Sociation Today ® 
The Official 
Journal of 
The North 
Association: A 
Refereed Web-Based 
ISSN 1542-6300
Editorial Board:
George H. Conklin,
 North Carolina
 Central University

Rebecca Adams,

Bob Davis,
 North Carolina
 Agricultural and
 Technical State

Catherine Harris,
 Wake Forest

Ella Keller,
 State University

Ken Land,
 Duke University

Miles Simpson,
 North Carolina
 Central University

Ron Wimberley,
 N.C. State University

Robert Wortham,
 North Carolina
 Central University

Editorial Assistants

John W.M. Russell,

Austin W. Ashe,
 Duke University

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Volume 8, Number 2

Fall/Winter 2010

The Video of
Joe Himes' Comments on 
the Importance of 
Nomination Committees to
People of Color:
An Editorial Introduction 


George H. Conklin

North Carolina Central University

    Below is the only known video of Professor Joe Himes.  It was made in 1988 at a departmental party for the sociology department at UNC-Greensboro.  The video was made by Rebecca Adams.  Given that it was a social situation, the lighting was poor and there is considerable background noise.  For this reason, an approximate transcription of Professor Himes' comments appears below the video, which is posted on YouTube. 

    In the video Professor Himes comments on his narrow margin of victory to the council of the ASA, the American Sociological Association.  He comments on the video, as he has elsewhere, that he sees his job to make sure that there are some people of color nominated to run for various offices of the ASA.  He states that if you are not nominated, you cannot be elected, a comment which is important to remember even in the presidential election in 2008 at the national level, where Obama had to be nominated in order to win.

    Himes states his job is to make sure that good black candidates are nominated and adds the humorous touch that doing so "gives my good white colleagues the chance to be democratic." 

    The final part of the conversation was not taped to completion, but Himes goes on to explain some of the process of how the nomination committee works. 

    The video may also be viewed directly at:  

0:07 Start of Video: Himes states: I won by 33 votes.
0:08 Paul Luebke: Did you Really? Well it's a good thing there are 13 of us in the UNC-G
0:13 department, right?
0:13 Himes: That's right. (laughs)
0:13 Rebecca: What election did you win by that, now, on that uh margin?
0:16 Luebke: You must have voted for him, Rebecca, c'mon now.
0:19 Rebecca: What election? I didn't hear.
0:20 Himes: The ASA Council.
0:22 Rebecca: Oh yes! I absolutely did vote for you. How...What was your margin?
0:26 Himes: 33 votes.
0:27 Rebecca: Oh, I'm glad I put my ballot in then.
0:31 (laughter)
0:31 Himes: Well, so am I.
0:33 Luebke: I always say, Joe, vote early, vote often, that's my slogan.
0:36 Himes: That's right, that's right. Well, ya know, the committee elects the members of
0:45 council, nominates the members of the committee that nominates them,, and I tell you
0:51 part of my responsibility to have a good black candidate. I'm not pushing black people,
0:59 necessarily I just said "if you don't get nominated you don't get elected."
1:05 Luebke: Right.
1:06 Himes: If you don't get higher in the rank list of nominees, you don't get
1:10 invited.
1:10 Luebke: right. right.
1:11 Himes: And I'm trying to be sure to give these people a chance to be invited,
1:16 Luebke: right. exactly.
1:17 Himes: and my good white colleagues the chance to be democratic.
1:20 (laughter)
1:21 Rebecca: Hey Joe, I overheard, when, I don't know if you noticed me, in the Atlanta, but
1:29 I was walking down the street, sort of across the street from you, and I saw, I saw
1:35 someone who will remain nameless go up to you and try to get some sort of
1:39 appointment to a committee. You're now in a power position.
1:44 (laughter)
1:44 Himes: Oh
1:45 Luebke It was no one in our department was it?
1:48 (laughter)
1:49 Rebecca: No no it was someone....
1:54 Anonymous: Someone on a committee (?) (laughs)
1:58 Himes: the person looking for himself....(too much noise/laughter)
2:00 Rebecca: But, anyhow I happened to notice that you were going to be beseeched with
2:02 all these requests.
2:03 Himes: hahahah! yeah. yeah. Well you know the council does another thing, the
2:12 committee on committees, and they elect people which is rotating each year, half on
2:20 and half off, they nominate 34 on our 20 standing committees, that is the largest single
2:30 block of nominations, the committee on nominations of the committee on committees.
2:34 Their task is to take the whole list of the association with an eye on the list of people
2:45 who are already on committees, recently, and take out... (video ends).

Thanks to Steven Sills for posting the video on YouTube, and working on the script.

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