NAACP Chief Derrick Johnson on Detroit Conference, 2020 and the Political Climate

Johnson sits down with host Stephen Henderson to talk about a variety of issues while he’s in town for the 110th annual NAACP national convention.

The 110th annual NAACP convention opened in Detroit this past Saturday.

The organization last held its national convention here in 2007. Detroit native Derrick Johnson is now at the helm of the organization as the NAACP’s President. He joins host Stephen Henderson in the WDET studios to talk about some of the issues being discussed at this year’s convention, the role of the organization in 2019 and how he’s looking at the upcoming presidential election next year.

Joan Isabella

“We’ve held the convention here [in Detroit] eight times in our history, more than any other city. Detroit is unique,” says Johnson, noting the abundant blue collar jobs available here and the migratory patterns that brought many African-Americans to the city in the 1950s and 1960s. 

On the political climate and how he’s looking ahead, Johnson says “we are narrowly focused on the 2020 race at this point. Things have turned very negative in terms of intolerance and racial hatred.” He continues, “for Americans who understand the current climate as offensive… we all should see it as offensive  We have learned a lot of from the past we should not be repeating some of the negative history of the past.”

He says the NAACP is working on how they approach getting people civically engaged. “Those things are foundational in making democracy work for all,” says Johnson.

Click on the player above to hear host Stephen Henderson interview NAACP President Derrick Johnson.




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