Project 21 New Visions

 

Akindele Akinyemi

NAACP Rejects Life


by Akindele Akinyemi (bio)

It is disturbing to hear the NAACP rejected out-of-hand a pro-life resolution submitted for consideration at their recent annual conference in Detroit.

One would think the NAACP would support life over death, especially when abortion affects our community in such a negative way.

It seems, however, that the symbolic burying of "the n-word," which they held a mock funeral for during their convention, is more important to the group than the actual conception of life.  How awful.

To make matters worse, this is the second time in three years that leaders of the NAACP kept its membership from considering a resolution expressing concern for the right to life.

It is also insulting when, after the previous pro-life resolution was dismissed, the NAACP's leaders issued a different resolution promoting equal access to contraception and supporting a rally promoting abortion.

This year's pro-life resolution, sponsored by the Macon, Georgia NAACP chapter and whose campaign was led by the Georgia state president, was to bring attention to the harmful effects of abortion on African-American women.   According to the Reverend Clenard Childress of Life Education and Resource Network, 1,452 black women abort their unborn children every day - which is 36 percent of all abortions in America.

While perceived under-representation in school admissions or hiring and promotions in the workplace quickly show up on the NAACP's radar, this over-representation of black America in the termination of innocent life is apparently something of little interest to NAACP leaders.  Why?

Reverend Childress told CNSNews, "These are issues that need discussion on the convention floor by the delegates that are there, and the NAACP at this present time chooses to take the position that it's not relevant.  We need to bring attention to the fact that this is obviously a political positioning of [the] NAACP that does not reflect the values of the body that they represent."

Since women make up such a large number of delegates in the NAACP, why - if all else failed - would our sisters not raise hell about this critical issue?  This saddens me as much as it confuses me.

NAACP leaders say the members in Macon were told in advance, by letter, that their resolution was dismissed on a technicality.  It's a letter the Macon chapter says it never received.  Nonetheless, Reverend Childress says the rejection still violated the NAACP's bylaws, which allow resolutions to be presented and read by state chapters on the floor of the conventions.  While a resolution can be prevented from being opened for discussion, there is no power for the leadership to prevent it from being read.  "So what they did, then, is just rejected the resolution outright," says Reverend Childress.  "They made the bogus claim that there were errors in it - and therefore there would not be an obligation to read it at the convention."

Childress says this is not the first time abortion proponents have prohibited a resolution addressing abortion from a pro-life perspective from simply being read. "This is the second time [in three years] that resolutions have been rejected by this present administration of the NAACP that has abortion content to it," he notes. "It is obvious [there is] a pattern of censorship, and I think we need to have some serious changes in the NAACP."

Even Alveda King, a member of Project 21 and the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., flew to Detroit to prepare to push this on the floor of the convention Tuesday.  Her appeal was also rejected.  Yet, the NAACP will embrace the spirit and celebrity of her uncle when it comes to what they perceive as an injustice.

I am beginning to see how liberal influences have controlled the NAACP for quite some time.  It's not always about loving black people with the leadership.  I seems more about pushing the liberal agenda despite them.

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Akindele Akinyemi is a member of the national advisory council of the black leadership network Project 21 and the CEO of the One Network community organization in Detroit, Michigan. Comments may be sent to [email protected].

Published by The National Center for Public Policy Research. Reprints permitted provided source is credited. New Visions Commentaries reflect the views of their author, and not necessarily those of Project 21 or the National Center for Public Policy Research.


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