Is End Near For NAACP And Christian Coalition?
July 22, 2002
They are on opposite sides of the political spectrum in terms of ideology and affiliation. They both rose to national prominence politically in the late 1980’s and early to mid-1990’s only to fall off the map at the turn of the century. They each boast about the strength of their grassroots organization, despite their obvious problems. However, most average, everyday people today have not paid much attention to either one of them in a very long time.
Because of that, the reality is that the clock is ticking away and the end is very near for the NAACP and the Christian Coalition. Anyone who thinks otherwise is in serious denial.
The National Association For the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was once a bold champion of civil rights in America. Yet, their primary goals of equality for all have been overshadowed by the conniving and selfish egos of the leaders of the NAACP, primarily from its President Kweisi Mfume (is it just me or does his first name remind you of the word queasy?! The description seems to fit him perfectly!). With race relations in America still on egg shells, the current leadership in the NAACP has not shown the kind of influence it once had on a national, state or local level.
Furthermore, the political hatred coming from the NAACP today is not what the founders of the group envisioned. The founders of the NAACP wanted to get laws passed that would give voting rights to blacks as well as equal opportunity to dine wherever one chooses regardless of skin color, among many other things. Today, all the leaders of the NAACP seem to focus on is demagoguery and outright lies! This lack of relevance of the NAACP has gotten so bad in Spartanburg, South Carolina that they recently closed the offices of the NAACP there. Many others local chapters across America will follow suit in the coming months.
The truth is that the only thing keeping the NAACP from dissolving any sooner is the perception that they actually have something to do with the turnout of African-Americans to vote for (government handout liberal) Democrats. Aside from making some minor noise recently by supposedly boycotting South Carolina over the Confederate Flag flying in the state capitol and other very minor “activities,” the NAACP is on the brink of collapse!
The Christian Coalition is in a similar predicament as the NAACP. They were once a powerful player in Republican Party politics, especially in 1994 when they were given credit for the Republican takeover of the U.S. House and U.S. Senate. The goals of the Christian Coalition back then were to inform Christian voters about candidates who shared their values. They were led by a young, intelligent and well-spoken man named Ralph Reed (who today happens to be the Chairman of the Republican Party in Georgia). He was the darling of the Christian right and the media did not know what to think of him (how can a Christian conservative have such reasoned thoughts and actually sound good saying them?!).
Unfortunately, when Reed decided to leave the Christian Coalition in 1997, the once mighty leadership and clear focus of the grassroots group left with him. That is the genesis of when things began to unravel. To make matters worse, Christian Coalition President and Founder Pat Robertson was quickly criticized in the media for making several inappropriate remarks at times that reflected poorly on him and the organization. Because the Christian right lost their influential voice (Reed), many politically active citizens who once supported the Christian Coalition decided to take a step back. One by one, the numbers have fallen off. This has cost the Christian Coalition dearly.
Although Robertson retired as President of the Christian Coalition in December 2001, the lingering effects of his questionable leadership decisions still plague the group to this day. Some sense of hope for the Christian Coalition came when former South Carolina Christian Coalition Director Roberta Combs was selected to replace Robertson at the helm of the national group. Can the leadership and direction she showed in the Palmetto State in the 1990's be enough to revive the Christian Coalition in the 21st century?
The only thing that I think is keeping the Christian Coalition around as a player on the political scene is the belief by GOP political leaders that the group still has influence with Christian voters to get them to vote for (religious conservative) Republican candidates. However, with their recent involvement in the South Carolina Republican gubernatorial runoff election, the Christian Coalition made a costly mistake because their candidate lost decisively. Where does this leave the Christian Coalition now? Has this experience humbled them politically to the point that they will finally return to their original mission?
Ten years ago, if someone told you that the influence of these two groups would be almost negligible in the year 2002, you would think they were crazy. Nevertheless, it is conceivable that both the NAACP and the Christian Coalition might not even exist by the end of THIS decade. Only time will tell if they can overcome their respective problems and focus back on the ideas and goals that first gained them nationwide attention.
Or does anyone really care?