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Thursday, March 02, 2006

NAACP Cries Victim Again

***Note correction at the end of this post***

It has just been brought to my attention that, a few weeks ago, the NAACP issued a press release attempting to smear Project 21 members as "right wing fanatics" and "far right." The press release also quotes Bruce Gordon, the NAACP's president and CEO, referring to Project 21 as a "white group."

As readers of this blog know, Project 21 is sponsored by The National Center for Public Policy Research, which means that we supply resources and staff support, but all of Project 21's members are black.

It is regrettable but not surprising that, 43 years after Martin Luther King's "not the color of their skin" speech, the CEO of a so-called "civil rights group" thought to identify people by their race. It is only of secondary importance that the CEO of the NAACP can't tell black from white.

Gordon also claims, more than a little inexplicably, that Project 21 members' criticism of Bond's extremist speech is "an attempt to derail my attempts to build a constructive relationship with the Administration." The NAACP press release does not explain why the NAACP believes Project 21 members would care to do such a thing.

By way of background, this particular NAACP's complaint about Project 21 stems from this press release. In it, individual Project 21 members commented on the content of a speech by Julian Bond, as reported in this WorldNetDaily article.

Bond subsequently disputed some of the WorldNet Daily account, and Project 21 made a note of this fact at the bottom of the press release.

James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal's Best of the Web examined the who-said-what particulars here.

I think it is fair to say that Bond speech attracted the attention of Project 21 members in part because he has a long history of attacking conservatives and singling out conservative blacks who dare to speak out. For instance, this July 2005 Baltimore Sun article reports:
Bond accused black conservatives and blamed foundations that finance conservative groups for rolling back gains for which civil rights leaders have fought.

"Having stolen our vocabulary, they also want to steal the just spoils of our righteous war," he said. "They've had a collection of black hustlers and hucksters on their payrolls for more than 20 years, promoting them as a new generation of black leaders."

Reiterating comments from his keynote convention address two years ago about Bush and his black supporters, Bond said, "Like ventriloquists' dummies, they speak in the puppet master's voice, but we can see his lips moving, and we can hear his money talk."
Project 21 members aren't paid. I don't know if Julian Bond is.

Addendum, March 3: Townhall.com's Tim Chapman reviews the House GOP's response to the NAACP. (See here and here for more from Tim on this.)

CORRECTION (March 31): The above post quotes NAACP President and CEO Bruce Gordon referring to Project 21 as a "white group" in the February 8, 2006 NAACP press release. He didn't. I misread the word "while" as "white" in the sentence "It is interesting that while groups like WorldNet Daily and Project 21 spread half-truths and lies about Bond, they offered no direct evidence of what was said." I apologize to Mr. Gordon and the NAACP for my error.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 4:20 PM

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