Trouble Ahead for NAACP, SCLC

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Adam's Apple, Dec 9, 2004.

  1. Adam's Apple
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    Adam's Apple Senior Member

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    There's Trouble in Civil Rights Land
    By Joseph Perkins, San Diego Union-Tribune
    December 3, 2004

    Kweisi Mfume stepped down this week as president of the once-venerated NAACP. Meanwhile, the Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth resigned last month as president of the once-respected Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

    Mfume's official explanation of his unexpected departure is that he wants to spend more time with his family. But the unofficial explanation is that he hasn't gotten along with Julian Bond, the NAACP's board chair.

    Shuttlesworth made no pretense of harmony with his SCLC board. "For years," he wrote in a statement explaining his not-unexpected departure, "deceit, mistrust and a lack of spiritual discipline and truth have eaten at the core of this once-hallowed organization."

    In fact, the SCLC and the NAACP are mere shadows of the organizations they were a generation ago when they were at the forefront of the civil rights movement, when the former was headed by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., the latter by Roy Wilkins.

    In 1964, at the height of the civil rights movement, the SCLC boasted tens of thousands of members, the NAACP nearly a half million members. Since then, both organizations have steadily declined in membership, even as the black population has nearly doubled.

    The reason for the membership decline is that both organizations are now quite different from what they were four decades ago.

    Back then, the SCLC and NAACP were authentic civil rights organizations fighting for equal treatment of America's darker-skinned citizens. Their portfolio included school desegregation, voting rights, fair housing and equal accommodations.

    Today, the SCLC and NAACP are little more than political organizations, sold-out subsidiaries of the Democratic Party. The IRS should have required them to register as 527 organizations, so bent were they this past election year on turning George W. Bush out of office.

    The leaders of the SCLC and NAACP refuse to accept that some blacks are not dyed-in-the-wool Democrats. In fact, more than 1 million blacks voted last month to re-elect Bush.

    And even blacks who did not cast their ballots for Bush do not disagree with the Republican on each and every issue, like the leaders of the SCLC and the NAACP.

    Indeed, two-thirds of blacks favor school vouchers, according to a Newsweek poll. Nearly two-thirds oppose same-sex marriage, according to a survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. And more than half support Social Security personal accounts, according to Zogby poll.

    Of course, to be black and Republican is to be a traitor to the race, the way the SCLC and the NAACP see it. To espouse non-liberal, non-Democrat views on issues is to be in league with the devil, according to the two civil rights organizations.

    Under their present leadership, the SCLC and the NAACP are no longer the advocacy organizations they were under King and Wilkins. They have transmogrified in recent years into hate groups.

    Indeed, earlier this year, the president went to Atlanta simply to pay his respects to the late Rev. King's family on the 75th anniversary of the slain civil right leader's birth.

    The SCLC responded with an official statement casting aspersions upon Bush for "the timing of (his) decision to visit" King's memorial site, and questioning "the integrity of Bush's decision to lay a wreath" on King's crypt.

    The NAACP was no less hostile to Bush this year. Bond condemned the president as the leader of a party that appeals "to the dark underside of American culture, to that minority of Americans who reject democracy and equality."

    But how dare the SCLC impugn Bush's integrity when its chairman, the Rev. Raleigh Trammel, is anything but a model of moral rectitude, as The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has reported.

    The pastor with a past has done prison time for defrauding a welfare agency. He has a judgment against him for sexual harassment. And he has had numerous foreclosure proceedings against properties he owns or co-owns.

    How dare Bond talk about the president appealing to a dark underside given the baggage he brought to the NAACP. Indeed, one year before he was elected the organization's board chair, Bond's wife told police he was a daily cocaine user and that he was consorting with a woman of ill repute.

    Mfume's departure from the NAACP, Shuttlesworth's resignation from the SCLC will do little to reverse the decline of the once-revered, once-respected civil rights organizations.

    They need a new generation of leaders who can rise above political partisanship, who can do business not only with Democrats, but also with Republicans.

    Leaders who truly subscribe to the dictum, famously enunciated by the British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, later adapted by King, Wilkins and other giants of the civil rights movement:

    No permanent friends. No permanent enemies. Only permanent interests.


    Perkins[who is a black columnist] can be reached via e-mail at joseph.perkins@uniontrib.com.
     
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  2. musicman
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    musicman Senior Member

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    527 organizations is right! These groups mattered when they proceeded from a position of moral authority. I hope they're happy with the bargain they've made.
     
  3. Mr. P
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    Mr. P Senior Member

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    I would disagree...they don't need new leaders, they need to shut the doors on these two organizations. They are both a thing of the past and their useful life is over...For the most part, like the KKK, they have become part of history. And boy does that piss off the Democrats!:thup:
     
  4. musicman
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    musicman Senior Member

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    That's really something, when you stop and think about it. The day's goiing to come when terms like "Uncle Tom Republican" are as quaint and curious as "23 skidoo" is to us. Incredulous children will ask their elders, "Did you really FALL for that???!!!"
     
  5. Mr. P
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    Mr. P Senior Member

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    Yes it is something. I grew up in Atlanta, the heart of the civil rights movement.
    Advancements have been made, things have changed a great deal and the movement has faded to almost nothing (even here), the problem is some (Jesse Jackson, J. Bond) just don't want to accept this isn't 1964, things ARE different now. They just can't seem or refuse to Move on!

    It's very interesting really...It's like they have won the war but now have no idea what the next step is. So they remain in the mind set that something must still be wrong and they need to fix it. They've been spinning their wheels for years and I think most blacks have come to see that and are Moving on in life, because the can.
    Just my opinion.
     
  6. musicman
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    musicman Senior Member

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    Sounds like a pretty good assessment to me.
     
  7. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    I'll just give these "leaders" a little credit and say they have worked themselves out of a job. Problem is that they have to pretend to wield some influence to keep the extortion money coming in. Hell they don't know how to do anything else.
     
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  8. Mr. P
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    Mr. P Senior Member

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    BINGO!
     
  9. Adam's Apple
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    Adam's Apple Senior Member

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    Couldn't have said it any better myself. My sentiments exactly. To those who would disagree, what useful purpose do these two organizations serve today? How are they helping black Americans move up in society so they can provide a better life and better education for their families? These organizations have become hatemongers and dividers of a first-class nature. They continue to use the race card (rather than focusing on integration into the broader society) to keep the blacks down and under their control.
     
  10. musicman
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    musicman Senior Member

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    Precisely - and that makes them no better than the plantation owners or the proponents of Jim Crow. In fact, it makes them worse. At least the former were honest and up-front with their contempt. And these leeches are doing it to their own.
     

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