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December 07, 2004


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Mfume was booted following a long simmering feud with NAACP Chairman Julian Bond.

The two began feuding after Mfume nominated National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice for his 2003 NAACP Image Award. Furious that Mfume was reaching out to the Bush administration, Bond responded by nominating "Boondocks" cartoonist Aaron McGruder for his Image Award. McGruder had ridiculed Rice in his comic strip and later called her a “murderer” for her role in the war in Iraq.

The rift grew as Mfume continued to reach out to the Republican Party. Mfume realized that by reflexively voting Democrat in every election, the black voting populace has given away most of their political bartering power.


I don't believe any of that, cn. Mfume's resignation is more likely to be based upon something far less scurrilous. He's proven himself to be a man of diverse interests.

I also believe both Bond and Mfume understand it is prudent, if not expedient, to engage both sides of the political aisle. Mfume might be a more conciliatory personality than Bond (I don't know), but that responsibility also comes with the title of CEO, while a Chairman acts as keeper of the flame.

Similarly, I dismiss the notion Blacks vote "reflexively" for Democrats. The opinion smacks of equal parts ignorance, condescension and piety. I suppose, however, it's easier for GOP pols to scapegoat Blacks (as is their wont) than to acknowledge their own policy shortcomings.

Lester Spence

No. Again, take a look at the battle in the Democratic Party between Howard Dean and people who think like him, and the new Senate Leader Reid and the people who think like HIM. It is exactly the same thing. Mfume with his political background is wont in this circumstance to believe that conciliation is in order. Bond with HIS political background is wont to believe that the gloves should come off. An honest difference of opinion. And in this case the "good cop/bad cop" approach would have the organization looking schizophrenic as well as dysfunctional. Somebody had to go.

Now the thing about this is that because it is black people, most folks writing about the conflict would tend to either misstate the nature of the conflict (politics versus testosterone), the uniqueness of the conflict (missing the easy to spot DNC parallel), or the size of the conflict (arguing that the fate of the naacp rests in the balance). Williams gets the conflict spot on. It's the other stuff (that I quoted) that he ignores.


"Again, take a look at the battle in the Democratic Party between Howard Dean and the people who think like him, and the new Senate leader Reid and the people who think like HIM."

The analogy implies an aesthetic rift exists within the NAACP that no reliable source has affirmed. It's more likely Williams is passing some very specious conjecture and more than a little wishful thinking as fact. To explain, the NAACP has 60-some odd board members. The Chair of such an organization doesn't enjoy the authority to unilaterally boot anyone; they'd have to bring it to a vote of (at least) an executive council. I would happen to think it goes without saying that a DNC-like internal conflict between Bond and Mfume camps would have become public long ago were it true.

Sometimes a brick is just a brick, LK.

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