NAACP and Old Times

Max Sawicky on GROVELING BEFORE THE NAACP:

the NAACP is living in a dream world. The dream is that they provide much in the way of organizational leadership and mobilization to African-Americans, so all candidates are obliged to show up when requested. Truth be told, they don’t have the juice. They’ve been a shell for decades. How many people do you know who are active in the group. How many of you ever see anything they do besides hold these national meetings in ‘hoods like Miami Beach? And why meet in Miami? Were Boise and Colorado Springs booked up?

If the NAACP meant more, candidates would be begging to appear. I hope they’re talking about that at their meeting.

Hey, that’s bad enough, but I can do worse.

When Harold McDougall, a cowardly asshole who had previously been Washington Bureau Director of the NAACP stood before a gathering of attendees to a National Multicultural Institute panel discussion and declared that “multiracial/biracial” activists and their organizations were really fronts for “white” supremacists, I knew I would never again have anything nice to say about the NAACP. And I was a Democrat then. Dr. McDougall made these slanderous remarks while taking questions from the audience following the panel. The audience included several “multiracial” movement activists (including me), “interracially” married individuals and “multiracial” adults who had been involved in the national debate on Census categories. I watched individuals I’d never really seen angry look ready to kick some ass. Other prominent figures in the movement who didn’t attend, but caught the reruns on C-SPAN were also incensed. This perverse display had been preceded by many demeaning public statements/interviews denouncing the rights of “biracial/multiracial” individuals to choose their own “racial” identities.

Until that day when McDougall really let loose, we were trying to keep our efforts and relationship with those opposed on a civil tone. Dr. McDougall’s remarks changed all of that and the gloves were off. While Old Weird Harold wasn’t speaking on behalf of the NAACP that day, he made damn sure that no one in the room forgot that he had only recently ended his tenure as Washington Bureau Director. In essence, he was unofficially espousing the NAACP viewpoint. That message did not go unnoticed.

Of course, the topping on the cake was the NAACP sponsored “check black only” movement in 2000, which attempted to bully, intimidate and scare “biracials” and “multiracials” into renouncing half their heritage, lest the Klan come and get you. I was beyond livid. The NAACP’s assertion that if you’re “biracial” then you belong to us is akin to a master/slave relationship. Word to the wise Mr. Mfume, no one is your property, not even those with a drop of “black blood.”

But this is what this organization promotes nowadays – the one-drop rule and attacks on personal identity. This is not progress. This is turning back the clock and attempting to preserve a disgusting state of affairs via intimidation, innuendo and lies. After this and many other episodes of NAACP intolerance towards the “multiracial” movement, my anger reached a new level and hasn’t subsided since. These attacks on the “multiracial” community will not go unpunished and the NAACP’s behavior has already been recorded in several books in progress/coming out over the next few years. I’ll be writing one as well, and I won’t whitewash anything. Some folks are going to have their dirty laundry passed around like a cheap slut at a frat house party.

The NAACP’s behavior towards the “multiracial” movement has indeed backfired. Instead of simply lobbying to remove the one-drop rule from government forms as we started, many of us have redirected our efforts toward abolishing “racial” categories altogether. The one-drop rule and its violation of individual rights will fall, along with the false apparatus that makes it possible.

This organization has long outlived it usefulness and in some ways begun to take on the tactics of many rightwing hate groups in their attacks on “multiracial” individuals and the right to self-identify over the better part of the past eight years. As far as I’m concerned, they lost all validity a long time ago. And I’m going to help see that doesn’t change anytime soon. Of course, Dr. McDougall and Mr. Mfume are always welcome to make a public apology for their sad and pathetic behavior whenever they wish.

I won’t be holding my breath.

2 comments

  1. So you are upset with the NAACP. As a supporter of the multiracial movement, I am upset that they do not support the idea of having a multiracial orbi-racial label on the census.
    But the organization has a history of defending
    interracial couples. If you don’t believe it then research it.

    8/4/2003 5:31:58 AM

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