By Harry Colbert, Jr., Managing Editor
Washington, D.C. – In a day that honored a stalwart of the Black Press and saw a liaison of the Trump administration walk out on a breakfast with members of the Black Press, it was the words in a university library that rang the loudest.
The words were those of Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas). She was speaking on March 23 to honor Lenora “Doll” Lee, publisher in Memoriam of the Forward Times (Houston), who was just enshrined in the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) Gallery of Distinguished Publishers. But during her impromptu talk on the lower level of Howard University’s Founder’s Library Jackson Lee dropped a bombshell. In talking about the nation’s current president Jackson Lee minced no words.
“This is not a government right now,” said Jackson Lee in front of nearly 50 members of the NNPA. “I’m on the route of impeachment.”
Jackson Lee said there are a litany of reasons that should disqualify President Donald Trump as president including his potential ties to Russia and its interference in November’s election, but she also said America is unsafe under Trump.
“I’m concerned about our nation. I’m concerned about what happened when we get that call about North Korea in the middle of the night,” said Jackson Lee. “You have in office an individual that is unread and unlearned.”
Jackson Lee’s statement rings louder as she is a member of the House Judiciary and Homeland Security Committees.
Some have expressed concerns that an impeachment of Trump would leave the nation under the control of Vice President Mike Pence who is seen as a staunch conservative with far rightwing views. Jackson Lee does not share in those concerns.
“At least he (Pence) understands government,” said the Texas representative. “And I’m focused on getting him out in 2020 anyway.”
The day started on an auspicious note when Trump liaison Omarosa Manigault walked out on a breakfast with members of the Black Press. Manigault was an invited guest speaking during Black Press Week. Following brief remarks Manigault opened the floor for questions – there would be only one.
Asked why the president reneged on a promise to provide a one-on-one on the record meeting with the Rev. Dr. Ben Chavis, president and CEO of the NNPA, Manigault became hostile in her defense and insisted there was never any such deal to meet with Trump. The meeting had been reported on in multiple publications including in Insight News.
Manigault reiterated her claims that no such meeting was on the table and abruptly walked off.
Honoring “Doll” Carter
Not letting the morning’s events mar the day, members of the NNPA journeyed on the Howard University – home of the NNPA archives and Gallery of Distinguished Publishers – to pay tribute to Lenora “Doll” Carter, past publisher of the Forward Times in Houston. Carter who passed in 2010, also served as treasurer of the NNPA. She was remembered as a powerful businesswoman and a loving friend.
“Doll was larger than life,” remarked Jackson Lee, whose district represented Carter.
Colleague and close friend Dorothy Leavell said Carter lived up to her nickname.
“I know why they called her Doll because she was beautiful on the outside and she was beautiful on the inside as well,” said Leavell, publisher of the Chicago Crusader.
NNPA celebrated Black Press Week in conjunction with the National Association of Hispanic Publishers’ Legislative Summit. More than a dozen congresspersons including Rep. John Conyers – the senior member of Congress – met with members of both organizations.