Last Modified: Friday, March 22, 2013 11:39 PM
The National Action Network intends to conduct a protest during Contraband Days 2013.
Local chapter leader Rosie Glapion said the organization — founded by nationally known activist the Rev. Al Sharpton — wants the festival to change its name and theme.
“We believe that Contraband Days is a racist thing. There are so many negatives to it,” Glapion said during a press briefing Friday.
Glapion and her associates have been protesting against the festival for years. They contend the symbols associated with the festival like Jean Lafitte and cross bones are not sensitive to African-Americans and women. The group intends to protest peacefully as the mayor walks the plank to mark the start of festivities.
“What we want is a new festival now. Start from scratch,” Glapion said.
The announcement coincided with the official announcement that a National Action Network chapter was opened in Lake Charles. Sharpton started the National Action Network, a nonprofit civil rights organization, in 1991.
Glapion said the goal of the group is to work for justice and peace around the country.
Glapion has waged a personal battle against the festival since 2004, writing letters to media outlets. Last year, a group of National Action Network officials met with their counterparts from Lake Charles City Hall and Contraband Days.
Glapion said the meetings did not lead to the type of changes the National Action Network wanted.
“I firmly believe what we are trying to do will make Lake Charles better,” she said. “Contraband Days drags the city down.”
Posted By: Lynn On: 4/23/2013
Title: pic your battles
of all the things wrong in the world this is what you protest against. Totally ignorant in every sense of the word. BET, black universities, NAACP, Al Sharptons group, Black Panther Party, United Negro College fund, Black Pages, Affirmative Action etc etc etc.........all should be wiped off the map then...they are all based on race and are offensive to me but do I protest NO I simply do not participate if i have a choice.......Contraband Days is a festival that brings tourists to our community and should be supported by everyone but if you don't like then stay home and SHUT UP about it.
Posted By: White Cowboy On: 4/5/2013
Title: Sharpton and Glapion (and yes you, too Doug): Do your research first
Doug, contraband days is not a celebration of Jeanne LaFitte's position on the slavery issue. I'm sure if 100 people at the festival were told that LaFitte was a slave trader, they would agree that it was wrong and should never be allowed to happen again in our current day, but that the wrong has been righted through our country's history. We now realize that today, although it seems that LaFitte was misguided when it came to slave trading, he was actually taking advantage of an oppornunity to make money from stolen slaves, as well as treasures, because slavery existed back then, and in LaFitte's slice of history, slavery was not wrong, but stealing them was. But this is the only slice of the LaFitte story that you want to "march" against. What Sharpton and puppets don't want to acknowledge is that Contraband Days is really about LaFitte spending time in our part of the world. We have adopted a Pirate who hid in our bayous and held great treasures that he took from our enemies and perhaps hid in south Louisiana. That's what Pirates did back then. For Lake Charles. it's a theme, a backdrop,if you will, depicting the life, warts and all, of a larger than life Pirate who teases our historical appetite to celebrate the fact that he was part of our very own local history. While moving about in our bayous, LaFitte interacted with people near and around New Orleans and other places, as he helped defend America from the Spanish and English during those conflicts and was pardoned because of his heroic actions. Don't judge LaFitte for slave trading when that kind of behavior was not judged the way we would today since we what we have now is privy to an enlightened historical position that LaFitte didn't have. Try and see this pirate as a man who loved America and risked his life to protect part of it. So you see, Doug, the problem is not really about Jean LaFitte. It's more about a handfull of Sharpton puppets viewing Contraband Days through "colored" glasses when what they should be doing is putting on their reading glasses, scan the library for historical publications, so that can educate themselves on the whole of Jean LaFitte's life... not just as a Pirate, but also as a countryman anxious to defend it from aggressive enemies and a larger than life Pirate who intrigues us and whose historical impact on our area we can claim as ours.
Posted By: Doug On: 4/4/2013
Title: Slave Ownership
Of course I know who John Hope Franklin ( one of America's greats ) was, and I went to a SWAC University, so I surely know Texas Southern, as well. My argument from day one has been solely about the NAME of the festival. Doing so much research to prove that blacks owned slaves does absolutely nothing to refute my position all along about Contraband Days; it simply skirts the issue, which still is that the most highly prized of all contraband was SLAVES, but nothing in our culture celebrates Contraband, or accepts that word as something positive..
Posted By: PQW On: 4/3/2013
Title: Just a second here.....
