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Jewish World Review July 26, 2001/ 6 Menachem-Av, 5761

Larry Elder

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Bush to NAACP: Maybe next year -- "I WAS surprised, President Clinton came every year but one, and then he sent Al Gore in his place," says an official with the NAACP upon learning that President George W. Bush declined to speak at the organization's annual meeting.

Hold the phone. How dare he? Just because the NAACP spent nearly nine million dollars to "get out the black vote," an effort designed to defeat Bush?

And didn't the NAACP pay for ads attacking Bush for failing to support enhanced hate-crime legislation in Texas? This charming commercial, with foreboding music, used the voice of the daughter of James Byrd, the Jasper, Texas, man dragged to death by three white racists. "I'm Renee Mullins, James Byrd's daughter," goes the hit piece. "On June 7th, 1998, in Texas, my father was killed. He was beaten, chained and then dragged three miles to his death all because he was black. So when Governor George Bush refused to support hate-crime legislation, it was like my father was killed all over again ... " (Never mind that two of Byrd's killers received the death penalty, with a third receiving life in prison only in exchange for his testimony against his codefendants.)

Had the president accepted the NAACP's invitation, Bush would have heard NAACP chairman Julian Bond declare, "(Bush) has selected nominees from the Taliban wing of American politics, appeased the wretched appetites of the extreme right wing, and chosen Cabinet officials whose devotion to the Confederacy is nearly canine in its uncritical affection." Bond also made the attack verbatim several months ago. Back then, after Republican House Majority Leader Dick Armey's strong reaction, NAACP president Kweisi Mfume even said, "At some point in time, we've got to tone down the rhetoric so that we are not disrespecting people." But good material is worth reusing, right Mr. Bond?

Remember that upon becoming chairman of the NAACP, Bond announced his No. 1 agenda -- pursuing "the new racists." The "new racists"? Twenty-five percent of black youth are under the criminal justice system; 50 percent of the prison population is black; 70 percent of today's black children are born out-of-wedlock; blacks score 200 points lower than whites on the SAT; there are approximately 110 black marriageable women for every 100 black marriageable men; and black kids drop out of urban high schools at a 50 percent rate -- all, no doubt, due to the "new racists."

Is it possible that blacks are becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the NAACP's fixation on racism while ignoring the importance of personal responsibility? Bond's self-righteous wrongheadedness prompted this letter, a copy of which I received, from a self-described "African-American, lifelong Democratic grass roots activist":

Mr. Bond, I am appalled at how you viciously attacked President Bush at your ... New Orleans convention. I believe that since Democrats have been in control of the NAACP, it has only been for the advancement of left-winged liberal issues and not the advancement of colored people ... It's amazing that you have become so vehement against the Republican Party that you never state publicly ... how important the Republican Party has been to African-Americans ... The Republican Party was founded in 1854 in order to abolish slavery, and no Republican had ever been a slaveholder since becoming a Republican ...

The Ku Klux Klan was comprised exclusively of Democrats until the mid-1900s.

Almost all prominent African-Americans were Republican until the 1940s.

Slavery was a specifically a repugnant institution of the Democratic Party.

Eugene "Bull" O'Connor (the poster boy of American racism) was a Democrat. The poll tax was a Democratic institution ...

Jim Crow laws were instituted by Democrats.

The Democratic Party only invited blacks to become members by offering "the Negro" government welfare. And just like Uncle Tom, the NAACP and other black leadership have been trying to "protect" that handout ever since ...

The highest cabinet officer is an African-American Republican -- Secretary of State Colin Powell. The national security policy of the United States is under the direction of an African-American woman who is Republican. When have the Democrats ever entrusted this much power and authority to African-Americans? An irony of recent history is that Republicans supported the appointment of Thurgood Marshall for U.S. Solicitor General and for Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, but Democrats voted against Clarence Thomas' nomination and demonize him to this day

The NAACP should be supportive of the advancement of colored people, period -- not just colored Democrat people. Until the NAACP lives up to its name, others and I will cease to be continued supporters of yours.

Given the misguided "black leadership," the "new racists" are probably smiling and clinking their glasses while watching the confused, scapegoating, so-called "black leadership." Well, there might be a new sheriff in town, Mr. Bond. He goes by the name of truth, perspective and personal responsibility.

JWR contributor Larry Elder is the author of the newly released, The Ten Things You Can't Say in America. (Proceeds from sales help fund JWR) Let him know what you think of his column by clicking here.

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© 2001, Creators Syndicate