Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

The NAACP and Bush

John H. McWhorter thinks that President Bush was entirely justified in not accepting the NAACP’s invitation to speak at its annual convention. McWhorter asserts that the NAACP is in a mind-set that doesn’t make sense today, and their anger based politics is not true or useful. He writes: "Black America’s main problem is neither overt racism nor more subtle "societal" racism. Lifting blacks up is no longer a matter of getting whites off our necks. We are faced, rather, with the mundane tasks of teaching those ’left behind’ after the civil rights victory how to succeed in a complex society — one in which there will never be a second civil rights revolution."

It is no longer the case that without the NAACP real problems having to do with race can’t be addressed. Other organizations are working on "specific cures to specific ills: creating a culture of achievement among black students, addressing the AIDS crisis in black communities and fostering constructive relationships between police forces and residents of minority neighborhoods."

I especially like his concluding lines: "In fact, Bush ought not court an organization that considers him a racist, despises any race-sensitive proposal he offers and plays no serious role in addressing the problems of the community they purport to represent.

The NAACP is hardly the only political movement to have dissolved into posturing after the battles were largely won. What happens is that new leaders come along who are better suited to address the new problems.

For Bush to visit today’s NAACP would be like dropping by a memorial. It would be a gesture, not an action. Black Americans deserves better."

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