Since its inception in 1909, the NAACP, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, has been a beacon of hope for the African American community (Black community from here on because I am not African). It was the spring board for those who championed the Civil Rights movement and served as the “go-to” organization when seeking justice for racial civil injustices in the not so distanced past.
In recent years, however, I have questioned the necessity and the effectiveness of the NAACP in the 20th century. A recent article on NPR’s website made me question it yet again.
Julia Rose profiles a historic neighborhood in Charlotte, North Carolina that has some ugly history recorded in the property deeds. Discriminatory language such as “This lot shall be owned and occupied by people of the Caucasian race only” was written into deeds and was commonplace at the time the homes were built. The passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, of course, made such practices and language illegal. I imagine anyone who has taken a civics or history class in high school or college should know this. These documents are a part of the ugly history of the United States and should serve as a reminder of how far we have come as a race and as a country.
However, William Barber, president of the North Carolina NAACP, is filing a lawsuit to have the racist clause removed from the deeds. This seems very impractical and a wast of time, money, and effort in my opinion.
“If you saw that, it could in fact create what we call freezing — making people think twice about going. It could create psychic harm,” Barber says. “It could create discouragement.” [Source]
Psychic harm? Soooo, in other words, Mr Barber assumes black people are too obtuse to understand it is “illegal” and is merely a part of a “completed legal recording” and will be “discouraged” from purchasing property. I mean, after all, according to a local NAACP chapter website…
“The primary focus continues to be the protection and enhancement of the civil rights of African Americans and other minorities.”
So you see, Mr. Barber and the NAACP is here to protect stupid black people from being duped, bamboozled, hoodwinked, or even “psyched”.
Or…could this be a poor attempt for the organization to remain relevant in the 21st century? To keep a segment of the Black community with an enslaved oppressed mentality convincing them they still need to be “rescued”?
How is it a leader within this organization can come to the logical and rational conclusion that this “issue” is worth going to court over? How does this fight “enhance” my civil rights or any other minority?
Yes, this is only one example but with a little research, I am certain you, (yes, you), can come up with more examples of the misdirected and misguided intentions of this beloved, yet beleaguered and outdated, organization.
So, I am still left asking how effective is the NAACP in the 21st century?