This should have ended the issue. But it hasn’t. The NAACP now says it will rev-up the boycott again until state officials toss the flag into a museum backroom. At first glance, the NAACP’s Confederate flag obsession seems comic and tiresome, and worthy of quick dismissal. But there’s a method to its flag antics.
At the same moment the NAACP saber-rattles state officials over a worthless flag, it’s deafeningly silent on the black poverty, school dropout, infant mortality, and victim of violence rate that is among the worst in the nation. It also barely utters a peep on the dreary plight of hundreds of black South Carolina farmers whose farms have been foreclosed on by bankers and government agencies in the past decade.
Then there’s its annual over-hyped, Image Awards bash, which supposedly honors the best and brightest of those who uphold positive black images. Instead, it is a cheap imitation Academy Award drool over foul-mouthed rappers, comics, celebrity gadabouts, and black Hollywood box office showpieces.
Then there’s Ja Rule. Last year he drew howls of protests from many blacks for using the word Nigger in singer Jennifer Lopez’s controversial hit, “I’m Real.” His NAACP award-winning song trashes women and butchers the English language.
The NAACP’s success has not had the remotest bearing on the lives of the black poor, who have become even poorer, and more desperate. Many of them have turned to crime, drugs, and gangs as their only way out.
Yet, corporations such as Texaco, Coca Cola, American Airlines, Seven Up/RC Bottling, Hyundai Semiconductor in Oregon, Toyota Motors that tout their contributions to black causes, the NAACP at the top, are some of the same corporations that blacks have waged nasty, and brutal discrimination battles against in recent years.
With yet another boycott call of South Carolina, NAACP leaders can claim that they are striking a mortal blow against racist oppression. And since much of the public and media thinks that only rabid, unreconstructed race baiters defend flying the Confederate flag, they’ll be applauded.
Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and columnist. Visit his news and opinion website: www.thehutchinsonreport.com He is the author of The Crisis in Black and Black (Middle Passage Press).