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.

  • http://withintheblackcommunity.blogspot.com ConstructiveFeedback

    [quote]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. [/quote]

    I have a tear in my eye after reading your words Greg L.
    I am sure that when Black Diaspora reads this he is going to strongly object though.

    The fact is that the NAACP has in recent history put forth the "Civil Rights" mantra on many issues:

    * Abortion is a Civil Right since so many Black females are denied access to safe and legal abortions at medical facilities

    * The Illegal Immigration law in Arizona is a CIVIL RIGHTS VIOLATION because if racial profiling is allowed against Hispanics then "THEY" will come after Black people next. ("You know THEY don't want is here either if they had their choice" – said a guest on "Washington Watch with Roland Martin)

    • Diaspora Black

      “I am sure that when Black Diaspora reads this he is going to strongly object though.”

      Wrong, again, CF. Greg has made this point before: We can’t own the message unless we pay for the message.

      And he is right!

      We need to fund those that purport to speak for us: That’s the only way we can know who’s pulling the levers, and for what purpose. As it stands now, it’s merely a Fun House of Mirrors, with the reflections in the mirror more about the mirrors, than those standing in front of them.

  • http://theafricanamericanclarioncall.com Greg L

    CF,

    The main issue I have with the NAACP and other African-American groups, regardless of political persuasion, is the inability to independently represent as opposed to being a mere extension of someone else's agenda. A truly independent group, and by that I mean one that is funded nearly entirely from the African-American community, is a rare bird indeed, if they even exist at all. The litmus test that needs to be put forth whenever anyone jumps up to say they're speaking for black folks is–who pays you? Raising that question alone will settle who is actually speaking for us versus someone else. Answering that question would reveal the lack of true representation for black folks whether we're talking the political left, right or in-between.

    When someone else is paying someone, it is impossible for them to represent you because the check signer is the one they're accountable to, yet we want to buy into this foolishness that we're represented when we didn't pay someone to do so. On the other hand, for these guys to get "paid" by us (with donations and etc.), they've got to be something that's relevant to even garner support–financial or otherwise.

    Ironically, you can take someone like Al Sharpton, who is universally held in disdain by most whites but is actually funded with white support. Hence, it's like they're funding the same show they're actually hating on while some of us think he's "representing". Again, not to pick just on Al, but i could go over on the right and find the same thing.

    At some point, some of us have to start calling this stuff out, but more importantly, put together an agenda that's relevant, fund it ourselves and then truly represent.

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