Controversial STL County NAACP President Suspended

By Free Radical

John Gaskin, was unceremoniously suspended from his role as president of the St. Louis County NAACP.

John Gaskin, was from his position as president of the St. Louis County chapter of the NAACP.

John Gaskin III, who was selected as the head of the St. Louis County NAACP late last year, has been suspended from this post. On Thursday, Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the national NAACP, took this punitive action against Gaskin for the latter’s controversial stance on several issues.

Johnson’s letter specifically cited Gaskin for pledging the local organization’s support for legislation that would weaken Title IX protections against victims of sexual abuse on Missouri’s college campuses. The national group has demonstrated unyielding support of Title IX since its inception. The Missouri bill is part of a national movement pushed by conservatives to safeguard students accused of sexual assault.

The Kansas City Star has reported that lobbyist Richard McIntosh is the primary author of the Missouri legislation. Perhaps it is no coincidence that his son was expelled from Washington University following a Title IX violation.

Gaskin also found himself in hot water over his advocacy for the privately-funded Better Together plan to merge St. Louis City and County. The proposal has been derided by most local Black officials as a means to dilute Black political power. However, Gaskin did not only give his personal support of the plan, he also made it the official position of the St. Louis County NAACP, to the astonishment to even some of its board members.

Gaskin made matters worse by disclosing to members of the NAACP and the general public that he was a paid consultant for Unite STL. Unite STL is the campaign arm of Better Together.

In his statement to Gaskin, Johnson expressed, “Given the importance of these issues to the NAACP and the communities we represent, I have concluded that the conduct described above is inimical to the best interest of the Association and presents a danger of irreparable harm to the Association and the St. Louis County Branch.”

As is due process, Gaskin can respond to his suspension in a hearing. He has not publicly stated if he intended to do so by the time of press.

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