From the Washington Times:
Kweisi Mfume, president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, condemned the groups as a "collection of black hustlers" who have adopted a conservative agenda in return for "a few bucks a head."
"When the ultraconservative right-wing attacker has run out of attack strategy, he goes and gets someone that looks like you and me to continue the attack," Mfume said in his opening address to the NAACP's annual convention.
"They've financed a conservative coalition of make-believe black organizations, all of them hollow shells with more names on the letterhead than there are people in their membership," he said.
Paraphrasing a line from a 2002 speech by NAACP Chairman Julian Bond, he said, "And like the ventriloquist's dummies, they sit there in the puppet master's voice, but we can see whose lips are moving, and we can hear his money talk."
In a speech punctuated by cheers from the audience, Mr. Mfume said: "They can't deal with the leaders we choose for ourselves, so they manufacture, promote and hire new ones."My first response is my usual one: why bother refuting silly assertions that you know are false? Like Ted Rall, Mfume feeds on the hate he spews and incites from others.
Why should anyone, much less black conservatives care what a demagogue like Mfume thinks?
However, words coming from Mfume—and Julian Bond—are different from the words and images that drip from Ted Rall’s pen. As the mouthpieces for the renowned NAACP, Mfume and Bond have a platform that gives their words a much wider audience than the leavings of Rall. They make a difference; the kind of difference that changes mindsets or entrenches them even deeper.
So I think that it’s in the best interest of all to take this one on.
First of all, where’s my money, VRWC? You see the donation button. Hook me up with a digital camera so I can take pictures at the LA County Museum of Art (where I went on Tuesday; admission is free on the second Tuesday of each month).
Second, if the puppeteer is a skilled one, an actual puppet doesn’t know when he/she is having those strings pulled. One Lyndon B. Johnson was a master string-puller (pun intended). Anticipating that his “Great Society” programs would be widely popular within the black American population, he opined that he would “have them ni**ers voting Democrat for the next 200 years.” The next 170 years remain to be seen, but he was correct at least for the subsequent 30 or so years past his prediction, so correct that many black people managed to forget that the Democrats had been the party of Jim Crow for Jim's entire lifetime. President Johnson gave black people (and others) money and sustenance for their transgressions, where all Republicans wanted to do was to stop standing in the way of black progress.
That’s not enough for the likes of Bond and Mfume. So they continue to put forth their vitriol, unmindful of proper behavior when one expects another to visit their “house,” and uncaring as to how their illogic plays to the public, black or not, Democrat or not. Why is this so? Because they believe that they will never be accountable for their words and actions. They’re correct. The NAACP continue to rake up millions in donations. (I wonder if all of these donations are from blacks/black organizations. Okay, I don’t really wonder.) They also continue to get favorable press from the larger media. I just heard a KCAL9 news report about Senator John Kerry’s address before the NAACP convention today. The report included information about President Bush’s refusal to attend the convention and his reasons. There was not one word, however, about the NAACP-James Byrd ad of 2000 in the report, even though it was mentioned that the president had attended the convention that year. How’s that for balance? (Interesting that the ad is mentioned in the linked report, however.)
But it wouldn’t have mattered had the information been included in the televised report. I personally know of black people who saw and remembered the ad and still excoriate George W. Bush for “not doing enough” in the Byrd murder. What the heck was then Governor Bush supposed to do, bust some caps in the murderers himself? (Not a bad idea, but you see what I’m getting at.) You have to give President Johnson credit for knowing his puppets well.
The mindset is so ingrained in some folks that, no matter how much common sense is thrown at them, they will jump out of its way, stick out their tongues and say, “see, ya missed me.” Changing one's way of thinking and one's relationship to one's world is almost as difficult as changing one's skin color, Michael Jackson notwithstanding.
More on blacks, conservatives and mindsets in the next post.
(Thanks to the Conservative Brotherhood)
UPDATE: To be fair, the Lyndon B. Johnson quote is third hand, reportedly said by Johnson to two governors aboard Air Force One. The circumstances are reported in Robert Kessler's book Inside the White House.