Another View of the NAACP — Part Two
by Al Benson Jr.
Although many people have said many things, for and against, about the NAACP over the years, as I read, one of the things that struck me was the several decades of non-black leadership in the office of president that the organization had until 1975.
I noted previously that the NAACP’s first president was Moorfield Storey, a white Boston lawyer. He was president from 1910 until 1915, only five years. The next president was Joel Springarn, who was president from 1915 until 1940. Springarn was a well-known liberal Republican and one of the first Jewish leaders of the NAACP. He was chairman of the board from 1913 until he died. At that point, his brother Arthur became president and he held onto that position from 1940-1965. From 1966 until 1975 the president was Kivie Kaplan, a Jewish-American businessman from Boston. He has been described as "…one of the last in a long line of American Jews who held a leadership role in African-American civil rights groups."
The Niagara Movement conference which was the basis for the founding of the NAACP had a rather diverse group of people, most of whom were solidly on the left politically. However, as the NAACP emerged as a result of this conference, it was noted that its leadership was mostly white and heavily Jewish. DuBois was the only black man on the executive board. The Jewish community greatly contributed to the founding of the NAACP and continued to finance it. In his book A History of the Jews In America Jewish historian Howard Sachar noted: "In 1914, Professor Emeritus Joel Springarn of Columbia University became chairman of the NAACP and recruited for its board such Jewish leaders as Jacob Schiff, Jacob Billikopf, and Rabbi Stephen Wise." Early Jewish American co-founders were Lillian Wald, Rabbi Emil G. Hirsch, Julius Rosenthal and Rabbi Wise. Jacob Schiff was part of the international banking crowd and Rabbi Wise was a political Zionist. Makes you wonder how many of the rest might have been political Zionists also. Zionism is a movement that elevates the agenda of national Israel at the expense of everyone else.
The thought occurred to me as I researched some of this, that the makeup of the founders and early officers of the NAACP was even more Jewish than it was black. If these folks had been interested in founding a group for the stated purpose of helping blacks to elevate themselves I would have thought they could have come up with a black president for the group before 1975. No one can tell me there were not qualified blacks available before that time. So I have to wonder what the group’s real intent was.
When you look at the other people that funded the NAACP besides those who were Jewish, you see people like those who ran the Garland Fund I previously mentioned, Communists and others on the far left politically. Those people were truly revolutionaries and had no real interest in black folks except as cannon fodder for their class struggle agendas. It was a great idea to pit blacks and whites against each other if it forwarded the goals of Communist revolution in this country and drove a wedge between the two groups in our society. I recall DuBois’ glowing commentary regarding the Russian revolution and how Mr. DuBois liked the racial attitudes of the Communists.
Surely some of those Jewish financiers who contributed so heavily to the NAACP had to be aware of at least some of the other leftist funding for the group. They weren’t dumb by any stretch of the imagination. They would have kept track of that sort of thing.
I can only conclude that, in some measure, they were aware of it and it didn’t bother them that much, which might lead some to question where their political sentiments really were.
Copyright ï¿½ 2006-2009 Al Benson, Jr
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