Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Why I'm not a Member of the NAACP

John Cole has an interesting take on New York Times columnist Bob Herbet's screed regarding GOP National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman's apology at the NAACP annual convention. Herbert lists a long line of GOP crimes against blacks and basically knocks the apology.

John does a good job of fisking Herbert and also gives a good explaination of Ronald Reagan's kick off speech for President in 1980 at the Neshoba, Mississippi County Fair-the same county where the three civil rights workers were murdered in 1964.

I'm not a big fan of the NAACP these days. They have ciriticzed the President for not visiting over the years and yet they engage in some of the most vitrolic lashing of the President. Why would you go where you know you will not be welcomed?

I'm not saying that the NAACP should never criticize the President or the Republican Party. That is their right. But you can't expect Bush to come and speak to a bunch of people who don't just not like him, but detest him. I've long said Bush needs to build bridges beyond his far right base, but the NAACP has to start acting like a bipartisan organization that is willing to at least give the president a listen.

Is the GOP perfect when it comes to racial relations? Nope. Mehlman was right to apologize for the "Southern Strategy." He should have also thrown in Willie Horton too. But let's not forget that the last Democratic president was no saint either. While campiagning for President, he flew back to Arkansas oversee the execution of black inmate who had such a substandard IQ that he saved his last meal thinking he would come back later. Clinton also denied lowering the sentences that would have equalize the penalties for crack and powder cocaine (people using crack cocaine, used mostly by blacks, was punsished more severly than powder cocaine, which is used mostly by whites).

When it comes to African American organizations, I have more respect for the Urban League which is trying to actually solve problems affecting African Americans, than the NAACP, which seems more interested in scoring partisan points than in solving problems.


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