Tuesday, November 20, 2007

NAACP Must Change

For many blacks in America the NAACP, especially the national organization, has lost touch with the very people it is charged to serve. Check out this post from Afrospear member and black blogger, Shawn Williams of the widely and highly recognized Dallas South Blog. It makes some interesting points about the realities of race in America, and how the NAACP, like many other organizations and individuals have changed very little in how it addresses the issues of the day.

NAACP and others must rethink its “mission” or risk futher obsolescence

By Shawn Williams


Obsolescence - the state of being which occurs when a person, object, or service is no longer wanted even though it may still be in good working order.

I was president of the Texas A&M Chapter of the NAACP from 1994-1996 and I count Dallas President Casey Thomas as a friend. The organization is quite dear to me.

With all that said, I see the NAACP, especially the national organization, as losing touch with the very people it is charged to serve. As the realities of race in America has evolved, the NAACP has changed very little in how it addresses the issues of the day.

If the NAACP is not leading (I said leading) the effort in cases like the Jena 6, Genarlow Wilson, and Tyrone Brown that what are they doing? The group is really trying to find its way right now, that's evident in the change in leadership that occurred earlier this year.

It was a surprise to say the least when the NAACP broke with conventional wisdom and hired executive Bruce Gordon to lead the organization. Only 19 months into the job, Gordon resigned his post as president (last March).

Gordon's vision as president did not lineup with the NAACP's 64 member board . The former Verizon exec realized the NAACP was a civil rights group, but thought they could benefit from broadening their scope. He wanted to address more of Black America's pressing needs.

Julian Bond, chairman of the board said at the time, "Put simply, we fight racial discrimination and social service groups fight the effects of racial discrimination. Service is wonderful and praiseworthy and fabulous, but many, many organizations do it. Only a couple do justice work, and we're one of those few." More HERE


Dark Daughta said...

I think it was good that the Verizon exec left. How many orgs are going to end up being run by capitalist minions interested in broadening the scope of their capitalist power and widening their own networks, how many orgs are going to be watered down by people who aren't first and foremost activist or justice oriented, before we stop trying to gain fiscal cred by hiring conservative capitalists as heads of organizations that work to support those oppressed by the government and by predatory capitalism? Yes, the older orgs need to revision their purpose, but I think this is very different than us allowing wolves into the fold. In short, I think there are a few different and perhaps distinct issues wrapped up together here and passed off as one. Oh, and Hi! I found your site via freeslave's blog.

Lovebabz said...

Everything changes. The NAACP is only an organization. It exist because we need it to exist. If there is change to come, then we must become that change. It is easy to sit and arm chair quarterback, but unless you get in the game, then you are just running your mouth. And thank God we have the right to run our mouths. The problem isn't the NAACP per se, the problem is we want one organization to do it all. Solve poverty, Black Crime, feed the hungry etc. And sometimes we get involved when it doesn't fuck with our sense of security or compromises our place in our community Who has time to protest 24/7 who has time to read everything printed about what is happening everywhere. And we all want "THEM" to do it. We want "THEM" to recognize and represent. But we are not willing to hold the mirror to ourselves and say we are "Them" or should be. Because as long as we sit in judgement and not move to action we are part of the problem. We have over 2 million folks in the prison system. Ther 1000 folks going to jail everyday in America. There are thousands of kids in foster care that need forever homes--Black and Latino kids. So there are enough issues for each of us to divide and deal with and pinning that solely on the NAACP to carry the weight is ridiculous and lets each and every one of us off the hook as long as "They" are trying to hold it down. I am ready for some real meaningful activism--where folks make a difference where they are---Like a ripple on the pond.