April 9, 2008

Condoleeza Rice for Vice President? Are Civil Rights Groups Obsolete?


Farai Chideya hosted Blogger's Roundtable on NPR News & Notes earlier today with Arlene Fenton, Jay Anderson and me. We talked about the rumors of Condoleeza Rice seeking vice presidency.

All three of us agreed that Condi Rice was not going to be McCain's veep candidate. All reports indicate that she wants to leave Washington DC at the end of Bush's term of office in order to return to the academic world of Stanford University. I don't think Condi brings anything useful to a McCain ticket. She doesn't have economics expertise ... nor is she a darling of the radical right ... also, she is tightly-tied to George W. Bush ... and that ain't a good thing for McCain! Those are three things that McCain needs in his VP candidate.

Actually, the rumors are insulting in some respects to the talent-level of Condi Rice. She has some serious skillz and doesn't deserve to have her name thrown in the ring by the Republicans to counterbalance the diverse talent (Clinton or Obama) being showcased by the Democrats.

Our roundtable also dealt with the question of whether or not Civil Rights groups are obsolete. What do you think villagers? Are groups like the NAACP or the Urban League or CORE or SCLC obsolete? In our view, the issue went beyond the ability of these groups to adopt new-age technology, such as blogs. Rather, the blogger's panel wondered if the leadership of these groups could look at problems in our community from a 21st century perspective.

As an example, we noted that NAACP and Al Sharpton jumped on comparisons of the Dunbar Village ('alleged') rapists were being treated unfairly in light of the fact that ('alleged') white rapists in Boca Raton are free on bail. Ol' school thinking! White boys got bail, therefore, our Black boys should get bail. That is stinkin' thinkin' when the Black boyz are undeniably responsible for rape, torture and terrorism with an innocent mother and her son. 21st century thinking is that no bail should be offered to the Dunbar Village rapists. Eventually Al Sharpton and NAACP apologized for their stinkin' thinkin'.

Finally, I was pleased with Bro. Anderson (AverageBro blog) perspective that our civil rights organizations ... and Black bloggers ... should be more PROactive and less REactive. For example, he calls for bloggers and Black organizations to get engaged in mentoring, tutoring and other PROactive efforts to keep our young people on the right path, rather than REact when our young people get involved in rapes, gangs or other counter-productive behavior.

We had a great time. I hope you had a chance to listen to us live ... but, if not, you can click here to listen to what we had to say. What would you have said on either of the two questions --> Condi Rice for Vice President? or Are Civil Rights groups obsolete?

8 comments:

Lionel Carter said...

My comment is on the civil rights organizations. I am a member of the Houston Area Urban League Young Professionals. I think this organization and the Urban League as a whole are needed because they focus on empowerment and advancing our people. The major problem with "civil rights" organizations like the NAACP is that they never evolved. Instead of focusing on building up our communities and empowering the black people after the 60's they still saw a need to fight white racism. When your solutions to every problem is to blame the government and white people, you are saying to everyone we can't progress until white people let us. This makes you irrelevant in 2008.

Villager said...

Lionel - Welcome! I appreciate you sharing your village voice and I hope you find reason to come back more often in the future.

I appreciate your support of HAUL and the HAUL Young Professionals. Out of curiousity, do either organizations have a blog to your knowledge?

What would you say are the top 1-2 programs of the HAUL that you would like to see implemented to wider audience inside of Houston or outside of Houston?

RedLipstick said...

I could not see Rice as a veep for McCain. She's better suited to academics and seems to lack the requisite political skills furthermore she hasn't been able to close any deals as secretary of state. She's travelling all over the world but hasn't really gotten anything done.

As for civil rights orgs, well I have never belonged to any and I can only think of one family member that has and she is 70 now. I suppose I would see the leadership on television but I would never see them in my community so they seemed like an elite group of black people that didn't have anything to do with my life. We have a strong sense of volunteerism in my family and we join orgs that provide assistance and help to the people around us--like mental health orgs, food pantries, schools and that kind of thing.

There are roughly 30 million + blacks in this country--what percentage of those are members of these orgs? That would probably shed light on the relevancy issue.

Villager said...

RedLipstick - You hit the nail on the head 2-3 times! I appreciate you taking time to share your village voice with us today. I hope you find reasons to come back more often in the future...

Gunfighter said...

1. Condi Rice: Not a chance. She is a smart lady, but has the personality of cardboard.

2. Civil Rights organizations: Ten years ago, I tried to join the local NAACP. They wouldn't let me... because I am a politically active progressive who believees that we need to do more than sing "We Shall Overcome" and shout "He'p Me Jesus"

Villager said...

Gunfighter - Yikes, I didn't realize that Condi's personality was so lousy. Thanks for sharing that 411 with me. Perhaps she is best-suited for return to academic world in Stanford University.

re: NAACP. Should we let it die a natural death, or should we help young, progressive leader re-take and re-vitalize this aging giant? I imagine that the path to success is bottom-up ... branch by branch ... if we thought it worth the effort...

Tony said...

No offense but I think that is a little short sighted. "Dr." Rice is brilliant and loyal to her party. And while her views are probably light years apart from my own I think she would be a fine representative for the GOP. Its just her views and party I would do everything in my power to vote against. Not her qualifications.

Villager said...

Tony - Your point is well-taken. I remain surprised how much her name is being thrown around in the media and elsewhere. McCain selecting her as his VP candidate would be a clear sign of desperation in my view (see: Walter Mondale & Geraldine Ferraro as an example)...