Is the NAACP relevant in 2009?
Alton H.Maddox | 4/12/2011, 4:38 p.m.
The recipe for incarceration includes racism, poverty and poor education. As a blue-ribbon commission stated about New York, the judicial system is "infested with racism." No governor in New York since the report's findings in 1991 has sought to remedy this unconstitutional plight.
Moreover, legislators have enacted racist legislation like the legislative disparity in the punishment of the users of crack cocaine and powder cocaine. Prosecutors engage in selective prosecutions. The separation of powers doctrine fails to apply to Blacks. Instead, there is a conspiracy.
Even though President Obama heads the executive branch of government, no president has ever bucked this conspiracy against Blacks and lived to talk about it. President Lyndon Johnson came the closet, symbolically, but rights under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 are ephemeral.
Thus, President Obama's ceremonial appearance before the NAACP's centennial convention in July will be imbued with pomp and circumstance. Some of the problems affecting Blacks can be cured by executive orders. However, gays in the military will become beneficiaries of executive orders before aggrieved descendants of enslaved Africans.
A U.S. Senate controlled by Democrats has recently expressed its view on race when it apologized for slavery while denying descendants of enslaved Africans access to courts to redress this longstanding grievance. This flies in the face of American jurisprudence, which holds that for every wrong, there must be a right.
The swing to the extreme right of the U.S. Supreme Court can be gleaned from two cases decided during its 2008-2009 term. In Ricci v. DeStefano, the court held that undermining "reverse racism" was more lethal to the maintenance of the status quo in this country than outlawing racism.
In Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District No. 1 v. Holder, the court devised an escape hatch for jurisdictions bent on discriminating against Black voters despite the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The Supreme Court has turned the constitutional clock back to United States v. Reese in 1876 and James v. Bowman in 1903.
Citizenship is meaningless without the right to enjoy political representation. In a democracy, this means the rights of assembly, associations, speech, petitioning the government for a redress of grievances and voting. These were constitutional hurdles to the Civil Rights Movement.
Mumia Abu-Jamal, Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin and former Cong. Cynthia McKinney have suffered imprisonment for speaking their minds. Dr. Martin L. King Jr. and Malcolm X were assassinated. Henry and Henriette Moore were dynamited to bits. Marcus Garvey was deported. For Blacks, the First Amendment is still an illusion.
President Obama should have to drive a dump truck of grievances out of this centennial convention if the NAACP were operating on all cylinders. All of the problems commonly affecting persons of African ancestry should be in it. Reparations and economic inequality should be at the top of the heap.
This list of grievants should include but not be limited to Assata Shakur, former Cong. Cynthia McKinney, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, Bill Borders, Alton Maddox and Councilman Charles Barron, who will be facing a criminal trial during the NAACP's centennial convention.