Let us not forget that it was black people that sold the slaves in the first place.
Posted By: A pirate On: 4/3/2013
Title: Mistrusting Doug
White Cowboy, this is an argument Doug will never concede this argument. My second link below is from Texas Southern University, a historically black university in Houston, but Doug probably didn't bother to look at that before he spouted off about the white man writing his history books.
Posted By: White Cowboy On: 4/2/2013
Title: Mistrusting Doug
Oh, Doug....since you can't trust white historians writing the truth regarding historical facts about black slavery, I've gone out of my way to include an exerpt from an authority on the subject who happens to be black himself. His name is John Hope Franklin, a Duke professor. Don't take my word for it. Look him up. Here is sample of facts he himself published. I can provide more if you would like:
In 1860 there were at least six Negroes in Louisiana who owned 65 or more slaves The largest number, 152 slaves, were owned by the widow C. Richards and her son P.C. Richards, who owned a large sugar cane plantation. Another Negro slave magnate in Louisiana, with over 100 slaves, was Antoine Dubuclet, a sugar planter whose estate was valued at (in 1860 dollars) $264,000 " Of the blacks residing in the South, 261,988 were not slaves. Of this number, 10,689 lived in New Orleans. The country's leading African American historian, Duke University professor John Hope Franklin, records that in New Orleans over 3,000 free Negroes owned slaves, or 28 percent of the free Negroes in that city.
Well, Doug a black professor wrote this....so it must be true, right?
Posted By: Doug On: 3/31/2013
Title: Oh Really?
Interesting that you guys are extrapolating so many "historical facts" from YOUR OWN history books ( that no one else knows about ). First of all, if it is history BY white folks ABOUT black folks, it is all either untrue or semi-true. If black people indeed owned that many slaves, and the white people who write the history books have never brought it to our attention, then you can throw it into the trash bin immediately. The other thing is that even if what you say is true, at least we don't have festivals celebrating any of it.
Posted By: A pirate On: 3/27/2013
Title: I'll just leave these here...
"Amazing that you would deign to take Rev. Al Sharpton back to his Tawanna Brawley Days, a time from which the man has grown in leaps and bounds." Grown into what? He owes more than $1.5 mil in total back taxes. He rallied for the Jena 6, all of whom were arrested on other charges after that ordeal. He helped the media spin George Zimmerman as Caucasian when the fact is that Zimmerman is just as white as our president. And these are just examples from the last 5 years!
Posted By: White Cowboy On: 3/27/2013
Title: Interesting Factoid
Did you know that preceding the time of Jeanne Lafitte that Anthony Johnson, a Negro from modern-day Angola was the FIRST MAN to own a black slave in the United States by the name of John Casor? And near the end of Jeanne Lafitte's life, around 1830 there were 3,775 black families living in the South who owned black slaves. By 1860 there were about 3,000 slaves owned by black households in the city of New Orleans alone. Could they have been racist? Don't know if you would find these historical tidbits pasted in today's History books.
Posted By: Doug On: 3/26/2013
Title: Contraband Days
Whether the outcry is about the NAME or the FESTIVAL itself does not matter. How can a festival celebrating the life of a violent pirate who supplied all of the cotton and sugar cane plantations of the deep south with NEGRO and HISPANIC SLAVES not be racist?
Posted By: Doug On: 3/26/2013
Title: Jean LaFitte
Amazing that you would deign to take Rev. Al Sharpton back to his Tawanna Brawley Days, a time from which the man has gown in leaps and bounds. Wish I could say that about most non-African-Americans in this country. Any attempt to take THAT back would be ENDLESS. Even more telling is the fact that your choosingto identify with Jean Lafitte or Pierre LaFitte is in the exact same realm, though much worse than any African-American identifying with Rev. Al Sharpton. Indeed we have UNENDING historical perspective to support our vitriol, and not just ONE unfortunate incident..
Posted By: White Cowboy On: 3/26/2013
Title: Sorry Doug, but you've got it wrong
Doug, you insist that the only issue with "Contraband Days" is over its name. Did you actually READ what was written in the above article. In case you didn't I will provide you with a reminder of what Al Sharpton's puppet, Rosie Glapion, was quoted as saying:
“We believe that Contraband Days is a racist thing. There are so many negatives to it,”
"They (Glapion and company) contend the symbols associated with the festival like Jean Lafitte and cross bones are not sensitive to African-Americans and women."
