It must be difficult for the nation's oldest Civil Rights organization to find their place in this complex, increasingly multicultural, bi-racial, ethnically and religiously diverse American society. Gone for the most part are the marathon Civil Rights marches, boycotts of buses, sit-ins at lunch counters, Jim Crow segregation Laws, bombings of Black Churches, KKK cross burnings, lynching of Black males, torrents of water spray from fire hoses, snarling teeth and bite marks from police canines, the painful sting and bloodied bruising inflicted by police Billy clubs, police roadblocks or barricades, and the "Dreamer" [MLK] was assassinated and has been laid to rest over forty years ago. It is a daunting task indeed to stay relevant in a culture when a generation of Black youth use the "N" word more frequently and just as freely as any racial bigot ever did or could have even imagined, and subsequently one of the most important issues of social justice, equality, and civil rights facing people of color today is that of "access to technology." Indeed, Bill Gates, co-founder of MICROSOFT, said in an interview several years ago that the issue of racial, educational, and economic disparity is a matter of bridging the "Digital Gap" between those who have access to technology and those who do not [in a manner of speaking].
Since the beleaguered organization has not been in the forefront leading the charge for social change, it is not surprising that they would want to seize on some convenient opportunity to turn things around from some previous unfavorable news reporting on one of its former leaders or about misappropriation of funds, and dwindling membership as well as receiving fewer donations than in the past. Perhaps in an attempt to repair its image, leaders like NAACP President Ben Jealous are accusing the Tea Party of being a bunch of bigots, and while there are doubtless some members who are supporters of Arizona's Immigration Law and are almost primarily concerned about White people [codeword: Patriotic Americans] losing their jobs to 'foreigners' and government spending for social programs that they perceive the greater amount as going towards people of color who have all these babies and are on welfare and the baby daddies won't take care of their family responsibilities; among their other concerns.
Poster Girl for the Tea Party, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, said that she is saddened by the NAACP's claims that they are 'racists.' It is unclear as to what the adoption of a resolution condemning the Tea Party's agenda is going to achieve, except that it might have a negative impact toward the NAACP and galvanize Tea Party loyalists. One would also question the timing of this announcement, that is, whether it is politically-motivated and to what purpose or benefit does this action serve? If the NAACP want to decry the presence of 'racists' in the midst, start with Democrats who allegedly initially resisted the Voting Rights Act, then one could doubtless go through the ranks of the Republicans, Green Party, Libertarians, Independents, and Socialists Workers Party and discover a few working there, too. It's really much to do about nothing and unless the Tea Party invite members of the John Birch Society, Glenn Beck, David Duke, or actor Mel ["I don't hate Jews or Blacks, I was just drunk"] Gibson to speak at their rallies, the NAACP should focus their energies on some of the more important social issues than get caught up in this matter and and distracted from the kinds of advocacy and sounding the alarm to expose unlawful discriminatory and divisive practices and policies that the NAACP is known to fight against. The NAACP should focus their energies on some of the more important social issues than get caught up in this matter and and distracted from the kinds of advocacy and sounding the alarm to expose unlawful discriminatory and divisive practices and policies that the organization is known to fight against.
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July 14, 2010
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