Today, delegates to the NAACP’s 102nd annual convention are meeting to consider this year’s resolutions. Last year’s resolution condemning the Tea Party for racism was the subject of intense media coverage.
This year, the Tea Party does not appear in any of the forty-plus resolutions under consideration. The bulk of the resolutions deal with civil rights, criminal justice, and socioeconomic issues, to which the NAACP proposes familiar left-wing solutions.
These include support for the so-called “Employee Free Choice Act” (a.k.a. “card check”) in addressing labor relations.
It is ironic, given the NAACP’s focus on voting rights at this year’s convention, and given the way the NAACP has described voter ID laws as an attack on black civil rights, that the NAACP would back a piece of legislation designed to strip workers of their right to a secret ballot in union elections.
Another NAACP resolution supports for collective bargaining rights for public workers, which it describes as “sacrosanct”–and includes a call to all NAACP members to “join in public protests and rallies in support of public and private employees and their efforts to maintain or preserve their rights to union representation and collective bargaining.”
Additional resolutions include a call for a federal budget that is “fair and equitable and does not harm low and middle-income Americans”–including no repeal of ObamaCare, no reform of Medicare (as passed by the House); cuts to defense spending; and making the tax system “more fair”; opposition to state voter ID laws, and state laws to prevent felons from voting; support for the Clean Air Act against congressional restrictions (as the EPA attempts to use the Act to regulate carbon dioxide emissions); and greater regulation of offshore oil drilling and exploration in the Gulf of Mexico, among others. Another, emergency resolution was introduced during the session today, expressing the NAACP’s continued opposition to charter schools.
A few of the resolutions might have broader appeal–such as a motion to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and end the Federal Housing Authority’s monopoly in the mortgage insurance market; an emergency motion opposing official state commemorations of the Confederacy, which many Americans find hurtful; and a motion calling for an end to the federal war on drugs.
However, the NAACP proposes to address the latter by redistributing federal prison funding to “privately-owned Black organizations/groups and Black faith-based groups in proportion with the Black prison population of the U.S.,” which would doubtless be controversial, if not unconstitutional.
The NAACP’s resolutions confirm that it continues to embrace left-wing policies that do little to advance the welfare of black Americans, and which may actually do harm.
There was a telling moment during floor debate on the Employee Free Choice Act, when someone attempted to introduce a rambling amendment that also supported the right of workers to choose not to join unions–a right that the GOP and Tea Party have championed.
The amendment was not adopted, largely because it was simply too long-winded and complicated. Yet it suggested that the freedom to choose whether to join a union or not is a right whose value persists for at least some NAACP members, despite the best efforts of the left to cast that right as something akin to slavery.
Left-wing orthodoxies cannot quite suppress the love of freedom–nor can left-wing policies achieve the same results as those that embrace freedom as their foundation. One day, perhaps, the NAACP will provide a forum for that dissenting–yet enduring–view.