Oops! Young Dems White Leadership Photo Takes Heat From NAACP State Leader For Obama Cardboard

The only negro they could find was cardboard,” said Scot X. Esdaile, president of the Connecticut NAACP.

Legitimate gripe? Or much ado about nothing? Why is Esdaile calling Obama a negro?

Statement from Connecticut Young Dems Facebook page

The leadership of CTYD sincerely apologizes for the tone deaf photo taken last night after our November meeting and special election of new president. The photo was only of a few of the current and outgoing executive board members, not the entire team, and does not represent the diversity of the executive board nor the diversity of CTYD and our local chapters across the state. While this is a very unfortunate and embarrassing circumstance, it presents an opportunity for us to more actively recruit young Democrats of color to become members of the organization and serve in leadership positions. The time to get involved is now!

The following positions on the executive board are currently open:
Vice President, Finance (fundraising)
Treasurer
Secretary
Deputy VP of Communications
National Committeewoman (rep to YDA)

Last night’s special election was to fill only the President’s role when a vacancy arose. The regular election will be held in April providing the opportunity for new candidates for each position on the executive board.

In the interim, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to us on Facebook or via email at ctyoungdemssecretary@gmail.com or directly to CTYD President Constance Vickers at ce.vickers90@gmail.com

From Paul Bass, New Haven Independent:

A photo taken to mark the ascension of a “Young Democrats” leader has kicked up some racial blowback.

The photo, posted Wednesday on social media (and since removed) by an outgoing member of the Connecticut Young Democrats, was taken at a meeting to elect a new chapter president. It showed members of the leadership present at the time. All the people pictured were white.

Except one: ex-President Barack Obama.

Obama wasn’t there in person. And he’s not a member of the Young Dems executive board. Rather, the group posed with a life-sized cardboard cutout.

Before the photo was taken down, it made swift rounds among political leaders of color.

“Everybody has been texting it to me all morning,” said state NAACP President Scot X. Esdaile.

He called the posting of the photo a “slap in the face” indicative of “clear racism going on in the Democratic Party.”

“It looks like the only black they can find is a cardboard Obama. That’s the perception of it. The disingenuous part is that during the election cycle, they were at all of our churches. They were putting up signs throughout our community. All of our organizations. They can find us during election season. As soon as election season is over, they can’t find us,” Esdaile said.

… (Bridgeport resident) Constance Vickers, who was elected as the Connecticut Young Democrats’ new president at Wednesday night’s meeting at state Democratic Party headquarters in Hartford, called the affair an “embarrassing misunderstanding.” It was a special meeting called to elect a new board president because the previous president, Kim Glassman, had resigned. (She had turned 36, aging out of the role.)

Present and past board members who were still around after the meeting posed for the photo, Vickers said. It turns out that four of the board’s nine members are people of color, she said, but they happened not to be around at the time.

“The cardboard cutout–that was an absolute mistake,” said Vickers, a 28-year-old fundraiser for nonprofit organizations. “We have a cutout of Obama and Bernie [Sanders] that we use at a lot of events. We should not have used that photo. It was embarrassing for me and for the board.”

Full story here.

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22 comments

  1. First and most important. Congratulations to Constance Vickers as being named the President of the Connecticut Young Democrats. I think the President of the NAACP made a huge mistake grandstanding. Barak Obama is and was an outstanding respected President and citizen. There should absolutely have not been an apology. As for Constance Vickers, She has supported more candidates of color than any other political figure across the State. She certainly does not have to apologize for anothers misconception. . I would like to see some candidates that have been the recipient of Constance Vickers hard work during a campaign call out the head of the NAACP. I think our local Senator, Marilyn Moore should be the first to respond. This is just shameful and I am most disappointed that Constance felt a need to apologize. She did not and there is no question in my mind that there was any evil intent with that photo.

    1. Steve I am wondering if this was done to the Jewish community would you have the same take on this. The young Dem’s should be ashamed of themselves for thanking this is funny. I have always had great respect for Ms Constance Vickers but she should apologize to everyone. especially to the Black Community.

      1. Ernie, if this were done with a loved, respected and revered member of the Jewish community I’d be proud. The attack– you’d think it was a white man in black face demeaning President Obama. It wasn’t a pic of white people with a cardboard cutout of Buckwheat from the little Rascals. I think the NAACP chose the wrong battle. I think you jumping on the bandwagon is a shame and I am most embarrassed that with all of the African American people Constance Vickers supported it is Ironic they are silent– No surprise here. I think Constance Vickers documented history of support for Black candidates speaks for itself. I am glad you wanted to point out my feelings if it were a Jew. I’d be proud and I do not think the Defamation league would make an issue if they were posing with a cardboard cutout of Joseph Lieberman. I think there are more important issues to talk about. This is not one of them.

