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Jewish World Review /Feb 24, 1999 /7 Adar 5759

Cal Thomas

Cal Thomas New slaves to a new slavery

(JWR) --- (http://www.jewishworldreview.com) TO BE A SLAVE, ACCORDING TO THE DEFINITION, is to be "one that is completely subservient to a dominating influence.'' The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is completely subservient to the dominating influence of the Democratic Party.

At the NAACP's 90th anniversary convention in Washington, the rhetoric was so combustible that if similar language had come from the mouths of Republicans (who were denounced), it would have produced a firestorm of criticism. NAACP Chairman Julian Bond drew laughter when he tried to disguise the organization's blatant partisanship by claiming to be a "nonpartisan organization.'' Bond praised White House lawyer Cheryl Mills for her defense of President Clinton at his Senate trial. To Bond, the skin color of one of the president's lawyers is more important than the content of the president's character.

Bond also charged that the congressional leadership "is more hostile to civil rights than at any time in the recent past.'' In a throwback to the rhetoric of the Cold War, Bond called the congressional Republican leadership "running dogs'' of the right. And he praised Bill Lan Lee, the unconfirmed but acting director of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, who continues to defy the rule of law by pushing for racial classifications and discrimination against certain races in defiance of court decisions against race quotas.

Bond said the "main mission'' of the NAACP is "fighting white supremacy to death.'' Not rebuilding the black family. Not restoring a value base in the black community. Not using the expanding black middle class as a role model. Not helping young black men who are disproportionately fathering children out of wedlock, or populating our prisons, or winding up dead in drug deals gone bad. Nor does the NAACP see as its main mission the economic resuscitation of poor blacks by their own efforts. It cares only about fighting "white supremacy.''

This is raw meat to the Democratic Party, which must maintain this voting bloc of slavish adherents to keep the Republican wolves from their door.

The NAACP is making the same mistake as its ideological counterparts on the right have made. Members believe they can transform society from the top down. They think by passing more laws, social justice and improved race relations will follow. This has been the view of the NAACP since its founding in 1909. W.E.B. Du Bois, the organization's first director of publications and research, was an ideological foe of Booker T. Washington, who believed that the road to true equality for blacks lay outside the city of Washington.

As Prof. Marvin Olasky writes in his new book, "The American Leadership Tradition,'' Washington believed in a bottom-up strategy. Integrity and a strong worth ethic, Washington argued, were the surest paths to economic and eventually political freedom and power. Washington also worried about occupational choices. "He was not pleased that the highest ambition of the average Negro in America was to hold some sort of office, or to have some sort of job that connected him to government.'' He argued that blacks could be of more service to the community and earn more money in almost any position other than government employee or office-holder.

In what might be considered a rebuke to today's NAACP leadership that has given President Clinton a pass for his lawbreaking, Washington believed: "...there is no possible escape from punishment that follows the breaking of law.'' His philosophy was quite simple and seems the direct opposite of the goal espoused by the NAACP: "Believe in God, follow God's principles for building strong families and strong businesses, and all the rest will come eventually.''

Du Bois disagreed, saying that "manly self-respect is more important than land and houses.'' But manly self-respect is a byproduct of living a useful life; you don't acquire it from politicians. Booker T. Washington said, "Liberty without virtue led to a new form of slavery.''

The NAACP is fooling itself and its members are self-deluded if they think that better race relations and even racial justice can be achieved through government alone. Members should reconsider Booker T. Washington's view: "I never liked the atmosphere of Washington. I early saw that it was impossible to build up a race of which the leaders were spending most of their time, thought and energy in trying to get into office, or in trying to stay there after they were in.''


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