Posts Tagged NAACP
A sad anniversary was reached today, as 50 years ago, civil rights activist Medgar Evers was killed in Mississippi by gunfire, as he stepped out of his car at his home, just hours after Alabama Governor George Wallace had stood in the door of the Registrar’s Office at the University of Alabama, attempting to stop the registration of two black students at the university, which had led to President John F. Kennedy’s Civil Rights Speech that evening, one of the greatest Presidential speeches in American history!
It was just past midnight, when Evers, the Mississippi Field Secretary of the NAACP, was slaughtered, leaving three young children and a wife, Myrlie Evers-Williams, who survives him after 50 years, and later became the Chairwoman of the NAACP.
His assassin went free after a hung jury, but was later convicted on new evidence thirty years later, and served time in prison for the last seven years of his life.
A community college in New York City was created within a few years in his honor, and Evers has remained a leading part of the civil rights story.
His death also shaped the thoughts of a young generation of whites and blacks, and stained the reputation of both Mississippi and Alabama, as the two worst states on civil rights above all others, with Mississippi often compared in many ways to Nazi Germany in its treatment of its minority population, before the federal government intervened and enforced civil rights on all states by legislation in 1964, repudiating the arguments of states rights!
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, the Republican Presidential nominee, showed his true nature today in a way we had not seen before.
Romney went before the national meeting of The National Association For The Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the original and most prestigious civil rights organization in America, which celebrated its centennial in 2009.
He told the delegates that he was going to work to repeal “ObamaCare”, the Affordable Care Act declared constitutional by the Supreme Court two weeks ago, knowing full well that they would boo loudly at that statement. He seemed to revel in being booed, as it was very obvious that he wished to antagonize that group as part of a ploy to gain white supremacist support.
Romney went into that meeting knowing that many evangelical Christians and conservatives really do not like him, and are suspicious of his Mormon beliefs. So the answer was to show them how unpopular he was among African Americans, so as to make them realize that they have no choice but to support him, as with his Mormon faith,which did not allow blacks in the church before an epiphany by the Church leadership in 1978, he might not be all that bad for them, and certainly better than a mixed race President named Barack Obama.
Romney has demonstrated once again, but more nakedly than before, that he has no scruples, ethics, or morals, and will sell his soul to become President!
He also has made it clear by his pandering and cynicism that he is out to take any possibility of hope of a better life for African Americans and other minorities away from them, as he is simply a very wealthy man who could not care less about the plight of people who are poor or struggling, and not even just minorities, but also whites, who are down and out in the present economic recession!
Mitt Romney may have been born in the Midwest, and served in government in the Northeast, but he has shown that the old Southern strategy pursued regularly in the Republican Party since Richard Nixon’s election in 1968 is still alive and well in 2012, a strategy that appealed to white supremacists and very religious conservative voters who were drawn to the party by Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, starting in the late 1970s.
If Mitt Romney had any ethics, he would be totally ashamed of himself, but he is not ashamed, and that is ultimately the problem–that he has no conscience, but only a mad obsession with becoming President without any sincerity, and with no principles at all, except self aggrandizement!
The leading, and most reputable, Civil Rights organization in America, the National Association For The Advancement Of Colored People (NAACP), has just endorsed gay rights and gay marriage as equivalent of another civil right, as much as the African American struggle for equality in the 1950s and 1960s.
This is a major victory for gay rights and gay marriage, and will help bring over many African Americans, who because of religious beliefs, have opposed such developments in California, North Carolina, and elsewhere, helping to cause defeats of referendums on the issue of gay marriage.
There were already signs of a beginning of a new attitude among blacks on the topic, and this will only help the progression toward something that will become more and more the norm over time, and in 40 years, we will look back with amazement at the opposition, just as was so with interracial marriage in the 1960s.
The “equal protection” clause of the 14th Amendment was utilized by the NAACP to justify their stand for gay marriage as a civil right.
This is the way that could be utilized in the future by the Supreme Court, and if a case came up in the short term, such as the California case pursued by Ted Olson and David Boies, the Court COULD rule in favor by a vote of 5-4,. assuming that Justice Anthony Kennedy, who made the majority in 2003 for gay privacy rights in Lawrence V. Texas, were to vote the same way.
One could say that Anthony Kennedy’s vote in 2003 had a great effect in spurring the rapid development of the gay rights movement in the intervening nine years from then to now!
So a Supreme Court endorsement of gay marriage could be in the offing sooner, rather than later!
Florida is in the center of controversy again, due to the murder of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman a month ago.
This is another example of African Americans being killed without a sense of justice in a state with a horrific record historically on the issue of race.
We like to think, particularly those of us who live in the Sunshine State, that Florida has come a long way from the “Old South” mentality of the past.
But in actual fact, much of the state, north of Palm Beach County, is still perceived as different from South Florida, with an attitude and mentality more like Alabama or Georgia, if not Mississippi! And even South Florida has its ghosts of prejudice and racism!
This is the state that has tried to hide its racial past, both then and even now!
This is the state of Rosewood, a black settlement on the Gulf of Mexico, 140 miles west of Sanford, where the town was destroyed and multiple numbers of blacks were killed by a white mob in 1923, simply on the suspicion that a black man had assaulted a white woman. This was a well hidden story until recent years, when the few survivors were paid compensation for what they went through.
