It’s crazy to think that the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the NAACP, is no longer useful. Sadly, this seems to be the case. Luckily today, we have other organizations and activist groups that have paved the way for justice and equality but only a handful remain. The most relevant and widespread movement against the injustices of today has been Black Lives Matter. Black Lives Matters has championed not only blacks, but also the LGBT community, the disabled, the undocumented and women. Consequently, people from all races and walks of life have banded together to support the Black Lives Matter movement. Surely there are those who individually and collectively do their part in the fight against injustice; however, the influence of the NAACP has become non-existent.
The 1950s through the 1970s were a time of solidarity and grand triumph for this groundbreaking organization. As of late, however, leadership concerns, incomplete goals and prioritization of funding have resulted in immobilization from the NAACP. The most recent activity of the organization occurred during the election season that landed Trump in office. Their website even states that five days before election day, the web designers were working to launch the Selma Initiative against voter suppression. However, it came a little too late. From 2012 to 2016 there were 16 high-profile cases of abuse of power by law enforcement. Where was the NAACP?
It is easy to point fingers as to what someone else should or can do. In reality, the inactivity of the NAACP is only a microcosm of the complacency attitude many blacks in America share. Anytime there is devastation within our community, there is a moment of outrage, uprising and protest but a few days later, we move on and remain content with our current situation. George Zimmerman’s acquittal after killing Trayvon Martin should have woken us up and lead us to fight, however didn’t. Colin Kaepernick’s career martyrdom hasn’t even been enough for us to confront the realities of today.
Everyone has an opinion, but most people feel compelled to act until a personal inconvenience or tragedy occurs. Why the apathy? How are we so comfortable and content? Do we think we as a people have “arrived”?
Journalist and activist Melissa Harris-Perry cites the North Carolina NAACP as the only branch who have maintained relevancy. The needs and concerns of today include but are not limited to gun control, homelessness, wage increase, voting rights, immigration, equality for LGBT/other and women. These and other issues are not exclusive to any one part of the United States. If the NAACP wishes to continue to improve humanity and fight for the inclusion of all, the organization needs to forego all form or fashion and roll up its sleeves with collective effort. If they can’t do that, then they can at least support those who are ready and willing to do the real work. It would be a shame for the legacy of those who trail blazed and sacrificed to have been in vain.
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