February 12th, 2009
12:10 PM ET

Must add white to 'color' of NAACP

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Wendi C. Thomas

A century ago today, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was founded.

Despite the "C" in the acronym of the premier civil rights organization and despite its commitment to equality for "colored" people, white people were always among the committed.

Just as black children need role models like those found in the NAACP's founder and intellectual Dr. W.E.B. DuBois and Maxine Smith, former executive secretary of the Memphis NAACP branch, white children also need to know that their history includes civil rights stalwarts like the NAACP's founder and first president, Moorfield Storey, and locals like Jocelyn Wurzburg and Mary Goodman Hohenburg, now Mary Mhoon Walker.

After all, only two of the six NAACP founders listed at naacp.org were black - anti-lynching journalist Ida B. Wells and DuBois. The rest were white.


Filed under: 360° Radar • NAACP • Race in America • Raw Politics
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. GF, Los Angeles

    What's sad is people have this impression that whites don't get discriminated against but it happens everyday under the radar. The strongest evidence of that is Affirmative Action. Why must minorities be hired in equal relation to whites? Shouldn't the fair thing be that the most qualified gets hired? Obama got flak for not hiring more Latinos into his cabinet – why does that matter? Only the most qualified for the position should be hired.

    I think it's a farce that there are Latino award shows and magazines (same goes for blacks) but if there was the Caucasian awards or magazines – there'd be a huge uproar. I'm not even white but boy I see a lot of things that are unfair to them.

    February 12, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  2. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    And the point? Color only has the boundaries that we establish. Try marketing that south of the Mason-Dixon line.

    February 12, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  3. jim

    About time to drop the color thing, We as americans are all in this thing together. Now that we have a 50-50 president we are all about the same.

    February 12, 2009 at 2:29 pm |
  4. Richard

    As long as we continue to maintain and support organizations like the NAACP, we will continue to have racial division.

    As a white man, I could not count on the NAACP for help when I was declined for a small business loan because I was a white natural born male citizen of the US. I was told, and I quote, "If you were a black woman from Jamaica, you would be guaranteed the loan. But, as a white, natural born male citizen of the US, you don't stand a chance of approval. You will have to seek financing for your new business elsewhere."

    And, the Negro College Fund would never help a poor white student.

    If we want to end racism, we must get rid of the institutions that perpetuate it. And, ironically, those are the same institutions founded to help stop it.

    February 12, 2009 at 1:21 pm |
  5. Mike, Syracuse NY

    A great idea 100 years ago, and an anacronism today. Perhaps they should recname themselves the NAAAP, replacing 'Colored' with 'American' and fight for all rights regardless of race.

    February 12, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  6. DeBrower

    This is a great and true story. Malcolm X used to say that colored institutions that allow white people to contribute allow contributions only because they're hurting for money or power. However, I believe there are white people who see the toils and troubles of other-than-white people and genuinely want to do something about it. Although let's just hope this time around, children are actually LEARNING about the race struggle and those who put their foot down. Personally, I know my town of 2,000 people taught more history about Indians than black people.

    February 12, 2009 at 12:31 pm |