Bush has plenty of reasons to turn down the NAACP

July 14, 2004|By GREGORY KANE

READ THIS timeline carefully. It's one NAACP President Kweisi Mfume and board Chairman Julian Bond seem to have forgotten.

July 2000: George W. Bush, then governor of Texas and the Republican candidate for president, addresses the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People convention in Baltimore, the first Republican candidate to do so since his father did it in 1988. Bush extended an olive branch to the nation's oldest civil rights organization, telling the delegates: "For my party, there is no denying the reality that the party of Lincoln has not always carried the mantle of Lincoln." A little later in the speech, Bush declared: "I am here because I believe there is so much that we can do together."

Late October 2000: The NAACP Voter Education Fund responds to Bush's olive branch with one of the most despicable ads in presidential campaign history. With about a week to go before the election, the ad shows a pickup truck pulling a chain. The voice of the daughter of Texas lynching victim James Byrd - decapitated when he was chained to a pickup truck and dragged by three white racists - is heard criticizing Bush for not supporting hate-crimes legislation. The Voter Education Fund tries to pass off this blatant endorsement of Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore as an "issue ad."

The first months of 2001, in the early days of the Bush administration: Bond goes on the first of his patented anti-Bush rants, saying that members of the president's Cabinet hail from the "Taliban wing" of American politics.

July 2004: Mfume and Bond throw hissy fits after Bush refuses to address the convention. Mfume says the president is treating NAACP members like prostitutes. Bond goes over the top as usual, saying Bush appointed a federal judge who is hostile to civil rights and lenient with cross-burners. It's a truly pathetic sight when a black liberal Democrat tries to sound tough on crime. Since when has Bond - or any other African-American on his side of the political spectrum - been against leniency for criminals?

Anyone wondering why Bush turned down the invitation to speak needs only to read the above timeline.

Some might correctly surmise that Bush declined an invitation to speak at the NAACP convention because he's been there, done that, and received ad hominem attacks just on the sunny side of slander for his efforts. Why would a man the NAACP Voter Education Fund falsely implied was against prosecuting Byrd's murderers address the organization?

At this point, the NAACP-ers like to say that the Voter Education Fund and the NAACP are different organizations. The NAACP proper, they piously intone, had nothing to do with the Byrd ad. No doubt Bush is still waiting for some public condemnation of that ad from Bond or Mfume.

In fact, Mfume has suggested Bush "get over" the criticism from NAACP leaders.

Maybe Mfume and Bond need to get over their delusion that the NAACP is a nonpartisan organization. The group may not be the Democratic National Committee, but it sure as heck is the unofficial African-American subcommittee of the DNC.

Now what self-respecting Republican president would address a DNC subcommittee?

None would. Nor would a self-respecting Republican president ever again address an NAACP convention - or sit down for a chat with any of its leaders - until they acknowledge that the organization is highly partisan. Any Republican president who does address an NAACP convention buys into the outrageous lie of NAACP nonpartisanship its leaders have been hoodwinking Americans about for years.

They run "issue ads" that all but say Bush is the grand dragon of the Ku Klux Klan. They compare Republicans to the ruthless human rights abusers in the Taliban - while sending an NAACP delegation to Cuba to talk with that champion of human rights, Fidel Castro - and cynically misrepresent the character and positions of some of Bush's judicial nominees. And they do it all in the name of nonpartisanship.

Bond was on BET news Monday night, again trumpeting the NAACP's nonpartisanship. All the organization wants, Bond said, is a president and Congress who are "for civil rights."

That would be civil rights the way the NAACP and other black liberal Democrats see them these days: the blatant racial preferences Bond and Co. have the gall to label "affirmative action." In addition to the vicious attacks on Bush and the bogus claims of nonpartisanship, add this to the growing list of NAACP flaws:

A blatant mugging of the English language.

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