Saturday, March 24, 2007

NAACP = National Association of Assbackwards Copped-out Punks


I saw this one coming. Bruce S. Gordon, President of the NAACP, resigned last month. When he took over in 2005, I said to myself: "That bruh won't last."

Here's why I made that statement: Gordon is a hard core, no nonsense, business first, kind of guy. He came from the corporate world. He spent 35 years as a business man at various companies. He does not play.

The NAACP, meanwhile, has been stuck in the 60s for decades. The organization is old school, old school, old school. They CLAIMED they hired Gordon because they wanted a business guy to come in and clean house and move the organization forward.

But, that's not what they wanted. They wanted a tool. The NAACP wanted a guy who, like the organization itself, was stuck in the past. They wanted a successful, educated guy who was a businessman on the surface, but deep down was an "old school bruh" who would do nothing but obey.

The problem with that thinking is that the NAACP's way of handling their business is - at best - trifling. As someone who has covered the NAACP for stories, trust me when I say they are disorganized: Barely returns phone calls; Ignores emails, the whole gamut. It's a shame.

On top of that is the irony: this is the same organization that's forever struggling with recruiting younger generations.

According to the Associated Press, here are a few of Gordon's accomplishments during his short tenure:

  • He smoothed strained relations between the NAACP and the White House, meeting with President Bush three times in less than a year.
  • He used his corporate ties to lend quick assistance to black New Orleans residents after Hurricane Katrina.
  • he hired a number of key national employees whose reputations inspired staff members
Clearly, Gordon was all business. But I suspect that the NAACP didn't care about any of that, that the 65-member board of directors (Alright, what kind of company or organization has such a large board?????) only cared about someone who would "keep it real."

The problem is, in the middle of keeping it real, the organization, as well as the Black Agenda, suffers.

Sometimes, keeping it real involves hard choices.

5 comments:

H L W said...

In fairness and balance, we should be reminded that all volunteeer driven organizations are only as good as the volunteer in the room, at that time. The NAACP is no different. If you think the NAACP is no longer relevant, tell us who to call when you are beat down by racist police officers, denied a loan when you try and move into a nice subdivision even though you have perfect credit. Who do you call when you are called a 'nigger' and fired from your job.

While many of us appreciated the thinking and insight of Bruce Gordon, the fact that this turned out not to be a good fit in no way reflects on the relevance of the NAACP.

The NAACP has been pretty steady over the last 30 and 40 years. Many other organizations have not. You don't have to think that hard to remember many organizations which surfaced in the 60's and 70's and are long gone.

Many corporations change leaders much faster than the NAACP. The lifespan of a school superintendent for most large (and many small) school districts) is maybe 3 years.

If you want to know the truth about the relevance and value of the NAACP, please set your e-mail for google alerts about the naacp and see if you can stand it. You will see who is on the frontline for justice and firness all across the country.

When we know the truth, the truth shall make us free.

Get involved!!! and make a difference.

Anonymous said...

Thanks HLW. I could not have said it better. No one can handle NAACP google alerts!

Drew said...

HLW,

There are some holes in your arguments.

For one thing, if I'm denied for a loan after having perfect credit or fired unjustly from my gig, I'm going to call an attorney. That's what they do.

Secondly, why wasn't Gordon a "good fit" for the NAACP? And, why doesn't it reflect the larger issue, which is the ongoing struggle the NAACP has with relating to the younger generations?

Third, you argue that the NAACP is still around, and other organizations are not. So? You can say that about any group or organization. Measuring the importance of the NAACP based on other groups that are no longer in existence is not a sound argument. Based on the law of averages, some organziations simply do not last.

Fourth, I've never denied that other organziations change CEO's or leaders frequently. My point was the KIND of leadership the NAACP has had over the years, and the seemingly "old school" method of doing things that appear to hold it back. Why, for example, does the group have a 65 member board of directors?

Google alerts? What good will google alerts do? All it will do is flag mentions of the NAACP. It's not a quality based search engine. It just pulls up numbers. That was a weak point, my friend.

James Burnett said...

Gotta side w/Drew on this. Cynical of me, I know. But Gordon wanted the board to do more than make speeches about the good old days. He wanted more action, more accountability, and more "involvement" in improving schools, etc. AND he didn't tow a political party line.

Sizzy Siz said...

Well written, Drew. I don't think anyone could have said it better...