Thursday, July 08, 2004

President Bush Declines NAACP Invitation

Citing scheduling conflicts in a letter sent three weeks ago, the President declined to speak at the annual NAACP convention opening Saturday.

As a Conservative, I believe there are three main things to keep in mind:

1) This is an NAACP attempt to appear non-partisan, which they certainly are not.

2) This is an NAACP attempt to remain relevant as a voice of black Americans.

3) Americans are Americans regardless of race, creed, or color. Court Americans, not specific groups.

Bush spoke at the 2000 NAACP convention in Baltimore when he was a candidate. But he has declined invitations to speak in each year of his presidency, the first president since Herbert Hoover not to attend an NAACP convention, John White, a spokesman for the group, said Wednesday.

John Kerry will speak before the approximately 8000 people on the last day of the convention.

NAACP President and CEO Kweisi Mfume says, "We're not fools. If you're going to court us, court us in the daytime, but not like we're a prostitute where you run around at night or behind closed doors and want to deal with us, but not want to deal with us in the light of the day. Mr. Bush has now distinguished himself as the first president since Warren Harding (1920-1923) who has not met with the NAACP. So, we've got a 95-year history and a president that's prepared to take us back to the days of Jim Crow segregation and dominance, an era where dialog is required, not distance.

What is it that makes Mr. Mfume work so hard to maintain an attitude of segregationist policy in America? Isn't Mr. Mfume advancing a culture of "separate but equal", on which so many worked to eradicate, by castigating a President for not specifically courting the NAACP? Isn't it exactly this attitude, which history has shown keeps true equality from occurring? I can only feel Mr. Mfume and those like him aspire to something they perhaps don't understand. Either that, or they aspire to something only brought about by speaking, or presuming to speak, for all black Americans - personal power.

Mr. Mfume talks of "the days of Jim Crow". He is disingenuous in his linking those days to the Republicans. "Jim Crow" was a product of Southern Democrats. The Democrats have always fought the ending of slavery and apartheid in America - not the Republicans.

While fighting for equality for black Americans, Martin Luther King Jr. (among many others) spoke of all Americans coming together to achieve a culture of equality, not equal quotas or institutionalized focus, but by understanding we are all equally American. Americans are strong despite our diversity, not just because of it. This is something the Liberals will not understand. Since liberal ideology is inherently racist/class-ist, the segregationist "Us and Them" leanings of groups like the NAACP is completely acceptable. How else could you explain affirmative action or the recent angst felt by affirmative action helping more immigrant black Americans than US born black Americans. Affirmative action isn't about equality. It's a policy based upon a belief that black Americans are somehow incapable of excelling on their own merits. I reject that notion entirely.

I grew up in the South. My graduating class in high school was the first class in our area to be completely integrated since kindergarten. It was a bumpy road sometimes, people unlearn things a lot more slowly than they learn them. In the end, we became young adults together and spread out across the globe.

When we gather for reunions, or if some classmates get together for dinner, there is always some mention of the significance growing up together has had on our lives. All walks of life are represented - rich, poor, military brat, lawyer's daughter. We have really come to know each other. I believe Mr. King was referring to that in his dream for America. I wish Mr. Mfume could experience it too.

God Bless America.


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