Monday, July 23, 2012

The NAACP’s Failing of Our Black Children

And here's RiShawn Biddle on the NAACP's ongoing disgrace:

It is nice to see the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's announcement this past Saturday that it is supporting the state recognition of gay marriages. While I may not be a fan of gay marriage from a religious perspective, the Founding Documents make it quite clear that governments have no right to restrict gay men and women from the same privilege of civil marriage (and the accompanying benefits) given to heterosexuals such as myself. So the NAACP is perfectly right to demand that all Americans gain the same civil liberties they have earned from birth and by naturalization as citizens of our nation.

At the same time, it is difficult to take the NAACP seriously on this or any issue because it continues to be on the wrong side of the most-important civil rights and economic issue facing Black America today and this nation as a whole: The need to overhaul American public education so that all children — especially kids from poor, minority, and even gay households — get the high-quality education they need and deserve.

Even as NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous and the rest of the organization's leadership has found time to weigh in on other issues, the old-school civil rights group still hasn't released the education agenda it promised to release back in 2010 during Jealous' appearance at an American Enterprise Institute confab. It did push an effort to increase school funding by diverting dollars from the nation's criminal justice system without consider ing that the nation spends far less on prison construction alone (a mere $1.5 billion in the 2006-2007 fiscal year) than on building schools ($63 billion, including lavish high school football stadiums) — and, more importantly, that the nation spends $228 billion on courts and prisons badly because it spends $562 billion on schools abysmally.

Beyond offering that mishmash of a proposal, the NAACP has remained silent on systemic reform. Save for a few NAACP branches  (including its affiliate in Connecticut, have stepped up in the discussions over Gov. Dan Malloy's school reform effort, and advocated on behalf of Bridgeport mother Tanya McDowell, who will serve five years for trying to provide her child with a high-quality school), the nation's oldest civil rights group offers nothing substantial on addressing issues such as ending Zip Code Education policies, expanding school choice, addressing childhood illiteracy, and revamping how teachers are recruited, trained, paid, and evaluated (especially when it comes to bringing more black men into the teaching profession). Meanwhile it has ceded ground to Parent Power groups such as the Connecticut Parents Union and the Black Alliance for Educational Options, old-school civil rights organizations as the United Negro College Fund and 100 Black Men, and players such as Newark Mayor Cory Booker and Dr. Steve Perry, who are doing the work  for which the NAACP was once known.


The NAACP's Failing of Our Black Children

May 21, 2012 No Comments by RiShawn Biddle

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