        1. Steve, this is more than one person Constance Vickers and who she supported. This is about the total disrespect by the Young Democrats in Bridgeport and in the State for black Democrats in Bridgeport. Bridgeport is a majority black and brown city and so are the registered voters in Bridgeport who are Democrats. The black Democrats are only important when their votes are needed but not I photo, what a way to encourage young black voters to get involve by totally ignoring like they are invisible except for a life-sized cardboard cutout of a ex-President Barack Obama. But Steve, that’s what I would except from you.

          1. Ernie no offense- Hit it out of the park? . There are many people of color in the young Dems. ? Ron Mackey , no offense but I seem to recall a letter of support you wrote for Bob Walsh when he made a horrendous phone call that was taped to former Councilwoman Mary Evette Brantley. That speaks volumes – Ernie probably thought you hit it out of the the park there also.Lets just agree to disagree. While Constance Vickers is working her ass off accross the State others will always be looking to grand stand.

            I am surprised her Best friend , a current Council member of color has not chimed in. To be clear. If I thought there was anything mean spirited about that photo I certainly would not be supporting it. I have no connection to the Young Dems and certainly would never support anything that I thought was remotely racist or mean spirited. I do know Constance Vickers and know she is an extremely accomplished woman . She is young and has really created a name for herself across the state. She has no baggage and it seems the only problem here is that she was not born African American . If she were a black woman I’d still be singing her praises. It is just so sad that everything gets reduced to race in some peoples eyes. I am so sorry I just can not relate to that, But I can certainly empathize when the situation warrants it. I just feel that this is not one of those situations.

            Again, Congratulations to Constance Vickers , That should be what this post is about. Not a conversation giving life to Trumps divided America.

          2. Steve, I stand with my friend Bob Walsh, Bob is man enough to apologize. Mayor Ganim’s base of voters are black, in fact there are less whites n Bridgeport than blacks and Hispanics and these Young Democrats in Bridgeport didn’t have the time or desire to include blacks shows how comfortable they are with no blacks around them.

        2. Steve I am so glad you see nothing wrong with what the Young Dem’s did, first of all President Obama is not a young Dem, so what am I suppose to think the picture speaks for its self. Ms. Constance Vickers could of stated that this picture dose not represent the diversity in the young dem and listed their names. I am truly sadden that you see nothing wrong with the picture. Its like say some of my best friends are black but we never see them!

          1. Ernie, You have crossed the line. I see nothing wrong with it and the 100’s of people of color that liked the phot on Facebook apparently had no problem with it either. When you want to have an intelligent conversation about this call me. Otherwise kissing Mackey’s ass doesn’t bode well for you and the black community is not reading this blog and aggreeing with the content. This was the wrong battle for the NAACP– You all think the Dems are Racist/ Maybe the Republican party offers you more of an opportunity- NOT! This will be forgotten tomorrow, But Ms. Vickers will continue to grow and support diverse candidates while others just stand still. To me this article was just to congratulate Constance . The NAACP really does not do anything in this area and hasn’t in years.

            Ernie, Ron lets just respectfully agree to disagree. It is what intelligent adults do.

  2. Oops my ass, this is the mindset of this group, they are comfortable with no blacks, it was no big deal to them. What kind of outreach are the doing to get black members and how many black and Hispanics are in this organization? These are the same questions that I challenged C4BB and David Walker about. The hell with the Youth Democrats in Bridgeport and in the State.

  3. Senator Moore doesn’t owe anyone an apology as she isn’t the one who called out this glaring farce, nor is she the one who told these fools to go and find any Black to pose for pictures even if it’s a picture.

    Constance needed to apologize for the ignorance of this picture being taken with the only Black they could find, a cutout of President Obama, that’s the damn shame. Ms. Vickers was correct when she called the affair an “embarrassing” and a “misunderstanding.”

    This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone as the Democratic party had always marginalized Black’s while the Republican party treats Black’s like they don’t exists. Shame on these typical young Democrats and how they put white privilege in action and on display.

    1. PavlickInTheNorthend – your comment is offensive and quite frankly, stupid. It’s the job of Young Democrats and the Democratic Party to make sure all communities are represented. I believe that the Young Democrats will use this as an opportunity to increase outreach in communities of color, ensuring that everyone has a seat at the table. It’s Bridgeport’s rich diversity that makes us great.

      Take your racism somewhere else. You’ll find no support for it here.

      1. I do realize that the truth is always offensive to those with an “agenda”. ” Racism, Racism, all is Racism” Last I knew, there were a number of African Americans and Hispanics in what is left of the local Republican Party.

  4. Ron I’m glad you have a white racism friend, Stephen being Jewish you should be offended because they, CTYD, didn’t have the cut out of (Jewish) Bernie Sanders in the photo, and Ernie I see your race bating is part of your political forte. Just like when you proclaimed to me that Jesus was black because he was described as having hair like white wool. At least we all can agree the blacks who supported Trump might be on to something. 🙂 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1YFLBjR-swo

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