3.05.2007

NAACP President Steps Down

Some bloggers are calling this a crisis in Black Leadership. I am inclined to agree, only because of the reason Mr. Gordon chose to step down.

He wanted to move the NAACP into the 21st century, and the NAACP refused to follow.
Gordon also clashed with board members on his vision for the organization, the source said. Where board members wanted to retain social justice activities, Gordon wanted to implement social service efforts, including programs to help African-Americans build wealth, the source said.

Now, its not really my place to criticize the NAACP, so I will try to keep it to a minimum. Apparently, Mr. Gordon's corporate attitude didn't gybe with the civil-rights activist culture at the group. Some in Maryland criticized Gordonfor leading the charge to move the NAACP out of Baltimore to the DC suburbs. Perhaps Mr. Gordon's willingness to make large changes to move the organization forward was what caused the conflict.

Gordon was also apparently trying to move the organization to include public service and assisting in minority business development. The board of the NAACP wanted to remain primarily a social-justice organization. This is where I see the major problem. I am concerned about the relevancy of the NAACP in an ever changing world, one where the power of single issue interest groups is waning and the power of the grassroots over the internet is growing. The Social Justice approach is important, and the NAACP must remain an advocate for the rights of Blacks. However, the NAACP must also be willing to change and to grow in the ways that the community demands. I don't see how it could be a bad thing for the NAACP to expand into realms such as public service and minority business development.

What is most troubling is that the NAACP seems to be rejecting grassroots organizational tools like public service and business development. Now is not the time in history for the NAACP to constricting their mission.

2 comments:

African American Political Pundit said...

I agree with you. It is troubling that the Board of the NAACP seems to be rejecting grassroots organizational tools like public service, self sufficiency programs, and business development. I also agree it is now time in history for the NAACP to revise their mission. The crisis in leadership appears to be the NAACP Board, don't you think?

Andrew Kujan said...

Yes, the problem does seem to be with the board and it's unwieldy 64 members. I wonder why the board seems so unwilling to change? I suppose there is now another opening at the NAACP. I wonder who they will choose this time, and how dissimilar he/she will be to Gordon.