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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Obama, The NAACP, Blacks and The Future

There is a lot of debate to whether the NAACP is relevant in a age of Barack Obama. I have debated this issue both privately and publicly for some time. Like a majority of black folks, I have been thumbs up and down regarding the NAACP. Now Barack Obama and NAACP president Benjamin Todd Jealous addressed the NAACP's 100th anniversary convention in New York City. Yes, the first Black President and the first Black U.S. Attorney General showed up but provided no bailout or bail out plans for black America.

Washington Informer

Nor did NAACP president Benjamin Todd Jealous hold Barack Obama or his own organization accountable. Does America need he NAACP anymore? Does Black America need the NAACP anymore. You know, Kal Wright over at The Root was on point when he wrote, "Ben Jealous is an odd fit for the position of race leader. He’s not a civil rights icon. He’s not a trailblazing elected official. Hell, he’s not even a netroots pioneer. But most of all, he’s not a very good preacher—his oratory is more strained than inspired, loaded with colloquialisms that sound dutiful rather than down-home. All of which partly explains why more people fidgeted in their seats than jumped out of them at Jealous’ grand unveiling before the NAACP’s centennial convention.

Big national advocacy groups do all kinds of stuff, but one task is crucial: put on a successful confab once a year. It raises money, the press comes, and it’s the one chance most members get to check out their leadership firsthand. So about a year into his tenure as NAACP’s youngest-ever president, Jealous’ Monday morning keynote address was a formal coming-out party to a membership that remains undecided about whether to embrace or decapitate him.

As a performance, the speech fell dead—a wonky jeremiad, during which at least one group of bored matrons swore he misquoted scripture. But the problem wasn’t just Jealous’ delivery. The message is as poor a fit as the man because nobody really wants to hear what Jealous has to say about race politics today.

Set aside all the buzz about the NAACP’s waning relevance—a clear preoccupation even inside this week’s conference. The group’s 100-year convening begs a more affirmative question: What is the role of a 21st-century association that aims to advance colored people? Jealous’ answer is a tedious buzz kill for both the civil rights nostalgists and their post-race eulogists. But it’s nonetheless spot-on. Namely, that the NAACP has got to do the thankless work of turning mere racial equality into racial justice." More HERE

Get this, during the NAACP speech Barack Obama, said, "Make no mistake: The pain of discrimination is still felt in America," the president said in honoring the organization's 100th convention. Obama urged African-Americans to be realistic about some of the difficulties they may face, but to remember that "your destiny is in your hands."

More links Here:

AAPP: My question, How come Obama didn't say that to the banks he bailed out, "Your destiny is in your hands ?" I guess Barack Obama likes to talk shallow simplistic rubbish and scold black americans and Africans.

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