Friday, July 21, 2006

Bush Goes to the NAACP

I always have mixed emotions about the NAACP.

I am a member of the organization, have attended (and spoken) at their conventions, yet still harbor conflicting views about its policies. It's not about the organization's rich history of "civil rights" struggles. It's not about the organization's power to capture headlines on areas of racism still present in Amerikkka (you will consistently see me spell "America" with 3 Ks so that one is mindful of the racism still being tolerated in this country's history). Rather, my reservations about the organization lie in its unholy alliances with groups and corporations that harm the African community in the United States.

Take for instance the NAACP receiving large donations from tobacco companies. How can the civil rights organization justify such "fund-raising" while smoking-related disease disproportionately affects Africans in Amerikkka? The same goes for it receiving large "donations" (really cheap advertising) from the liquor industry, while alcoholism runs rampant among the very people it claims to be helping.

So with all of that in mind, I watched Bush pay a reluctant visit to the NAACP convention this week in Washington DC. Before yesterday, Bush had never spoken to the convention and was the first "president" (I use this term loosely to describe his theft of the 2000 and 2004 elections) since Warren Harding not to. The delegates were non-plus in its reception of Bush and gave him their loudest applause when he mentioned how alienated the Republican Party was from Black folk.

As I listened to his address I was again impressed by how stupid the man is and his usual folksy charm and rhythm before staged white audiences, didn't work with the Black folks there. That was what I was most proud of when I heard the weak applause for his gratuitous remarks about racism's history in Amerikkka.

For me, it is simply unimportant that Bush appeared before the convention because nothing was accomplished other than to say he was there. His low ratings in the polls makes it "safe" for him to talk to Black folks now without alienating the few white folks he has left in his column.

What would be important is for the NAACP to revisit its history of dubious alliances with unholy groups. My Dad was fond of repeating the adage that, "if you lie down with dogs you will get up with fleas." In that context, the NAACP has an infestation of fleas that it needs to get rid of which includes liquor and tobacco companies and its accomodationist positions with white allies who have always hampered the group from speaking with an unmediated voice. This was a primary issue when W. E. B. Du Bois, one of the founding members of the NAACP quit the organization in 1934 because of what he felt were weak positions taken by Walter White's more conservative views of desegregation. The NAACP under Bruce Gordon's leadership will hopefully reorder its priorities so that it will be uncompromised on all fronts.

1 comment:

  1. In response to your last line of thought -- I doubt it! While I think Afrikan Amerikkans must use every weapon they have, the NAACP is an integrationist organization. It's more of the same -- integration is what got us into this mess. Only thing NAACP or any of these civil rights orgs (notice I didn't say "black conscious orgs") is keep an eye on the sheep and try their best to protect them. They'll be trying to "integrate" for the rest of their days. What a pitiful vision.

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