At the September Cincinnati NAACP general membership meeting President Christopher Smitherman announced to the members that the Cincinnati NAACP was not the Buzz. This statement was in reference to callers, including NAACP members, calling 1230 am WDBZ (The Buzz) radio, the Lincoln Ware show and voicing their concerns over the direction of the chapter.
The next day on the air Ware joked about Smitherman’s comment. Throughout the program he repeatedly stated, “The Cincinnati NAACP is not the Buzz.”
Clearly, the Cincinnati NAACP is not the Buzz, but Smitherman and Ware appear to have done a role reversal of sorts. Smitherman was once a hard core fighter of social injustices. Lincoln Ware, the upper middle class radio host, who was once a Republican has taken a lot of criticism from his callers over the years for not challenging the status quo and not being more involved with issues that plague black communities.
Now it’s Smitherman the upper middle class black man who is taking heat for what some see as abandoning his black base who are the grass roots activist that helped him get elected to Cincinnati City Council in 2003 and 2011, and get elected as President of the Cincinnati NAACP in 2007.
These days Smitherman can be found hobnobbing with Republican Good Ole’ boys, that don’t give a Mitt Romney’s 47% rat’s ass about half of Cincinnati. (blacks, poor and working class whites and other ethnicities, struggling college students and the elderly).
.Lincoln still hobnobs with Cincinnati’s who’s who. Congressman Steve Chabot and Police Chief James Craig are frequent guests on his radio program. And the latest politician that he has “brought to the black community” is Sean Donovan candidate for Sheriff of Hamilton County. You will only get that statement if you are a frequent listener to Ware’s show.
It seems years of listening to political conscious radio callers over the airwaves has sparked an activist fire in Lincoln. When the community of Avondale experienced a wave of summer violence in which several people were shot in one incident, a four year boy was shot while walking with his mother, and a 17 year old girl was shot and paralyzed - Ware partnered with Chief Craig and quickly organized a call to action meeting at a church in Avondale. As a result of that meeting a Citizens on Patrol unit was formed in the community. I am a proud C.O.P.P. volunteer.
Lincoln’s October activisms includes camping out at the Board of Elections to raise awareness of early voting (Smitherman also camped out and is one of the events founders). On Saturday Ware organized a protest in Elmwood Village to support his many callers who complained that they were unfairly given speeding tickets by a red light camera. Some people who were given tickets have experienced great hardship, having been given two tickets in one day.
Smitherman appears to be moving away from activism. In fairness to him, activism is a hard, thankless job. There is no monetary pay. Instead, you get paid in criticism. I don’t believe anyone becomes an activist with the intention to make money. The spirit of activism erupts in your gut like a stomach flu and you have no choice but to deal with it.
Lately Ware has been dealing with it, Smitherman, uh not so much.
We should all congratulate Smitherman for the great work he has done in the community, some may argue that he’s still doing the work. Whatever your position, he has the right to change the direction of his career and YOU have the right to vote in the Cincinnati NAACP upcoming election.
Anyone who wishes to participate in upcoming NAACP elections must pay $30.00 and join the NAACP by Friday Oct 12.
Election will be held on November 13th from 7am to 7pm at NAACP offices.
***Please do NOT apply online, if you apply in person at the NAACP office, Get a receipt.” 513.281.1900.
You may also contact Tim Sullivan at 513.823.7060 who will drop you off an application and pick up your payment.