There was a spate of articles last month on the occasion of the NAACP’s centennial, many of which raised the question of what the organization should be doing in the Age of Obama. There is, after all, the criticism that the group is really not about civil rights anymore, but is just another liberal interest group. John McWhorter, for instance, had a good piece along these lines in The New Republic. And more food for thought is provided by a news story yesterday, reporting on the Tennessee NAACP “State Conference Priorities:”
- Repeal Work At Will laws.
- Increase minimum wage to a Liveable Wage level.
- Health Care for all, colo-rectal cancer screenings must be covered by insurance plans.
- Moratorium on the death penalty.
- Make Environmental Justice an issue in Tennessee.
- Revise HOPE scholarship retention standards.
- Eliminate requirement of child support status verification from ex-felon voter restoration law.
- Oppose Auto Title Predatory Loans.
Think about what the reaction of the NAACP’s leaders would have been if you had told them, in the 1960s, that in 2009 there would be an African American president and that their list of unfinished business — in part of the Old Confederacy, no less — would have been the eight items above.