Handling of NAACP revealing
Dear Mr. Bailey:
I read your on-line article entitled "Handling of NAACP revealing", and I believe you failed to make note of another possible reason why some politicians–President Bush included–turn down offers to speak at NAACP meetings. The NAACP, which at one time was a courageous and relevant civil rights organization, is now a "social dinosaur" that has outlived its usefulness.
The NAACP is now an out-dated organization looking for "windmills to tilt" now that Americans of color have full and equal civil rights. The NAACP continues to have highly paid executives, but the coffers are running empty because the NAACP now has to manufacture racial tensions where there are none in an effort to attempt to cover its expenses. This brouhaha over the Confederate flag is just an example of the NAACP’s modern-day worthlessness.
I have read many times that tourism dollars in South Carolina have actually increased during the years that the NAACP’s so-called "boycott" has been in effect. Confederate history is a part of American history, and a part of South Carolina history. You cannot adequately portray South Carolina history without including its role in the Confederate States of America. To attempt to do so, as the NAACP is attempting to do, is nothing but bigoted historical revisionism.
You may not be aware of it, but the South Carolina Capitol building still bears visible scars of Union cannonballs that struck it during William T. Sherman’s attack and rape of Columbia in 1865. The soldiers’ memorial which has stood on the Capitol grounds for over 100 years was erected by the women of Columbia in memory of the sacrifices of their men in defending the city, and was erected with their private funds–not by use of any tax monies. The battleflag that is a part of this memorial is representative of the flag under which these brave men fought and sacrificed, and is a historical remembrance of their sacrifices.
If the NAACP could snap its fingers, and make every single vestige of the Confederate States of America suddenly disappear–the flags, the names, the memorials–it would serve no purpose whatsoever in alleviating the problems faced by modern-day black Americans. The problems faced by black Americans today are sociological, not historical. Those problems are due to crime, unemployment, poverty, family disintegration, etc.–not the Confederate flag.
I had relatives who fought in the 24th, 25th, and 26th South Carolina Infantry regiments during the War, and brothers William Albert Dotterer and James Blair Dotterer of Charleston were both killed defending their families in 1864. William had been in medical school, and James had been attending what is now The Citadel when the governor called for all able-bodied South Carolinian men to come to the defense of their homes and families when Abraham Lincoln declared war on the state and raised an army to attack and subjugate it. The losses to my family and many others were personal.
The so-called "boycott" by the NAACP is a tactical failure on the organization’s part, and it is for all the wrong reasons. The NAACP fails to recognize that they are hurting South Carolina as a whole less than they are hurting its black entrepreneurs with this asinine "boycott", but they just cannot seem to risk losing face by calling it off, in spite of the fact that the demand for the Confederate flag to be removed from atop the Capitol was met by the legislature.
Politicians who continue to treat the NAACP with deference, apparently believing that it is widely supported by black Americans, are the ones who are out of step–not the politicians who acknowledge the fact that the organization is an out-dated, irrelevant, and bigoted vestige of the old "civil rights era" of American history. Race hustlers such as Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Louis Farrakhan, and the NAACP need to be thrown on the dust bin of history so black Americans are no longer harnessed to that bunch of losers.
D. A. Anthony