During a conversation between Fox News’ Kelly Wright and Wall Street Journal editorial board member Jason Riley, an interesting dialogue emerged about the NAACP. While I am not one to spend much time pretending that the majority of conversations on Fox News actually make sense, this one got my attention.
Wright and Riley asked whether or not the NAACP’s snap endorsement of President Barack Obama’s support for gay marriage was driven by their loyalty toward Obama or by the desires of its membership. Riley, who seems like one of those folks who might be in a hurry to dismantle the NAACP, argued that the organization’s leadership has put its loyalty toward the president ahead of the concerns of its members.
I am not with Riley in extrapolating this peculiar political move to imply that the NAACP has lost the bulk of its value. But any fool can see that the NAACP’s endorsement of gay marriage was in direct response to President Obama’s announcement. Any claim by the organization that their statement “just happened” to occur right after Obama’s announcement is absolute nonsense. As a supporter of gay marriage myself, I can say that we were all talking about the issue because President Obama started the conversation.
The NAACP could have handled the Obama/gay marriage issue by simply remaining silent (as did the Urban League). Instead, its leadership drew a line in the sand which positioned its interests to be in alignment with the Democratic liberal machine. Money and power were the rule of the day here, and the members of the organization were not important in the NAACP’s perpetual quest to maintain good relations with King Obama.
For those who don’t know, here’s how things are working right now in the relationship between the White House and the Black community: The Obama Administration gives us its agenda and tells us to fulfill it. The administration understands clearly that the black vote is relevant for re-election, but not relevant enough to use valuable resources to improve the lives of African Americans directly.
So, when Obama makes an announcement that is not in the interest of the majority of the black community (i.e. gay marriage), the administration gets on the Bat Phone to find African American public figures who are willing to force feed the Kool-Aid to the masses. Massive liberal media platforms like MSNBC are enlisted as the launching pads of propaganda, where church-going Black folks are then described as illiterate Neanderthals who need liberal White people to think for us. Those willing to share the message are rewarded in numerous ways: Appearances by Obama at their events, their own television shows/segments and other behind-the-scenes goodies that people get for playing for the liberal team. Truth becomes the enemy in this form of dysfunctional cronyism, and we should all be sickened by it.
The administration’s agenda is not presented to the Black community in a respectful sharing of ideas. Rather, it is pushed forward in a manner reminiscent of how African dictators would squash protesters to protect the interests of foreign oil companies. Those who have anything unpopular to say are told to remain dumb and silent — or called Uncle Toms for not supporting every move by the brother in the White House. The collective political IQ of Black America dropped by 30 points after the election of President Obama, for freedom of thought and expression were quickly tossed to the wayside.
I am not one to call out those who use their leverage in Black America to make themselves into de-facto employees of the Obama Administration, because it’s quite clear who they are. Basically, anyone you see who claims to be a Black leader but refuses to ever critique the actions of the Obama Administration is effectively working on behalf of the administration to get negroes in line with their agenda. The problem with this form of politics is that the lesson for the powers-that-be in Washington is that you don’t have to do anything for all Black people collectively; instead, you only have to make sure its leadership is in your pocket. As a case-in-point, you should notice how the rulers of many African countries are wealthy from foreign corporations, while the people remain in dire poverty. The same idea is being applied right here in the US.
The factors I’ve described explain why the NAACP suddenly spoke up in support of gay marriage, even though it was in direct misalignment with the majority of its members. The Black McCarthyism that has come into existence since the rise of President Obama should be disturbing to us all, because heavily non-Democratic forces are being used to support Democratic power. Anyone who questions the administration or brings up legitimate concerns (i.e. poverty , mass incarceration, educational inequality, economic inequality) is immediately assaulted by one of the hired goons of the administration who has taken responsibility for keeping Black folks silent. This does not increase our freedom as a people, it reduces it.
One can’t help but be disappointed that NAACP leadership has signed on for the Black oppression program, for its commitment to the advancement of Black people should supersede its loyalty toward any politician. The NAACP is at its best when it is truly non-partisan, and has no permanent friends or enemies (see Colin Powell as a great example). Only our interests should be permanent, and those interests should be related to the advancement of Black people. Given that many of our leaders have rented themselves out to the liberal machine, it might be time for a mutiny.
Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Professor at Syracuse University and founder of the Your Black World Coalition. To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.
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