Time for Regime
Change at the NAACP
by Ak'Bar Shabazz
After hearing Julian Bond and Kweisi Mfume trash President George
W. Bush and black conservatives, it's painfully apparent what
has become of the NAACP. A once-proud organization has been reduced
to simple slander and rhetoric. The leadership that once produced
American greats like Thurgood Marshall and WEB Dubois now seems
diminished to a mouthpiece for the Democratic Party.
The NAACP no longer appears focused on
the advancement of the African-American community. It now acts
as if its chief concern is electing liberals and maintaining
its perceived influence. Ideas that founded the organization
look to be replaced by the partisan pursuit of maintaining the
Democratic Party's stranglehold on the black vote. This vision
apparently equates black advancement with the rate at which liberals
are elected to office.
For Mfume and Bond to insinuate that
black conservatives are merely "hustlers" and "puppets"
who promote conservative ideology strictly for money is enlightening
and disappointing. It speaks to their character. Like foolish
puppies at a lake, the anxious NAACP leadership sees a false
reflection of themselves and attack. They are once again making
a mistake in judgment. It's not surprising since their moral
compass hasn't seemed to function in years.
Julian Bond, for instance, has the audacity
to attack President Bush on education. The NAACP joins the liberals
and teachers unions to undermine the Bush plan to improve public
schools. They'd love to remove learning requirements and standards
that expose lagging development and productivity in our nation's
To the teacher's unions, measurable results
appear secondary to job security. Their goal seems to be returning
to the days of worry-free operation without the pesky mandates
our President has implemented. To secure the endorsement and
increase their chances of gaining the White House, Democrats
are likely to oblige their requests in sacrificing the education
of poor children nationwide by keeping them trapped in failing
gang and drug-infested schools. The NAACP and the Congressional
Black Caucus (CBC) appear to graciously promote the unions' ridiculous
ideas that drain the potential from our youth and rob their desire
for honest achievement while often sending their own children
to the finest private schools.
Only education and hard work will take
our community and country to the next level. NAACP leaders promote
reparations checks and other magic pills and elixirs to miraculously
fix our community while threatening educational standards. It's
the equivalent of treason against black America.
I'm sure the NAACP would love for every
person of color to vote a straight Democratic ticket. Not necessarily
because it is believed to help the black community, but because
it maintains their perception of political power.
But does the NAACP have the power it
thinks it has? No blacks were even considered to be John Kerry's
running mate. The Kerry campaign included black high-ranking
staffers only after the lack of diversity was exposed. In the
Bush White House, on the other hand, Colin Powell and Condoleezza
Rice control foreign policy and Rod Paige is the President's
point man on education. Where is the NAACP's and the CBC's power?
Julian Bond and Kweisi Mfume had their
chance to lead. They squandered their opportunity and tarnished
their personal credibility along with the credibility of a once-respected
The sun appears to have set on the NAACP's
days of usefulness. Eventually, the old makes way for the young.
Our country needs fresh ideas and new leadership that hasn't
been compromised by the seductive limelight. It's time for change.
The old leadership has run our community
into the ground with destructive actions and archaic ideas. Instead
of condemning the next generation, they should embrace those
who have taken the responsibility of providing direction and
guidance to the young people of our country. But, like selfish
relay runners lusting for the spotlight, they won't pass the
baton. The attention is too addicting and consuming to share
the stage with others.
Ak'Bar Shabazz, an Atlanta
native, is president of Shabazz Enterprises and member of African-American
leadership network, Project 21. Comments can be sent to [email protected].
Published July 2004 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.
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