The NAACP is poised to name its new leader. The Washington Post says it will be Bruce S. Gordon, a former senior executive at Verizon Communications Inc. He is reported to have considerable fundraising and managerial skills. His fundraising ability will be needed once the group finishes defending itself from the lawsuits and eventual payout from Kweise Mfume's recent admissions of "inappropriate behavior" towards female staff members. Mr. Gordon will be the NAACP's first non clergy/non politician president, probably because Chairman Julian bond has alienated Black clergy with his support of gay marriage. I hope Mr. Gordon knows what he's getting himself into. The real leader of the organization is Bond who forced out Kweise Mfume because he became a little to friendly with the Bush administration. Mfume made the treasonous mistake of sending a congratulatory letter to the President after his victory this past November. Bond's over the top, partisan rhetoric landed the NAACP into the sights of the IRS which notified the NAACP that its tax-exempt status was in jeopardy. Bond attacked President Bush in a speech to the group's national convention last summer.
The NAACP has certainly seen its glory days. They don't represent me or most of the post civil rights generation. I bet if you asked African American college students what the organization's initials stand for, most couldn't tell you. The NAACP is unfortunately stuck in a 1960's mindset that younger African Americans have simply passed by. The group's membership of 500,000 is no larger today than it was in the 1940s, when the modern civil rights movement was just getting under way. Yet the black population has more than doubled since then, to more than 36 million. Only 14% of NAACP members are under 25, and most are well over 40. Maybe this new leader will take the organization in a different direction. Somehow I doubt it.