“What we want is a new festival now. Start from scratch”
"Contraband Days drags the city down.”
Now Doug, do see anything stated by Glapion that would indicate that she takes issue with the "Contraband Days" NAME only? Far from it. No, she and other Sharpton puppets are busy pitching the same old stale, overused black race agenda for personal gain of some sort, as is certainly the case with Sharpton and Glapion. Sorry, Doug, this is not over a "name" issue as you say it is. No matter how you try to defend it, it's going to play out as a "race" issue. It always does.
Posted By: Jean Lafitte On: 3/26/2013
Title: Al Sharpton?
Doug - are you serious? He's one of the greatest social and political minds in the country? Really? He's nothing more than a political race baiter using the backs of the "community", the very people he claims to champion, to stay rich and powerful. Pity is that most of his "community" don't have the sense to see him for what he is.
If there's a sniff of publicity relating to some real or perceived racial issue, he's there with his rabble. Don't you remember the Tawana Brawley Rape Case? That was some really impressive "social and political" mind melding.
I hope that one day, his "community" will see him and his ilk for what they are, opportunists...but I won't be holding my breath on that.
Posted By: Doug On: 3/26/2013
Title: Ignorance is...
Many people who have so much to be ashamed of are more comfortable with confronting Rev. Al Sharpton and his legitimate positions than they are with confroning their own abundant ignorance; that is so much the easier thing to do. Not one person, white or black, who has spoken in defense of the Contraband Days Festival and against its opponents has shown in the least that they UNDERSTAND what the problem is. It is not the festival, it is the name. People please, you have never HAD to put WHITE in front of anything ( i.e. white this or white that ) because WHITE has always been the GIVEN...for everything. Things indeed have changed a bit, but any person white or black who does not understand what gave BIRTH and CAUSE and RISE to the few African-American events that are labeled "BLack" is so short on history and truth that discussing this with them is pointless.
Posted By: White Cowboy who is racially excluded from the "All Black Rodeo" On: 3/25/2013
Title: Please Explain
I have listened to this same tired worn out argument for years now and am now sick of it. Al Sharpton and followers seek out any activity that doesn't measure up to their self-created standard of racism and yet somehow escape the explanation of reverse racial discrimination that has become the silent norm in activities such as the "Black Heritage Festival" and the "All Black Rodeo". My basic definition of racial discrmination is the exclusion of any race that is different from the promoters and attendees who openly leave out or imply that races other than black participants are not allowed participation in their event. Al Sharpton, how can you defend these events that are exclusively for black participation only, Will Al Sharpton and his mislguided followers, please defend publicly how "The Black Heritage Festival" and "The All Black Rodeo" held in Lake Charles each year can be organized and or promoted as "black only" events. We will await your clarification of these events and how this compares to your arguments against the Historical "Contraband Days Festival" not the "White Contrand Day's Festival" if you will notice, but still I know that you are bent on smearing a fun event with a black racial agena on your shoulders. Get over it already. Cancel your "marches" and go enjoy the fun the "Contraband Days" provides any and all races.
Posted By: Doug On: 3/23/2013
No one ever said the festival is/was racist. The operative word today is READ. It is the very word itself which is repulsive to African-Americans, and should be to white folks, as well; it is akin to calling a festival "Slave Days". Whoever does not understand that is beyond intelligent discourse. Knowing the meaning of "contraband" and then connecting Jean LaFitte and his brother in ACCURATE, NOT FANCIFUL historical perspective should clear up everything, but it will not, unfortunately, because "there is none so blind as......" There is no comparison whatsoever of the Black Heritage Festival to Contraband Days, so that is not even worthy of discussion.
As for Al Sharpton, he is one of the greatest social and political minds in this country, unless you have something to be ashamed of or to hide from. Actually, white folks cannot understand the importance of Al Sharpton only because you have never needed an Al Sharpton or a National Action Network. The whole country and its constitution has served as YOUR Nat'l Action Network, and still does pretty much.
And there is not a racist atom in my being.
Posted By: Captain Blackbeard (no pun intended) On: 3/23/2013
Title: Storm in a tea cup
Ms. Glapion really does need to focus a=on more pressing, "sensitive" issues such as the lack of male figures in black families, or why these young kids insist on killing each other.
Instead of trying to stir the pot, again, she needs to block out the "ghosts of her ancestors calling to her from across the lake" (a la 2012 Contraband Days) and leave people alone who just want to let off steam.
