent without proper authorization, Givens said at the meeting.”

The Raleigh newspaper went on to state that though Givens refused to comment for its story, “…a transcript of his speech was shared with the N&O and independently verified.”

Question – if Givens himself did not comment for the N&O story, then who had the power to “share” a “transcript of his speech” from last February at a meeting “…of about 30 state and national NAACP leaders?”

And why, since the national NAACP is quick to tell any reporter that it simply does not comment on internal affairs, was a document from an apparently important meeting of NAACP officials, leaked to a major North Carolina newspaper outlet?

The N&O story also raises other questions, like, if Tennessee conference President Gloria Sweet-Love was the administrator in charge of “operation of the branch, its committees and staff” since 2019, then why didn’t she make sure the three years of non-filed #990 IRS tax forms were taken care of prior to the revocation of the N.C. NAACP’s tax-exempt status?

What was she doing (or not doing) to allow that to happen?

Sweet-Love spoke briefly to the N&O for its story. Apparently, she didn’t say, and the paper’s reporters didn’t ask.

Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman

And that’s it. The N&O used the three-year non-filing of tax forms, the revocation of the N.C. NAACP’s 501(c) 4 status (which made the organization tax-exempt and a suspiciously leaked, “strictly confidential,” report presented by an N.C. NAACP member, who happened to also be a defendant in Spearman’s defamation/civil conspiracy lawsuit.

Since 2017, North Carolina’s Black Press has chronicled the vicious infighting between certain internal NAACP factions and N.C. NAACP leadership, and that includes allegations of sexual harassment against ousted Rev. Curtis Gatewood, who was forced to leave the N.C. NAACP behind allegations that he sexually harassed a young N.C. NAACP woman he once supervised in 2017. Gatewood has denied the allegation. The trial will reportedly commence in Durham on January 17th, 2023.

Spearman always alleged as part of his defamation/civil conspiracy claims that, “With the help of at least six other Defendants, a plan was devised [by NAACP Pres./CEO Derrick Johnson and national NAACP Board Chairman Leon Russell] to falsely accuse Spearman of fiscal malfeasance, seemingly “forcing” Johnson to put the N.C. NAACP under the control of a national administrator [Sweet-Love] in 2019.

“The purpose of Defendants’ plan to damage [Spearman’s] reputation was to ensure that when the elections resumed in 2021, [Spearman] would have a difficult time being re-elected,” the lawsuit maintained.

NAACP Constitutional violations were being alleged against Spearman, but none were ever brought forward to a hearing or forum of due process.

In October 2021, Sweet-Love arbitrarily and without warning, changed the rules and process of the N.C. NAACP executive committee elections. Spearman and his team were voted out. Deborah Dicks Maxwell, and her team, which included Gerald Givens Jr. as treasurer, were voted in.


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Since 1967, the Carolina Peacemaker has served as North Carolina’s leading news weekly with a national reputation. Founded by Dr. John Kilimanjaro, the newspaper is published by Carolina Newspaper, Inc.

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