Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Just In From "C"-&-"N"

The NAACP held a symbolic (what else) "funeral" for the N-word on Monday.

I didn't think too much about it because, well, I can't think of much from the NAACP in recent years that has been significant in either my life or that of the broader black community. There's far more trenchant debate, discussion and leadership found from such diverse individuals as Barack Obama, Rev. Al Sharpton,
Cory Booker, Michael Eric Dyson, Condoleezza Rice, Henry Louis Gates, Stanley Crouch, Bill Cosby, Oprah Winfrey, Rev. Harry Jackson -- than anything coming out of the NAACP. I might not agree with everything said and done by these folks, but at least they seem to be "in the mix" and contributing to daily political and social currents than this century-old organization.

Former Verizon executive Bruce Gordon tried to bring it kicking and screaming into the 21st century and got himself kicked to the curb
earlier this year. Underscoring the absurdity of this "funeral," it was held in Detroit and "officiated" by Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who obviously has experience doing these things -- given how Detroit's murder rate has increased in recent years.

So, I paid little heed to this N-word funeral from the start. However, from this mailing list that I'm on (and to which I usually pay little attention), I stumbled across this
new blogger who expertly eviscerates NAACP hypocrisy, starting at its root -- it's ridiculously outmoded name:

Let's get this out the way from the jump. I'm not down with using the "N" word and frankly, if I was rollin' through tha hood and saw the NAACP scrappin' with G Unit, I'd just grab a big bag of chips and a Big Gulp and watch. However, in wrestling terms, this is more like a triple threat match between the old school Civil Rights Leaders, the commercial "gangsta" rappers and the Hip Hop activists all vying for the coveted World Championship of Black Culture.

It’s a tough question but someone has to ask it...Is it really fair to come down on tha Brotha's for using the "N" word, when in 2007, you still refer to Black folks as "colored people?"

Is there a real qualitative difference between the name NWA (N***** With Attitude) and the NAACP? I guarantee you that most rappers will not put up half the fight over the "N" word as the folks in the NAACP would if folks demanded that they take "colored" out of their title.

While many can trace the history of Hip Hop from its South Bronx origins most people are totally oblivious to the history of the NAACP. While many people automatically assume that it was always a "black thing", in reality, the first members of the NAACP were white, including the early presidents. Also, the integrationists of the NAACP fought against the self empowerment movement of Marcus Garvey and the UNIA.

Although many people argue (and rightly so) that corporations have ruined Hip Hop, it must be stated that white philanthropists/corporations have always invested heavily in the NAACP from its inception until this very day and as the old saying goes "who ever pays the piper picks the tune." I find ironic that the most notorious "gangsta" rapper, 50 cent is promoting bottled vitamin water while the NAACP promotes Anheuser Busch, the company responsible for the "hood" drink King Cobra Malt Liquor.

So, commercial Hip Hop and the NAACP have a lot in common. The NAACP had a white man as its first president and Hip Hop had Vanilla Ice.
Preach on, brother, preach on! [Though, while I see the point he's making about Vanilla Ice -- first rapper to hit Number One (not counting Blondie)- back in the day, everyone knew that "Eric B. Is President."]

Anyway, while we're on such topics, here's yet one of those
Obama-the-cool-black-candidate-Americans-are-ready-to-embrace -- for those of you who haven't read a version of this 20 or 25 times already. On the other hand, the sidebar on the new brand of black politician (including the aforementioned Cory Booker of Newark) would have made a far more interesting cover and larger article.

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