Aiken NAACP names white leader

  • Follow Aiken

One of Philip Howell's first memories of Augusta is of disbelief.

Howell  Special
Special
Howell

Barely 18 in 1969, he was dropped into the area by the Army after the draft just in time for perhaps the most painful period in the city's history.

To a white youth growing up in southern California, the racial hatred he saw in the South was a shock.

Back home, Howell had black friends, learned in integrated classrooms and doted on a black girlfriend on weekends.

"It blew me away," Howell said. "I just could not understand the mindset of the people I met down here."

After he settled in Aiken to open a dog-grooming business in the 1970s, Howell took an interest in civil rights. He joined the Aiken NAACP branch in the late 1980s and would become one of its most active members.

On Tuesday, Howell's dedication to the group was recognized at his swearing-in as the branch's first white president.

The Rev. David Walker, a former president of the Aiken chapter, said Howell is also the first white branch president in South Carolina history.

"Everybody feels comfortable with him even though he's the first white president," Walker said. "Our major goals are still to fight discrimination and injustice in any place for any color."

Howell, 61, was elected after former president Brendolyn Jenkins was disqualified for the 2011 presidency because she had not paid membership dues.

At the time, Howell was Jenkins' vice president, and with no other name on the ballot, he moved up in rank.

It was a smooth transition, Howell said, because his service to the black community has been established for decades.

Howell traveled locally and nationally with NAACP members, fighting for voting awareness and civil rights.

"(Members) don't really look at me as a white person anymore," he said. "They see me as one of them. I have proven my loyalty and my dedication, and they have seen that."

For the past 10 years, the Aiken group has marched on the state Capitol to challenge the display of the Confederate flag on a monument after it was moved from atop the Statehouse, Howell said.

He has also pushed for racial fairness in disciplining students in schools and equality in the local work force.

For the next two years of his term, Howell said, the Aiken chapter will be more visible than ever, primarily in raising money for college scholarships for students.

Former branch president James Gallman said he has not heard any member voice concerns about Howell's presidency.

That sentiment, he said, reflects the NAACP's aim as a universal organization to help people of all races.

"The NAACP is not about black people, it's about people," Gallman said. "We don't even think about Phil being white. We just look at Phil as a good guy who is real concerned about everybody treating everybody with equality."

Comments (24) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
usafveteran
32
Points
usafveteran 01/07/11 - 02:03 pm
0
0
As a Caucasian, I wouldn't

As a Caucasian, I wouldn't mind joining the NAACP if they didn't expouse socialism and be so intolerant of other folk's Confederate heritage.

onlysane1left
216
Points
onlysane1left 01/07/11 - 02:23 pm
0
0
This is something wonderful!

This is something wonderful! Shamefully, the nay sayers will spin this into soemthing evil, but I am very opppsed to the NAACP due to it's non stance on building up prodominently Afro-American, crime ridden neighborhoods and education system. At one time, these neighborhoods produced doctors, teachers, scientists, etc., but now, they are not as positive as they used to be. Instead of fighting a losing fight (the Confederate flag, like usaveteran mentioned) they should focus on the underfunding of prodominately minority schools, the lack of positive police patrols, and the destabilization of these areas, since these things move more towards the advancement of people.

BTW, usaveteran, the heritage can not be changed, it is history. It is people using the heritage or using the symbols of Confederacy to say things were better because of slavery; This is what most folks have a HUGE problem with.

staind620
1
Points
staind620 01/07/11 - 03:06 pm
0
0
Wouldn't it be something if

Wouldn't it be something if we started the NAAWP and created the WET channel? How about we stop hyphenating things like "African-American"? They are AMERICANS who are of the black race! If people want to keep the African part then perhaps they should go back to Africa and see how much they enjoy that. African is not a race, it only means that the individual is from Africa.

double_standard
166
Points
double_standard 01/07/11 - 05:34 pm
0
0
Standind 620 do know you

