July 16, 2009
As the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) meets this week to celebrate its 100th anniversary, I am very conflicted. First, I want to congratulate them on their first 75 years. They did a marvelous job at a time when America needed a lot of nudging down the road towards equality. Their past 25 years, however, has not been so glorious.
After 100 years, I think it’s time to ponder whether this organization is still relevant. I say, it’s time to bury them because they no longer represent the vision of their founders. They have devolved into a stagnant group that is more focused on hyperbole, rather than substance. One definition of a great organization is one that makes itself increasingly unnecessary. The NAACP has done just the opposite. They have fostered an atmosphere of dependency among the less fortunate.
Like a human who has 100 years, the NAACP is moving very slowly, talks a lot about the past, but refuses to contemplate whether they can thrive in this brave new world. In the day, they fought for equality and full compliance to the constitution. Now, they are involved and support everything from gay marriage, expanded welfare programs and amnesty for illegals!
What I find amazing about their position on illegal immigration is the fact that the Hispanic community (specifically the Cuban) supports discrimination against people of color, especially Haitians.
Remember the “wet foot, dry foot policy? This was a policy stemming from the 1995 revision of the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966. The change basically states that a Cuban caught on the waters between the two nations would be sent home or to a third country. But one who makes it to shore gets a chance to remain in the U.S. and later would qualify for expedited “legal permanent resident” status and U.S. citizenship. This was put in place by the “first Black president,” Bill Clinton.
But, a Haitian in a similar situation get sent immediately back to Haiti. No hope of staying in the U.S. and no hope of citizenship. When I ask pro-amnesty Hispanics about their willingness to work with me on reversing the wet foot, dry foot policy if I supported their amnesty agenda, they all have said emphatically, “NO!”
So, again I ask how can the NAACP continue to allow itself to be used in such a manner. Furthermore, low skilled Black workers are the ones most hurt by this amnesty proposal. I can’t imagine the “old” NAACP leadership allowing themselves to be pimped in such a manner.
Sometimes, the longer an organization exists, they sometimes begin to drift away from their mission. The NAACP is a classic example of this all too common trend. Most of their funding comes from white corporations. There is nothing inherently wrong with that, but what does that say about the NAACP when the Black community won’t put their own dollars behind this group?
I will NEVER make a contribution to the NAACP as long as Julian Bond (Chairman of the Board of the NAACP) is associated with the group! His language towards former president Bush was beneath a person of his stature. In 2001, Bond said, "Instead of uniting us, the new administration almost daily separates and divides. They selected nominees from the Taliban wing of American politics, appeased the wretched appetites of the extreme right wing and chose Cabinet officials whose devotion to the Confederacy is nearly canine in its uncritical affection." Other statements made by Bond, "The Republican Party would have the American flag and the swastika flying side by side.” There are plenty of areas of disagreement with the former president, but this language is embarrassing and unacceptable. But, Bond conveniently omitted the fact that Bush appointed more Blacks to key positions than even Bill Clinton. So, by his own measurements, Bill Clinton was a racist! So, as long as the NAACP is run by the likes of Julian Bond, don’t count on my support in any form!
During the last 25 years of the group’s existence, it has been run by the most liberal of liberals. When they decided to appoint Bruce Gordon as its head in 2005, I thought the group finally “got it!” Boy, was I wrong.
Gordon was the first and only head of the NAACP with a business background. He was a high ranking executive with Verizon (telephone company) and served on the board of some of the best known companies in the U.S. It was as a direct result of Gordon’s shifting focus and reasonable tone that prompted then president Bush to accept his invitation to speak at their national convention (July 20, 2006).
Up to that point, Bush had refused to meet or speak to the group because of Bond’s involvement. Everyone knows that the NAACP is a vestige of the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
Gordon’s appointment created a positive buzz throughout corporate America. Unfortunately, Gordon only lasted less than two years as head of the group. Gordon was a “man” and would not let Bond or the other board members interfere in the day to day operations of his administration. This created immediate conflict with Bond.
So, in March of 2007 Gordon resigned his position. He basically said he didn’t need this headache. Corporate donations dried up immediately. According to Gordon, “I did not step into the role to be a caretaker, to be dictated to, I stepped into the role to understand as best I could the needs of the African American community and then to propose strategies and policies and programs and practices that could improve conditions for African Americans…. The things I had in mind were not consistent with what some — unfortunately, too many — on the board had in mind."
So, it’s no surprise that the NAACP would pick a 35 year old, Ben Jealous, to head the organization. You couldn’t find a more leftist person than Jealous. But, most importantly, Bond can control him because he doesn’t have the stature of a Bruce Gordon.
How can an organization be effective with a 64 member board of directors? It’s impossible to make timely decisions with that many people meddling in the day to day operations. Can the general public name anything the organization has accomplished within the past couple of years? It’s also noteworthy that few companies on Black Enterprise’s top 100 businesses donate any money to the group nor many professional athletes or entertainers.
Why should white America support something that our own people don’t support? After 100 years, maybe they have lived 25 years too long. Just something to think about.
Raynard Jackson is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a D.C.-based political consulting/government affairs firm. You can listen to his radio show every Saturday evening from 7-9:00 p.m. Go to www.ustalknetwork.com to register and then click on host, and then click on his photo to join his group.