LUMBERTON — Robeson County’s chapter of the NAACP is temporarily out of business.
Although its charter has not been revoked, the Unified Robeson County Branch of the NAACP has been ordered by the civil rights’ organization’s headquarters in Baltimore to cease and desist all operations until the chapter’s executive members — including elected members and standing committee chairmen — receive training.
“There are some issues that need to be addressed,” said Jimmy Buxton, the NAACP State Conference District 9 director. District 9 includes Robeson, Cumberland, Hoke and Harnett counties.
Buxton didn’t say what the specific issues of concern are, but told The Robesonian that “whatever the problems are, we (NAACP) are giving the benefit of the doubt that they can be resolved with proper training.”
“We feel that there is a lack of knowledge to run the branch,” Buxton said. “If they have had training in the past, it is not now being followed.”
Training is mandatory for all executive members of all state chapters, Buxton said. He said that state NAACP officials will travel to Robeson County soon to provide the training.
“If there are no other complications, after the training is complete, the branch can continue to run as it has in the past,” Buxton said.
Robert Davis, who was elected chapter president on Nov. 15 and installed on Jan. 5, declined to comment when contacted. He said that he cannot respond to questions because of the cease-and-desist order from the NAACP.
Buxton emphasized that the NAACP insists that all of its chapters must adhere to the the organization’s bylaws and constitution.
“We feel very strongly that the bylaws and constitution are the backbone of our organization,” he said. “That’s why training is required of all chapters. It is because of this training that the NAACP has successfully made it as an organization for 104 years.”