CHICAGO (CBS) — When the president of the Chicago South Suburban Branch of the NAACP said he wasn’t supporting President Obama, he was first threatened and then suspended.
Now, he’s asking the IRS to revoke the non-profit status of the civil rights organization, saying it’s lost its way.
David Lowery Jr. is pushing back against a mindset that if you’re black you vote for Democrats.
Lowery went on his internet radio show and said neither Barack Obama nor Mitt Romney would do anything to help the ills of the black community.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser Reports
He was first threatened and then suspended. Now, he’s asking the IRS to revoke the non-profit status of the civil rights organization.
Lowery is becoming something of a nightmare for the NAACP, turning on the organization by, as he says, “telling the truth.”
“The NAACP should stay focused on human and civil rights,” he says, “as opposed to being a political advocacy arm for the Democratic party.”
He was asked if he thinks the group is violating federal law.
“Yes, non-profits cannot be partisan or support any political candidates, one way or the other,” he said.
He said he has emails from NAACP national leaders, asking him and other NAACP local leaders to get out the vote for the Democratic Party.
“I’ve been able to see how the NAACP is being used by the Democratic Party to go out and get votes, to deliver messages–just like the one, ‘It’s a black thing’–to give out literature. All those things that a non-profit should not be doing, they are doing that, let’s be real.”
Lowery says he believes he was threatened during a phone conversation with Louis Raymond, the Illinois Political Director for Obama For America, before the election.
Lowery says he does not personally support the president because Obama is not addressing issues important to the black community.
He said the same about Romney. He says Raymond called and told him, “You know what, I know everything about you.” Lowery says Raymond added, “We’ve been watching you and since you don’t support Obama we’ll deal with you.”
Then Lowery was suspended by the NAACP. He says, it was because he told people to think for themselves. The NAACP says in the suspension letter, he violated a cease and desist order from the NAACP and that Lowery was being partisan.
“There used to be fear” in the NAACP name,” Lowery says. Now, he says, it’s more a social club with a partisan bent.
“We have gotten away from what freedom fighting is,” he said.
Lowery started a petition at change.org asking that the IRS revoke the NAACP’s non-profit status.
Lowery’s suspension letter said he engaged in partisan activity.
He insists, as an independent, he only told people to think for themselves.
“It’s a sad day in a national organization like the NAACP when one of their presidents has to step up and say, you know what, we’re not doing the right thing and we need to be held accountable for the actions that we are not taking in the community, as well as being partisan toward the Democratic Party.”
“I’m really trying to let the NAACP know, we need to step up in the black community. We’re suffering out here. Civil rights are dying. Black people are last on everything and the NAACP was in the forefront back in the day.
“I’m not bullying them. I’m really challenging them to step up to the plate and be the force in the black community that they can be again.”
WBBM Newsradio asked for comment from leaders of the NAACP but those phone calls and emails went unanswered.