Standind 620 do know you white people help start both of the organizations you are refered too. John Malone a white man put up $500K and Bob Johnson only had $15K. Now its owned by viacom so its really not black entertainment television.

rmwhitley
5547
Points
rmwhitley 01/07/11 - 06:35 pm
0
0
Hmmmmmm. "They don't really
Unpublished

Hmmmmmm. "They don't really look at me as a white person anymore. They see me as one of them". Sounds a tad "racist" to me. They, them.

tuffenuf4u
0
Points
tuffenuf4u 01/07/11 - 06:48 pm
0
0
The Klan has finally

The Klan has finally succeeded in infiltrating the NAACP.

tuffenuf4u
0
Points
tuffenuf4u 01/07/11 - 06:50 pm
0
0
staind620-should the white

staind620-should the white people hyphenate themselves as Caucasian-Americans.

tuffenuf4u
0
Points
tuffenuf4u 01/07/11 - 06:51 pm
0
0
We also have 600 channels of

We also have 600 channels of WET, and only two that I know of devoted to Black entertainment.

tuffenuf4u
0
Points
tuffenuf4u 01/07/11 - 06:57 pm
0
0
The NAAWP would never fly.

The NAAWP would never fly. There are too many white people who do not believe in the advancement of others in their own race. If you don't believe me, drive through a white neighborhood and try to start a fight with one of the kids in a group on a corner. The rest of the white kids will just stand there and watch him get beat up. Then try the same thing in a black neighborhood. Let me know when you get out of the hospital!

albertoli
179
Points
albertoli 01/08/11 - 02:42 pm
0
0
good luck

good luck

bettyboop
7
Points
bettyboop 01/08/11 - 08:46 am
0
0
"It blew me away," Howell

"It blew me away," Howell said. "I just could not understand the mindset of the people I met down here."

ummm Mr Howell...I seem to recall a "little" thing called a race riot in LA in 1965....... last time I checked LA was not in the South ("down here")...just saying

fatboyhog
1937
Points
fatboyhog 01/08/11 - 09:23 am
0
0
"Everybody feels comfortable

"Everybody feels comfortable with him even though he's the first white president," Walker said."

Very telling statement. I wonder what Mr. Walker would say if I said that "everybody feels comfortable with him (President Obama) even though he's he first black president"..I think that Mr. Walker's statement reveals the underlying bigotry of the NAACP..

Dixieland4
0
Points
Dixieland4 01/08/11 - 12:46 pm
0
0
The NAACP is the nation's

The NAACP is the nation's largest hate group. No different than the KKK. To me, that makes him the Grand Dragon of the Aiken Chapter.

genbartow
0
Points
genbartow 01/08/11 - 01:38 pm
0
0
onlysaneoneleft, when you

onlysaneoneleft, when you talk about "underfunded" predominately minority schools are you referring to the Richmond County School System, where the minority is the majority and headed up by a "minority" who is in the majority ?

tuffenuf4u
0
Points
tuffenuf4u 01/08/11 - 02:38 pm
0
0
"(They) don't really look at

"(They) don't really look at me as a white person anymore," he said. ---Niether does my employer look at me as a white person anymore. I think my job classfication is "slave."

nelrheathea
0
Points
nelrheathea 01/08/11 - 04:32 pm
0
0
I am an American by law,

I am an American by law, Filipino by birth from Philippines located in Asia - the continent. I hate filing out paperwork sometimes when it ask for my ethnicity or race. Choices sometimes are Asian or Asian-Pacific Islander. Why can't all forms just ask for "heritage"? example Filipino, Mexican, Russian, African (if you are truly from Africa), Haitian, Irish, Chinese so on and so forth. Citizenship: American (by birth); American (by legal); Other:_____________. Skin color: light or dark (sorry, you're stupid if you think Asians are yellow). You know how's yellow? People with Kidney problems. There are 3 major race: Caucasoid, Negroid and Mongoloid - should we use these and a few more? This got to stop people, I need your help. Thank you!----your humble American Soldier.

nelrheathea
0
Points
nelrheathea 01/08/11 - 04:38 pm
0
0
You know "how's" yellow?

