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Friday, April 4, 2008

NAACP A National Disgrace Now The Question is WHEN

AAPP: I listened in pure amazement and disgust last night to a broadcast over at one of the best bloggers in America, (also from Texas) Gina McCauley from the blog What About Our Daughters. She was joined by her roundtable, along with Adora Obi Nweze, President, Fl State Conference NAACP and a member of the NAACP National Board of Directors and Richard "We Will Not Be Blamed" McIntire, the NAACP national spokesperson.

The NAACP was invited to speak about their decision to support the bail request for the release of black boys who are alleged to have brutally raped, sodomized and beat a mother and son on June 18.


This is a case, as reported by MSNBC a mother and son huddled together, battered and beaten, in the bathroom — sobbing, wondering why no one came to help. For three hours, the pair say, they endured sheer terror as the 35-year-old Haitian immigrant was raped and sodomized by up to 10 masked teenagers and her 12-year-old son was beaten in another room. hen, mother and son were reunited to endure the unspeakable: At gunpoint, the woman was forced to perform oral sex on the boy, she later told a TV station. Afterward, they were doused with household cleansers, perhaps in a haphazard attempt to scrub the crime scene, or maybe simply to torture the victims even more. The solutions burned the boy’s eyes. The thugs then fled, taking with them a couple of hundred dollars’ worth of cash, jewelry and cell phones. In the interview with WPTV, the mother described how she and her son sobbed in the bathroom, too shocked to move. Then, in the dark of night, they walked a mile to the hospital because they had no phone to call for help. More HERE

AAPP: After listening to the state and national NAACP representatives make fools out of themselves, I came to the same conclusion that Lee Walker and others have about this disgraceful national organization. As Lee walker wrote, "
It is neither the powerful organization of my youth nor the courageous and dignified body I identify with Roy Wilkins. After Mr. Wilkins died, he was succeeded by Ben Hooks, a former judge from Tennessee. After Mr. Hook stepped down, the bottom fell out and the NAACP lost touch with black America. A survey taken in 1992 by the Detroit News revealed that 94 percent of black Americans thought the NAACP was out of touch with the everyday problems of most blacks, and the poor in particular.

One glaring problem with the NAACP is the enormous board of directors, over 60 at last count. Mr. Wilkins once advised me over lunch never to run an organization with too many board members. From the statements of former CEO Ben Gordon, it appears that the board’s meddling played a significant role in his decision to step down. Unless the absurdly large board contributes significant amounts of money or brings in new members, the board will be more of a hindrance than a help. And at the moment, it looks to be doing neither."

Read more of Lee Walkers thoughts in the post below:

NAACP Needs New Leadership

Written By: Lee Walker
Published In: Chicago Defender
Publication Date: March 9, 2007
Publisher: Chicago Defender

This Op-Ed originally appeared in the Chicago Defender on March 9, 2007

The current leadership crisis at the NAACP raises an interesting question, did black folks win or lose when Booker T. Washington died in 1915 of high blood pressure and overwork? At the age of only 59, Washington could have led the black race for many years had his health not deteriorated. His untimely death allowed the NAACP, founded and run by northern white liberals, to take over leadership of black America.

Washington was never a fan of the NAACP, and the feeling was quite mutual. Washington was, however, a trustee of the National Urban League, an organization that stimulated black business development and facilitated educational progress for blacks. Sadly, it was unable to stay the course. Although the National Urban league also had white leaders, they encouraged the blacks running it to buy a building for the organization. Due to their paternalistic attitude towards blacks, the white NAACP leaders never encouraged blacks to take this step. The result of course was that high rent prices forced the NAACP to leave Manhattan in the mid 1980's. Today, the NAACP is the oldest surviving civil rights organization in the country. Unfortunately, though it is the oldest tree in the forest, it is also the deadest.

To make clear my long-standing relationship with the NAACP, I should disclose that I was vice president of the Brooklyn Chapter in the 1970's. I was a personal friend of Roy Wilkins, the national executive secretary, and I keep a picture of us, decked out in three bottoms vest and suit ensemble, in my office. The dignified Mr. Wilkins actually wore that three bottoms vest to work every day. During my years at the Brooklyn NAACP he became my role model.

I had dreamed of volunteering for the NAACP ever since high school. When George Wallace banned the organization from the state during the Montgomery Bus Boycott, I knew I needed to be a member. Since the group was banned, however, blacks had to send their membership forms to individuals at the 42nd street address in Manhattan without referencing the NAACP directly. Additionally, the NAACP could not send us the Crisis Magazine in the standard organizational package lest white postal workers identify us as members.

Unfortunately, I no longer recognize the once great NAACP. It is neither the powerful organization of my youth nor the courageous and dignified body I identify with Roy Wilkins. After Mr. Wilkins died, he was succeeded by Ben Hooks, a former judge from Tennessee. After Mr. Hook stepped down, the bottom fell out and the NAACP lost touch with black America. A survey taken in 1992 by the Detroit News revealed that 94 percent of black Americans thought the NAACP was out of touch with the everyday problems of most blacks, and the poor in particular.

One glaring problem with the NAACP is the enormous board of directors, over 60 at last count. Mr. Wilkins once advised me over lunch never to run an organization with too many board members. From the statements of former CEO Ben Gordon, it appears that the board’s meddling played a significant role in his decision to step down. Unless the absurdly large board contributes significant amounts of money or brings in new members, the board will be more of a hindrance than a help. And at the moment, it looks to be doing neither.

Leadership has been the central problem for the NAACP since the 1990's and Ben Gordon’s departure shouldn’t encourage any of us that these problems are being solved. It is now time for Chairman Julian Bond to step down. It was mentioned recently that Ben Gordon did not have a civil rights background and was therefore unqualified to serve as CEO. However, it is worth remembering that neither Roy Wilkins nor Martin Luther King Jr. had extensive civil rights experience before assuming the mantle of leadership. Indeed, King had only recently earned his Ph.D. when the Montgomery Bus Boycott thrust him into a national leadership role.

Regardless of who leads the NAACP, there is no dispute that the organization is still needed. Whether it will ever again be the force for change it once was, will depend on its ability to refocus and develop new leadership.

As one New Yorker said in a NY Times article in 1994 "I don't see the N.A.A.C.P. as an organization for the masses of black people, and that's the problem," said Mr. Rhymes, who lives in a city housing project named after an early civil rights crusader, Ida B. Wells. "They're looking for that mainstream, middle-class person who doesn't need half as much help as the people I know. The N.A.A.C.P. is lost on the Yellow Brick Road somewhere."

AAPP: Now the question is WHEN.

When will black folks hold the NAACP Accountable? When will the NAACP hold itself accountable? When will black folks as the NAACP Board Chair to resign, and take that 60 Member Board with him? When will black women start a national organization that really fights for black women and their families? WHEN?

UPDATE: Maybe once organized, a new national black womans organization can get the blacks in the media to highlight important issues like not allowing bail for alleged rapist. Oh, but that's right black media, like white media, seem to be more concerned about Naomi Campbell being released on bail.


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