I see the point of another poster talking about Black Heritage Month - yeah, a whole MONTH - I don't care either way. have your month and your festivals/parades - and I doubt any whites will (dare) say anything publicly about it. Have your Miss Black America - it's all good - you won't get many, if any, white women entering because most people don't care if they're not included in something specific to one race - wait, shouldn't that be racist, too?
Posted By: jennifer On: 3/23/2013
Title: omg my brain lol
wow lol okay, first and foremost I am BLACK...the way i feel about both contraband AND the black heritage festival is that BOTH events signify a piece of history.....doesn't mean anyone is racist. Expand your mind mr sharpton
Posted By: Jean Braun On: 3/23/2013
Can Sharpton's cronies like Glapion please focus on real problems in our community like crime and gangsta rap in which REALLY demoralizes women and African Americans? I am really SENSTIVE to these issues!
Posted By: Doug On: 3/23/2013
Title: About Time!
Do the supporters of this event even know what "contraband" means, or do they just not care? Neither the connotation nor the denotaion is ever positive. The most prized "contraband" of all for the LaFittes were the black bodies that they pirated from the waters. Truly enlightened white people as well as black people should be outraged at such a festival name. SMH
Posted By: Karen Fitzpatrick On: 3/23/2013
If Contraband Days is a racist thing, then I protest the Black Heritage Festival because that IS a racist thing! Contraband Days has been a part of Lake Charles since I was a little girl. There isnt a racist thing about it, but there is racism in the Black Heritage Festival. I think a White Heritage Festival would surely tick off some people. It works both ways....
Posted By: Darrell On: 3/23/2013
Title: Glapion = Divider
You can count on it like clockwork every year. Rosie Glapion and her intellectually lazy cronies try to stir up the pot in thinking that they are speaking on behalf of the Black community by protesting the contraband days fesitival or it's name and symbols.. Now they want to prop themselves up behind the nations worst racial divider in Al Sharpton and his tax shelter organizaion the National Action Network to give themselves some credentials, but intelligent americans can see through all that and especially intelligent black americans.
It seems ms glapion plans her whole year around this with the same old song and dance coming every year about this time. Glapion really shows her ignorance in speaking on behalf of black americans in that there is large Historically Black College in Hampton Virginia whose nickname is the Pirates.. Funny, i don't see all those folks to concerned about the nickname? I think the area would be better served if ms glapion spent more time on trying to figure out why 18 year black kids killing each other in her neighborhood than wasting local's time with a protest a festival that clearly is supported by all races! See for yourself.
Posted By: Louise Jacobson On: 3/23/2013
Title: Contraband Days
As far as I know, Contraband Days has never been racist. I've never heard of Glapion and her ilk until reading this article.
I've never heard of it being racist. People of all races attend the fun. I always thought of it as more of a Cajun thing.
Just think of the bands that participate, are they all white? This seeing racist in everything is getting old and tired. What has race to do with getting a job, buying a home and cars, going to school? It seems to me that people of all races can do or be anything they want to be as long as they work for it...
Posted By: barbara On: 3/23/2013
Title: Contraband days
Al sharp ton needs to get a life and stay out of ours
Posted By: h mellie On: 3/23/2013
Title: Can Someone Help Me Understand...
...how exactly Contraband Days is racist? Or how a skull and crossbones is offensive to African-Americans and women? I'm sure there is some obscure logic behind it, but as a layperson I can say I've never considered anything about Contraband to be offensive in any way. Aren't we taking open interpretation a little too far? Like into the realm of grasping at straws?
Posted By: claude On: 3/23/2013
Title: Contraband days "racist' and "drags the city down"
Small minded people who want to find the tiniest thing in something good and declare the whole thing bad.
I will guarantee there is more bad in the National Action Network then anyone can imagine bad in Contreband Days.
Posted By: Steve A On: 3/23/2013
What a shame that Rosie is out to settle a personal vendetta against the organizers of Contraband Days. She may in fact have a valid reason for lashing out at them, their not high on my list of likables either. But, it's just really in bad taste to use an organization that must have better things to do than attack a festival aimed at having a bit of pirate fun.
Posted By: This is a waste On: 3/23/2013
Title: Lets change the name of the black heritage festival
The black heritage festival needs to change its name and start from scratch. It is a racist festival and its offensive to all whites and other ethnic groups.