NAACP: FIGHTING FOR JUSTICE By Andre Austin The NAACP has been fighting for the political, social and economic equality for people of color since 1909. The styles for the strategy and tactics can be reduced to three or four: 1. Accommodation 2. Negotiation 3. Confrontation/Agitation The above three styles of action affect the perception of: A. The media B. The business community C. Grass roots community D. Middle Class An adroit civil rights leader knows how to balance the three without compromising him/herself or the community while massaging the Media and business community. Too much accommodation is seen as a middle class surrender (sell out) to the business community needs. The grass roots community yearns to see civil rights leadership as independent of A & B and reject tactic #1. The Business community appreciates a low profile, publicity free atmosphere when minorities make complaints to the NAACP. They feel floodgates of complaints will spill if the media sensationalize their problems. The media obliges the Business community by telling stories of the NAACP except for successful negotiation of complaints. The grass root community not knowing this will start to view their own leaders as puppets and out of touch because there is no public airing out of the business community dirty laundry. If this perception becomes a fundamental problem it may manifest with low membership. Poor blacks see the business community as unfair and retaliate by nature. The better the job a civil rights leader has with the white business community the more their hands are tied. In the early years of the NAACP ministers from local churches were leaders of the NAACP because they were economically independent of them but their friends and relatives could get the lash in their retaliation. We must free ourselves of the Willie Lynch syndrome. Lynch was a plantation trainer who taught the Slave Drives to manipulate the minds of blacks to be divided among themselves based on age, job, sex and skin tone and other means. As long as we were divided and didn’t know how to read and write we would be in perpetual servitude. One of the most recent class warfare played out against ourselves was Bill Cosby rant against the underclass culture. When I was a kid I was fond of Cosby Fat Albert where kids played in a local junkyard. When I was five I was upset when my toy fat Albert was stolen from me. There was a time Cosby and Sidney Poitier starred in a trioloy of block busting movies: Uptown Saturday Night, Let’s do it Again and A Piece of the Action. All three movies portrayed Poitier and Cosby with regular jobs like a taxi cab driver and a factory worker. Its beneath Cosby to play these roles now, Something has come over him. He only wants to be a doctor and a play wife his lawyer. Nothing wrong with the two professions, I thought about being a lawyer myself, but there are more taxi drivers than doctors. Something must be done to cultivate the mind, bodies and souls of Black folks. A black Plummer and electrician is just as valuable as a lawyer and physician. The last time I went to a NAACP meeting virtual all in attendance had middle and upper class jobs or retired from them. The NAACP must attract regular job members to them not as complainants but active members. The NAACP needs to explain their tactics to the community so they will know whats going on. There is much work to be done but it isn’t a mission that’s impossible.