You know "how's" yellow? People with Kidney problems.

I'm sorry. I meant to type "who's." It's 2 AM here in Afghanistan. I'm tired. Enjoy your freedom people. Trust me; bullets from our enemies here does not choose what race the Soldier is from. Remember the American heroes that died for our country.

nelrheathea
0
Points
nelrheathea 01/08/11 - 04:41 pm
0
0
I apologize if I made a joke

I apologize if I made a joke in the expense of people with kidney problems. I truely do. God bless and good night.

nelrheathea
0
Points
nelrheathea 01/08/11 - 04:41 pm
0
0
I apologize if I made a joke

I apologize if I made a joke in the expense of people with kidney problems. I truely do. God bless and good night.

Emerydan
10
Points
Emerydan 01/08/11 - 05:10 pm
0
0
I have known many filipinos,

I have known many filipinos, and in many ways their culture seems more hispanic.. even their accent sounds like someone from central or south America. The ones who have more chinese blood seem more asian. It's an interesting confluence of cultures, but so very different from the rest of asia, that they really don't seem asian.. maybe the years of spanish colonial and American rule had a lot to do with that.

Emerydan
10
Points
Emerydan 01/08/11 - 05:12 pm
0
0
I know that tagalog (filipino

I know that tagalog (filipino language) is primarily a malay language.. and most filipinos are primarily malay.

dougk
3
Points
dougk 01/08/11 - 06:15 pm
0
0
Isn't it funny how people
Unpublished

Isn't it funny how people don't have any tendency to "pick a part" peoples who are white and have European heritage?

usapatriot
0
Points
usapatriot 01/08/11 - 06:43 pm
0
0
doug, I guess you don't read

doug, I guess you don't read any thread where conservative postings are. any anti-obama post is immediately followed by charges of racism. any white who disagrees with obama is "picked apart" as racist. in fact, the poster is "picked apart" and his/her race is unknown.

dougk
3
Points
dougk 01/08/11 - 07:08 pm
0
0
You missed the point again,
Unpublished

You missed the point again, usapatriot. Labeling based on one's statements, whether legitimate or not, is wholly different from dissecting people based on their skin color, ethnicity, or nationality in an attempt to pigeon hole someone into a category from which stereotypes are likely to emerge.

usapatriot
0
Points
usapatriot 01/08/11 - 07:22 pm
0
0
ok. doug, you win.

ok. doug, you win.

bettyboop
7
Points
bettyboop 01/08/11 - 07:32 pm
0
0
Thats because people who are

Thats because people who are white and are of European decent are the master race you fool!!...(thats a joke doug..lighten up..............

dougk
3
Points
dougk 01/08/11 - 07:38 pm
0
0
Lighten up? Stereotyping,
Unpublished

Lighten up? Stereotyping, prejudice, discrmination based on one's ethnicity, nationality, and/or race (which only a coveneient socially constructed reality) is serious business. I will never lighten up about that.

Crime Reports and Rewards TV
33
Points
Crime Reports and Rewards TV 01/08/11 - 11:07 pm
0
0
NAACP=N.ational A.ssociation

NAACP=N.ational A.ssociation for the A.dvancment of C.aucasion P.eople. Cool, it's about time! ha ahah

moonlighter6
13
Points
moonlighter6 01/09/11 - 03:07 am
0
0
A true child of GOD, has no
Unpublished

A true child of GOD, has no skin color. The soul is pure if it is honest and sincere. Mr. Howell continue to follow your path.

workedforit
0
Points
workedforit 01/09/11 - 09:51 am
0
0
There goes the
Unpublished

There goes the neighborhood....

Back to Top

Top headlines

Paine president resigns

George C. Bradley resigned as president of the embattled Paine College on Tuesday as the institution continues efforts to maintain its accreditation after several years of financial mismanagement ...
Search Augusta jobs