Bruce Gordon’s Leaving NAACP Presidency a Tragedy for All Blacks
• Mar. 9, 2007 – Bruce Gordon’s Leaving NAACP Presidency a Tragedy for All Blacks
Posted in Commentary
Back in September (see below for dates and excepts) I did two blogs that pointed out a problem with race relations that we as a people MUST overcome if we are to move forward. We are only looking back and fighting the same old battles that have already been won. That’s why Clarence Pages’ commentary in Friday’s News and Record disappointed and hurt so bad when I read it.
I have watched the NAACP over the years and supported them and their initiatives in the early civil rights struggles. Then I began to become disappointed and then just plain disgusted with their activities along about the early 1980’s when they seemed to have lost sight of their purpose of advancing the Black population. The leadership was still stuck in the old issues of the 1960’s and refusing to recognize there were new issues that needed attention that were not being addressed. The issue of equality had been won and cemented with laws. Blacks were free to go to any school they desired, free to live anywhere they could afford to live, free to eat in any eatery, just plain free at last.
There was no longer a need to address these issues. The Black middle class was growing by leaps and bounds. Black poverty was down to about 20+% . The goals set in the 1960’s had been reached. But, even the Black politicians were stuck and not seeing, or at least not addressing the growing problems within the Black communities that had nothing at all to do with the old white racism, and everything to do with the Black lower class culture itself. 70% of Black babies are born to unwed mothers as opposed to 26% in the 1960’s. Educational levels and drop out rates among Black young people both girls and boys was up from the 1960’s level. Drug use among the young Blacks was out of sight; diseases like AIDS was much more prominent in the Black community per capita than any other group. Unemployment naturally is higher for Blacks than any other group and will continue to be a problem as long as the underachievement in school is the norm for lower class Blacks. All these problems not being addressed; not even being acknowledged except to blame White racism. HOW? HOW COULD WHITE RACISM BE THE CAUSE OF BLACK CHILDREN FAILING TO ACHIEVE WHEN THEY ARE GOING TO THE SAME SCHOOLS AND IN THE SAME CLASS WITH THE SAME TEACHERS AS WHITE CHILDREN?
That is why when Bruce Gordon, a former Verizon executive and a brilliant BLACK man with the ideas and energy and a grasp of the real issues took over as President of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) I had renewed hope for the first time in years. Well, that was nineteen months ago and now he is gone. The old guard and old ideas won out and now I wonder when the problems that are rampant in the Black community will be addressed before another generation of young Black men bleed out their lives on the streets or spend them behind bars. This while the young Black women raise their babies alone without father’s thus almost assuring their sons and daughters will follow in the path of the parents.
Though I wrote about Greensboro in my two September posts, the issues are nationwide. It is a new day with new issues and the Black communities need new leaders! Think about that the next time you go to the polls to vote, the next time one of the Black leaders tosses out the race card, the next time the test scores are posted for schools like Dudley and Smith. And ask yourself how your White neighbor is to blame. THEN maybe when the real issues are recognized all Americans Black, White, Red and Brown can come together with solutions. This will not happen however until the old guard is gone and the enlightenment of a new leadership is allowed to grow. So many lives have been lost because of the old guard in the NAACP were allowed to push Bruce Gordon out. Dear Lord, again I ask: When will we learn?
Sep. 6, 2006 – A Plan to Talk Sanely About Racism in Greensboro
“We need a new set of rules to govern how we deal with racism. But first we need to define just what racism is. ( And do not have a useless “sensitivity” class to do it because the Blacks just bitch and the Whites feel guilty.)”
“…..when setting up a new group to define racism a great deal of care has to be given not to have any of the old guard or anyone who has shown a tendency towards a position on the panel. The panel after it is formed must also have the right to remove by consensus any member whom they find to be biased. This group of arbiters are going to have to accept that some aspects of racism can not be defined, but they need to try to get concrete examples of what not to do or to do just as the women’s movement defined certain measurable actions in the business places.
Next and very important: we who went thru the battles and changes, say from 40 years old and over both Black and White need to step back and let the younger people set the definitions. We older soldiers have been hurt by, and are still remembering how it was, so we can not see clearly how it is NOW. And now is what we are to be concerned with. Let the past go; it’s over, so get on with life. With the GTRC thing half the population of Greensboro either wasn’t here or was too young to be aware of what happened so it was just rehashing and old tale. No, it is time to move on and we oldsters just can’t seem to let go or move on. Young leaders need to step up and push us aside.
I am ready to step down, but I don’t feel that I can as long as untrue and unjust accusations are flying around that need to be rebutted. I am also in a position to speak because my speaking out will not harm my business or my children or my career. Many people hold back and remain uninvolved due to these considerations. Being retired the most that can be done to me is the verbal shots that may hurt but never shut me up in the past and won’t now either. But yes, my career and my reputation suffered then. Now it is just my reputation. Actually since I started right in to the political scene in Greensboro when I started blogging, the reputation was doomed from the beginning. You can not call a spade a spade with no embellishment without angering those who feel differently from you.
But people, it is a new era and one thing is certain, we can not go on as we have been. These last few months of turmoil have shown us that.
Most sincerely, Brenda Bowers “
Sep. 8, 2006 – New Political Voices in Greensboro/Guilford Ct.–Thank Goodness! With high hopes for 2008