The Economic Divide
and The NAACP

According to their Facebook page, "the mission of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate hatred and racial discrimination." As noted on their website, the "NAACP was founded February 12, 1909, and it is the nation's oldest, largest and most widely recognized grassroots-based civil rights organization."

Even though all people are "Colored" because we're bronzed by the sun, the term "Colored People" has always been applied strictly to Americans of African descent and the original intent of this organization was to fight for their rights. As times changed and integregation rights were acheived, the mission was obviously changed to include everyone, but the word "Colored" remains in its name. Maybe they should change the name to National Association For The Advancement of All People - NAAAP.

Changing the focus has apparently negatively impacted the economic advancement of African Americans. In other words, since this organization no longer focuses on the needs specific to the original target group, then the organization's effectiveness for that group has lessened because their economic problems have been merged into the melting pot that holds all of America's economic problems.

In spite of being integrated and in spite of equal opportunity laws, statistics show that African Americans still have the highest rate of unemployment and they still have not bridged the gap via business ownership. Since legal mandates do not change hearts and minds, the real question is can the NAACP really ensure economic equality for all American citizens? Clearly it is impossible to "eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination" via policies, and including those intents in their mission statement is extremely ambitious.

Fortunately, the issue of resolving conflicts in advancement is most often left to individuals and groups of individuals who see a need to help their brothers and sisters find their way through the fog. That's why Mears Management created a forum for people of all races, genders and generations to participate in the process.

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