Sunday, June 10, 2007

Whither the NAACP

Do you remember, "If a tree falls in the woods, and no one hears it, did it fall?"

Well, along a similar line of thought, I wanted to write a post about the fact that the NAACP is closing their 6 regional offices and laying off people at their Baltimore headquarters. I heard the report on the Texas Southern University radio station ( It seemed like a big deal.

So I did a search of the NAACP website and the local newspaper, the Houston Chronicle. Neither website had a relevant link to the layoffs (Google had plenty of stories, mostly internet stories, although the NY Times had an article). Apparently, the NAACP is having trouble raising funds, so like any responsible enterprise, it is scaling back its operations.

I just assumed that the NAACP would always be relevant enough to be front page news. The organization was the standard bearer for all civil rights organizations from the 1920's through the Civil Rights movement of the 1960's. However, the group was a victim of its own success, losing focus and lacking a cohesive set of goals. It's easy to get people to rally around Jim Crow laws; it's much harder to open good dialogue about affirmative action and the role of Hip Hop in society.

So a venerable oak is being pruned of a few branches. And we won't notice.

Here's a link by the way,

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