Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘NAACP’

The NAACP Scholarship Banquet in Tifton, Georgia, “advanced” me profoundly last night but then again, they say the hardheaded never learned.  In college, we were too radical to be involved with this organization.  It was all about Public Enemy’s lyrics like “Mandela..cell dweller…Thatcher, you should tell her.”  In retrospect, the grassroots chapters of the NAACP have brought us from a mighty long way.

Rodney King was at my table.  Not that Rodney King but a 20-year-old fellow who won’t hesitate to tell you about the good works of his church.  Both Rodney Kings spent a lot of time in the hospital but this R.K. is employed a Tift Regional Hospital.  When I told him that my mother was there last year for several weeks and that he was luck because that camp is “full,” he looked at me as if too say “I am protected my check rather than being concerned with that stuff on the job.”

Young people from King’s church served the food at the banquet while other young people sang and praised dance.  Two young students from the community received scholarships and words of wisdom from Georgia Supreme Court Justice Robert Benham.   Justice Benham told the audience that they were in the wrong place if they wanted to hear negative information about the community because he would be speaking about positive experiences.  While he spoke, a slide show of Black history flashed images from the March on Washington to Little Rock to Medgar Evers to Obama speaking to the NAACP.  Justice Benham remained us that the NAACP has been fighting the good fight for years.  In his official capacity, he has ruled for and against the organization’s positions but he appreciated their efforts. 

Justice Benham was introduced by a long-time friend of his who isn’t Black and several of the honorees weren’t Black.  I remembered that Whites have always been involved in the NAACP.  I also remember that like any organization the NAACP has local chapters that are as different as leaves on a tree (that is what Helen Blocker Adams says about the Augusta Tea Party events.)   President Rev. L. Chris Solomon and the Tifton NAACP chapter seems to emphasis community improvement and encouraging the youth. 

Since I am often alone, I thought I mastered taking cellphone pictures of myself—I had to get one with the anti-lynching slide.  When I when to take a photo with Justice Benham, who told me he married an Albany State University grad, a women asked me why would I take a picture of myself when she could have the professional photographer do it.  Again, the hardheaded never learn that some things require the help of others; it’s called community. 

One of the honorees was a county commissioner with a long history of cleaning up the community street by street.  I met her a dozen years ago and told her husband and her congrats on their civil efforts.   Morehouse student Ambrose King help organize a fine program.  With old friends at NAACP events and the other contributor on this blog speaking at Tea Parties, community involvement is happening while I am sitting at his keyboard….blogging.  

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Lincoln and Booth

This drama about the Tea Party movement and the NAACP has me thinking.  Are racists at Tea Parties?  Yes.  Are racists at NAACP rallies?  Of course.  If you get a big group of people together, heaven only knows who is in the crowd.  Anyone who says Blacks can’t be racists is delusional.  Is that racism justifiable?  Is the thug mentality more detrimental to our community than racism?  I better leave that alone.     

PBS’s brilliant documentary about the assassination of President Lincoln includes a photo with John Wilkes Booth in the crowd at the second inaugural.  The last paragraph of that great speech reads:

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations. 

As a congressional staffer who lived blocks from the Capitol, I found myself stopping by any rally on the National Mall on Saturdays because I was compensated to serve as a conduit of information between all the people and my congressional bosses.  From pro-gun to gun control, pro-choice to pro-life, treehuggers to drill in the tundra, I listened just so I could say I listened.  The fetus pictures at the pro-life rallies were as rough as the concentration camp pictures at the Holocaust Museum. 

The Million Man March was a historic event but without doubt there were some people in the crowd who had considered taking the fight to another level; that’s what zealots on both sides do. I like to think that positive messages from that event introduced peaceful options to them. 

All of my African American friends who are conservative have attended and/or have spoken at Tea Parties.  When they looked into the crowd, they were hoping that no signage when overboard.  Like President Obama, I understand and respect their concerns with the size and role of government.  Of course, I also have moderate African American friends who wonder if leaders of the traditional civic rights organizations are battling for equality or seeking to stay paid.  That’s the thing: organizers of groups on the right, left and center often have their personal income in mind before anything– this blogger needs to get paid also.  A ruckus is good for donations and the NRA guy and the Handgun Control lady could be dining together in a D.C. tony eatery…. private dining room of course.

As I say weekly, our community should be supportive of a few sensible conservatives or those really nutty folks will be running things.

Read Full Post »