Additional Information on Ben Jealous

* When Ben Jealous was 13, he attended the birthday party of the son of Ford Foundation president McGeorge Bundy, former national security adviser to John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson.

* On July 19, 2010, when an Andrew Breitbart website posted an edited video of U.S. Agriculture Department official Shirley Sherrod speaking at an NAACP Freedom Fund Dinner and appearing to make racist remarks, Jealous quickly jumped at the opportunity to show his even-handedness. Without obtaining the full video, which was in the possession of the NAACP, Jealous immediately denounced Sherrod. The next day, July 20, the full video of Sherrod’s speech was posted on the Internet. In that context, it became evident that Sherrod’s comments, while they revealed her belief that white racism remained a widespread problem in America, were not racist. Jealous retracted his condemnation of Sherrod, stating that “we have come to the conclusion we were snookered by Fox News and Tea Party Activist Andrew Breitbart into believing [Sherrod] had harmed white farmers because of racial bias.”

* At a Netroots Nation panel on “voting rights” in June 2013, Jealous offeredthis argument against voter ID laws: “As many people know, I have an adopted brother who’s transgender and he typically doesn’t dress the way he does when he hangs out in the Tenderloin when he goes to a government office,” Jealous said, referencing a well-known LGBT community in San Francisco. “And so if you show his ID, you know, and he would hold it up to his face, it looks like two different people.”

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