Tunku Varadarajan dismisses the NAACP in the Daily Beast, while defending the Tea Party. While his arguments are persuasive to those on the center-right, they will be dismissed outright by those on the left.
People "know" what they know, and by that I mean they know what they feel, and it is very difficult to change someone's mind once it is made up. The NAACP knows this as well as anyone, and that is why it has issued a resolution attempting to pronounce the Tea Party as “racist.” They are attempting to define the Tea Party and discredit their ideas.
It is not an accident that the former civil rights organization is just one left-leaning group of many hoping to shape the debate by insisting that calls to limit government and decrease spending is an example of “racist” behavior, as if only minorities use government services (it is a claim, that in an of itself, smacks of being a cynical racial ploy).
This NAACP resolution is the result of a very deliberate, calculated, and entirely political plan to blunt the influence of the Tea Party as America surges toward the November mid-term elections. You may regard the NAACP statement as the truth. You may regard it as the lowest of dirty politics and another mark of the descent of a formerly great civil rights organization. If you are reading this, odds are that you have already formed at least your initial opinion on the matter.
But the real question people should be asking here is a simple one: who can I trust? Two groups are saying something completely contradictory... someone must be wrong.
Ben Jealous and the NAACP make the argument that Tea Party protesters spit upon black Congressmen and called them racial slurs. They suggest racial slurs and racist participants are both commonplace and accepted in the movement, and state explicitly that they think the goal of the movement is to somehow rollback the civil rights of minorities.
When asked for evidence, they will be able to produce a fair number of handmade posters with derogatory references to the President. Some of those, without a doubt, have been racially charged. They will produce the claims attributed to handful of Congressmen, but not one of them admits hearing the supposed slurs themselves, pawning off the claim to unnamed staffers.
But what the NAACP does not want good and decent people to hear are the words of men like civil rights veteran Michael Myers, who ripped into the NAACP last night for their claims. Myers was Assistant Director of the NAACP starting in 1975 and served with the organization as it existed as a civil rights group for nine years.
They would not be thrilled to know that Michelle Malkin is promoting the 2004 advice of Ward Connerly, founder and the chairman of the American Civil Rights Institute, who ominously predicted what the organization would become.
...it is not unusual for organizations to find themselves living off their past and not keeping pace with changing times. Instead, they become stagnant and atrophy fighting old battles that no longer apply, never realizing when they have achieved what they set out to accomplish. Preservation of the organization becomes more important than the original mission...
...Today, the NAACP is not so much a civil-rights organization as it is a trade association with clear links to the Democratic party, despite the claim of its chairman that "the NAACP has always been non-partisan." Such a statement doesn't pass the giggle test. The NAACP uses the plight of poor black people as a fig leaf to hide its true agenda of promoting policies that benefit their dues-paying members, not black people in general or poor black people in particular...
Nor would the NAACP like for most Americans to hear the words of Emery McClendon, Tim Scott, Allen West or many less well-known black Tea Party leaders and advocates.
The sad truth is that Varadarajan is right, and Connerly's prescient warning has come true. The NAACP has ceased to be an advocate for equality in civil rights, and has debased itself to become just another agenda-driven political group.
If the casually interested dig deeper into these competing claims, the NAACP's relevance will continue to decline, just as minority conservatives welcome more like-minded souls into the Tea Party.
One group would prefer to focus on racially divisive political calculations. The other welcomes people of all colors and creeds that would work to limit government and free all people.
Which would you trust?