Has the NAACP lost its way?

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

Yes, according to Debra Dickerson’s latest article for Salon.com:

Shouldn’t the NAACP have been using its moral authority to extend black influence throughout the nation’s institutions instead of submitting those institutions to unceasing frontal attacks designed merely to expose their racism? Instead of playing the faux martyr on the steps of the Supreme Court, shouldn’t he have been inside, respectfully but firmly lobbying Clarence Thomas and any other justice he could buttonhole? Holding my newly minted law school diploma, I was beginning to think so. It was time for the NAACP to evolve into a problem-solving organization for black America.

That’s why I was thrilled when the NAACP tapped veteran businessman Gordon to lead the black community into the future. Finally, after the organization had spent years clinging to a focus on confrontation without much action, Gordon promised to retool the NAACP to focus on social services and to leverage the civil rights movement’s gains into practical results. A star businessman whose career had been made possible by organizations like the NAACP, he was living proof that black success now requires more pragmatism than protest…

Gordon’s departure was only the beginning of NAACP’s troubles. Now, just three months later, the group has announced it will be “temporarily” closing its seven regional offices and slashing its national staff by 40 percent. It has also had to “delay” moving its Baltimore headquarters to Washington, D.C. The nation’s oldest civil rights organization is on the brink of extinction, defeated by its inability to evolve, a fact that no amount of rhetoric will be able to conceal at its 98th annual convention next month.

Folks, what do you think?

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Racialicious is a blog about the intersection of race and pop culture. Check out our daily updates on the latest celebrity gaffes, our no-holds-barred critique of questionable media representations, and of course, the inevitable Keanu Reeves John Cho newsflashes.

Latoya Peterson (DC) is the Owner and Editor (not the Founder!) of Racialicious, Arturo García (San Diego) is the Managing Editor, Andrea Plaid (NYC) is the Associate Editor. You can email us at team@racialicious.com.

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