Note to the NAACP- Draft Bill Cosby

Saturday, December 4, 2004

Kweisi Mfume is leaving his job as president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and his resignation should be a source of rejoicing for not only the membership of that civil rights organization, but for all Americans, black and white.

For all of the nine years he has served as the NAACP's head, Mfume has been one of the nation's most divisive voices. Under his leadership the NAACP has become nothing less than a rabid race-baiting group.

Along with Jesse Jackson, Mfume has refused to face the real problem from which African-Americans are suffering, and it isn't solved by blaming everything on slavery. The issue is fatherless homes. And their failure to speak out about children being born out of wedlock should not be surprising, both being guilty of fathering children out of wedlock.

So rather than talk about that burning issue, they rant and rave about the white man's guilt for slavery, an issue settled over a century and a half ago.

The NAACP needs a leader who won't blame whitey and will tell black Americans to look in the mirror and ask what they can do to help their own people and be honest about the issue of fatherless homes much in the way as Bill Cosby has been honest with his fellow African-Americans.

Cosby chastises the African-American community for its rates of juvenile delinquency, its parenting, the coarse language of its youth. You can do better, he tells his fellow blacks. Don't let yourself be victims, and especially don't let the poorest in the community let themselves be victims.

The victim's mantra goes like this: "It's comforting for us to avoid taking responsibility for our self-created problems by proclaiming that that we are the way we are because of you. We are way we are because of what happened in the 19th century. It's not because we lived in a fatherless home and there was no strong hand to help raise us. We are what we are because somebody to whom we might be related to was once enslaved." And what Mfume's NAACP has done is to foster that lie. It's time to do a makeover and replace the "blame whitey" chorus of the Mfumes and Jacksons and Al Sharptons with the Bill Cosbys and get people who understand what Bill Cosby is saying and act on it.

If the NAACP really wants to empower the advancement of African Americans they'll find leaders who have the best interests of their fellow blacks and are willing to raise their voices to help the black community face and solve their own problems.

I have a couple of candidates. How about replacing Mfume with Bill Cosby or Jesse Lee Peterson from BOND or even Colin Powell who's about to be at large. They have the credibility and the guts to face the problem head-on.

Michael Reagan is a syndicated columnist.

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