This is the state that in 1934 saw one of the most heinous lynchings of a black man, Claude Neal, in this case in the Florida Panhandle, who was castrated, tortured for hours with tremendous cruelty, and his fingers displayed as souvenirs.
This is the state where a spokesman for the NAACP was killed, along with his wife in 1951, by a bomb exploding under their bed, because they were trying to register voters and get equal wages for black teachers.
This is the state of a lynching by Fort Lauderdale police officers in 1960, and of Miami police killing a motorcyclist in 1979, arrested for speeding, but being handcuffed and beaten with nightsticks until he expired.
In all of the above cases and more, juries found the perpetrators not guilty, or there was no trial at all.
Florida has a lot to answer for, and this Trayvon Martin case may be going down the same path, as George Zimmerman was not questioned by the police at the time; he was not tested for drug use; he was not given medical care for his wounds, which might have explained what really happened a month ago; Treyvon Martin’s body was not identified as more than John Doe for a few days, as the police failed to call the last callers on his cell phone; and the police department now seems to be out to trash Trayvon Martin for his youthful shortcomings, rather than look at what George Zimmerman did against the statements of the 911 contact who told him to stop interfering and leave it to the police to investigate the purpose of Trayvon Martin being in the gated community in Sanford.
Florida will take a long time, if ever, to recover from the damage done to its reputation by yet another racial bias case, nearly as heinous as its long disgraceful racial history, as outlined above!
A March On Washington is to take place on Saturday, October 2, promoted by 300 liberal groups–including the AFL-CIO, the NAACP, the National Council of La Raza, and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force–to promote the goals of education, justice and employment!
Making clear their opposition to the Senate refusing to get past the filibuster and take action on House bills, the various groups have declared their right to claim they are the inheritors of Martin Luther King., Jr. and his August 28, 1963 March on Washington, rather than Glenn Beck who supposedly “accidentally” chose the 47th Anniversary of the March to hold his Tea Party and conservative gathering on the Washington Mall!
The ideas that the March this Saturday are promoting include: raising the minimum wage, extending unemployment benefits beyond 99 weeks, solving the problem of home foreclosures, creating of infrastructure jobs, and solving the immigration crisis!
Interestingly, various religious groups are supporting the march, including the United Methodist Church, the United Church of Christ, the National Baptist Convention, and a number of Jewish groups!
Hopefully, the rally will draw more people than the August 28 March, with debate about how many actually showed up at that rally!
In the 1960s, we saw the passage of landmark civil rights legislation, designed to end the racial divide and provide equal opportunity in America!
Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, who had run as a segregationist Presidential candidate in 1948 on the States Rights Party, voted against it, and switched from the Democratic to the Republican Party!
Governor George Wallace of Alabama was defiant in the face of civil rights advancements, and exploited the issue of race in his several presidential campaigns, including his third party American Independent Party candidacy in 1968!
In the same era, Lester Maddox, a restaurateur in Georgia, who gave his white patrons little pick axes as a symbol of what would happen if any African American dared to enter his chicken restaurant, was elected Governor, and shamed his state, that such a prejudiced person could be elected to the state’s executive mansion! The state of Georgia finally redeemed itself by electing as his successor a peanut farmer from Plains, Jimmy Carter, who advanced racial progress in his four year term as Governor, before running for and winning the Presidency!
From 1972-2002, North Carolina elected Jesse Helms to the US Senate, after a disgraceful career as a segregationist talk show host on radio! Helms proceeded to use the issue of race constantly against his opponents, including an African American competitor, Harvey Gantt, who had been Mayor of Charlotte, and twice opposed him in the election campaigns of 1990 and 1996! Nothing racist was avoided by Helms, who gave no concern that he was promoting hate and division in the nation with his poisonous prejudice!
All of the above politicians, and many others, utilized the fear of middle class and poor whites that any advancement of African Americans was a threat to them,and that they were being denied opportunity because of black progress!
Well, the reader might say, that is all history, so why relate it now?
The answer is that racism and prejudice is alive and well at FOX NEWS CHANNEL and on talk radio, as they have constantly berated Barack Obama, accusing him and his administration of racism, rather than looking themselves in the eye!
So now the race baiters are Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Michael Savage, and many other conservative activists, who have no shame, and yet are no different than their predecessors in Southern politics from Thurmond to Helms!
Now it is the so called NEWS MEDIA on the right, acting as if they are legitimate, who are the promoters of race hatred!
And all of these characters have distorted the 101 year history of the NAACP, an organization dedicated to interracial understanding and cooperation, whose name “COLORED PEOPLE”, does not refer to only African Americans, but people of all colors and races who have faced discrimination and prejudice in this country’s history. They are still facing it today, as the conservative activists leave no stone unturned to turn whites against African Americans, who are supposedly not entitled to equality and advancement, and that it is only coming about at the disadvantage and loss of opportunity of whites!
What a terrible lie, and a disgrace, that these forces spew so much hatred and division, and are seen by many people as legitimate!
They are no better than Thurmond, Wallace, Maddox, or Helms! They should all be ashamed of themselves!