The NAACP Sold Out to the Highest Bidder a Long Time Ago

Oct 24, 2016 12:00:00 AM

by Quibila Divine

This month the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) ratified a resolution to  place a national moratorium on public charter schools. As a fully paid, Silver Life member, I was not surprised by these actions. In many cities, the NAACP stopped serving as an agency of prominence and advocacy for Black people (and people of color ) generations ago. How could they get it right on public charter schools when they have been wrong on traditional public schools for so long? Where was the NAACP when generations of children, their parents and even grandparents were mis-educated by public schools across the country? The mis-education of Black children was designed to ensure that an under-class was maintained in urban areas to keep masses of people blind to their true heritage and culture. More than 20 years ago, I started volunteering to tutor children in my community who attended the neighborhood public school because they were not getting the education they needed to succeed. Since many Black teachers (and other second-generation professionals) had already taken their middle-class incomes and moved to more affluent communities, there was no one else left to guide these children to make positive life choices. Where was the NAACP when drugs and guns were dropped into low-income Black communities to mess up the minds of moms and dads who left countless numbers of Black children alone to grow up like weeds? Subsequently, the effects of a racist judicial system allowed disparity in the sentencing for crack cocaine to be two or three times the number of years charged for powder cocaine. Nationwide, the Black community witnessed hundreds of thousands of young, Black boys being sent to jail at alarming rates. Black lives mattered just as much then, as they do now! Where was the NAACP when “Gangsta Rap” music blasted from car stereos causing youth all over the country to cover their heads (with hoodies) and show their behinds (with sagging pants)? Remember the image of Travon Martin? By wearing a hoodie, he was a young man who “fit the description” of a thug just like so many all across this country. Now that low-income families have taken advantage of their right to choose an appropriate education for their children, the NAACP has decided to speak up against that. Black people who were slaves in America were beaten and killed if they tried to learn to read and write. Considering the advancement that Black people have made from those days, it saddens me to know that the agency that brought us Brown v. Board can no longer see that education is liberation. The NAACP did not make its recent decision to help poor, Black children (or any other color of children). The decision was made to show its alignment with a racist system that desires to keep Black people blind, deaf and dumb. The decision was made to show that the jobs of adults are more important than the minds of children. Years ago, the United Negro College Fund launched a brilliant slogan, “A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste” to get more people to donate. Can it be that our beloved NAACP has sold itself to the highest bidder for the opportunity to get more people to pay attention to it because it has been insignificant and obsolete for so long? Stay tuned…only time will tell.
An original version of this post appeared on Yo Philly Ed! as Has the NAACP Sold Out to the Highest Bidder?.

Quibila Divine

Born and raised in North Philadelphia, Quibila is an education advocate who has worked tirelessly to ensure that all children are provided with equal access to a high-quality education. She is a proud Philly resident who chose to purchase a home near her childhood residence in order to serve as a positive role model. She has over 20 years of experience educating students, enlightening families and empowering communities as the founder and president of her own nonprofit agency, The Educational Advocates Reaching Today’s Hardworking Students, Inc. (EARTHS) She is an advisor to Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Community Improvement Zone grantee, PARENT POWER (What Will You Do With Yours?) and she served as treasurer of Philadelphia’s League of Women Voters. She holds a bachelor's from Drexel University and a master's from Lincoln University, the country’s first historically Black, degree-granting university.

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