There is one piece of humble advice I will give to the NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous. “Run far and run fast.”
The stagnant, antiquated, civil rights aristocrats who are stuck behind stuffy soirees and still exploit the works of King, Evers, Marshal, and Parks have flatlined. Unfortunately, the NAACP cannot be revived to its former splendor---even with the brilliance, tenacity and cojones of Jealous.
Frankly, the organization’s attempts to upgrade its face with elegant, hip-hop era faces are simple cosmetic changes that will not fix its outdated operations and narrow strategies of challenging the multi-headed monster child of racism.
Recently, the NAACP has lobbied the Obama Administration in terms of jobs for African-Americans. And they have been making great efforts to be a voice in the ears of Obama, especially by siding with the White House’s decision to ouster Shirley Sherrod. Though I made a satirical comment, Sherrod is a great illumination to the disjointedness
Though I hold a regard for Jealous, the explanation of the NAACP being, “snookered by Fox News and Tea Party Activist Andrew Breitbart into believing [Sherrod] had harmed white farmers because of racial bias,” is not an unacceptable answer from an organization that carries a history of stellar scholars and savvy strategists.
Dude, just fall hard on the sword and really make amends other than some rickety public apology.
This is not to throw shade or disrespect for the legacy and work put in by NAACP members. Nor do I underestimate Jealous’ leadership abilities; however, I embrace the beauty of evolution.
The fact is, NAACP’s effective presence has dramatically dwindled around the time the organization’s executive director, Benjamin Chavis, was fired for misappropriating funds and converted to Islam. Though Myrlie Evers-Williams attempted to restore the sagging face of a very old gentleman (that being the NAACP), the NAACP’s post-protest swagger, droops to an unrecognizable gait.
Unfortunately, the NAACP has transformed from a space where freedom fighters pursued rights for the progress of humanity, to a brand that benefits those in certain circles who are seeking financial and political success for certain income brackets.
Ironically, it has become a place of extreme classism by using its fight against racism and class conflict. And some argue that it was a classist entity from the beginning. I side with that argument to a certain degree.
Nevertheless, the NAACP brand today advocates for its survival all in the name of the poor, the underrepresented, the lowly, and all those good biblical references of the downtrodden.
Without a doubt, the NAACP of yesteryear was an institution that moved the social-political climate of the world and was part of historical moments that will never be recreated. But let’s also be clear, it wasn’t the only one in existence and the sole organization to rock this country’s deep-seeded volatile discriminatory actions.
There were a bevy of organizations that the NAACP collaborated with and eventually subsumed that played a part in reaching the agenda of better racial relations and economic equitability in the United States. Most have folded and others are just memories in a history book. Their efficacy has not been erased.
In my opinion, the NAACP has failed in becoming an institution due to its insidious aristocratic ways. This is my critique of most “civil rights era” folk, and their children who reap the rewards of being connected, but haven’t done shit, but pay NAACP tithes.
I cringe when old heads preface their speeches and introductions with “I walked with King.”
To me, it has become profane and an insult to King’s legacy. “So you walked with King, now what the fuck are you doing other than collecting civil rights residuals from his blood?”
The NAACP has become a necessary stopping point for the black, petite bourgeoisie, and black political officials who pass through the organization like a truck stop on the Interstate-10. And if you have ever heard of the reports of what happens at a truck stop, you know what I mean. I lot of whorish-behaviors, criminal deviants, and folk who are in a rush to get to places it takes gurus a lifetime to reach after they have died.
But everyone uses NAACP to get to the top of the food chain.
The truth is you see more thousand dollar suits and crooked-eyed pastors at an NAACP convention than a Protestant convention. To me that can be a little troubling. If you think the Catholic scandals with little boys is disheartening, do an expose on pastors at black churches and the multitudes of black thighs and ass they sop up like grandmother’s Sunday biscuits after 11 AM service.
But I’m digressing.
This is an assessment of someone who has worked closely with NAACP, gone to many of its galas, and also participated in several of their programs. I am speaking from an insider’s perspective.
Those who have dedicated their lives of struggle via the NAACP should be applauded. There were some damn good times. Now it is necessary to use the elder’s wisdom to expand the foundation the NAACP and other organizations laid years ago.