California NAACP calls marijuana legalization a civil rights issue
Prop 19 for marijuana legislation in California has created some rather strange bedfellows. Believe it or not, the growers have lobbied against the legislation as prices are projected to plummet while Alice Huffman of the California state NAACP has come out in support of the legislation because it’s as a “civil rights” issue due to the high levels of arrests of young African-Americans for drug offenses.
First, it should be noted that the position the NAACP has taken is controversial within African-American communities in California and much of that arises from the fact that the NAACP appears to be in league with financier George Soros, a well known advocate of drug legalization. It’s been reported that Soros has made monetary contributions to the National NAACP and, as a result, there’s been speculation that this action taken by the California state conference is a sort of quid pro quo.
I’m not going to speculate on the existence of a quid pro quo and I don’t know how much money Soros donated, but it’s been my experience that we frequently go pretty cheaply. In many instances, a brief appearance in the klieg lights, a mention in a newspaper article or a photo op is all that is required to get our support on any issue. Whether the issue makes any real sense from a position we’ve staked out independently is besides the point. When the man comes calling with an offer of klieg lights and photo ops, we’re ready to jump.
Frequently, African-Americans are positioned to provide that “veneer of diversity” in support of someone else’s larger agenda. In other words, in support of someone else’s agenda, black folks are frequently called in to provide “diversity cover”. In the immediate instance, certain forces want legalization for strictly economic reasons and a huge consideration is taxing the sales to help close California’s budget gap while others are looking at positioning themselves to sell the product legally. It’s very helpful for them for the NAACP to weigh in from the “civil rights” perspective. Basically, everyone who’s pushing legalization stands to gain something—that is everyone except the NAACP and the African-American community. At the end of the day, all that will have been gotten for the African-American community is 15 minutes of fame for the NAACP and absolutely nothing else. Young African-Americans will continue to be jailed even if Prop 19 passes, which exposes the utter ridiculousness of the NAACP’s “civil rights” position on this issue.
The problem is that black folks frequently don’t have an agenda that’s being actively executed on to address the issues of our communities. When you truly have a real agenda that you’re executing on, you’re not going to get caught up in someone else’s agenda and you’ll reject their offers of klieg light appearances and photo ops as these will be readily seen as not relevant to your agenda. Unfortunately, the absence of that agenda leaves us open to all sorts of nonsense in support of someone else’s agenda and this is a classic example.