Friday, March 23, 2007

Bruce Gordon Speaks With Tavis Smiley

Former NAACP President Bruce Gordon, recently spoke with Tavis Smiley about his experience at the organization and why he resigned.

You can find the last NAACP memo from Bruce Gordon here, from the Afro Netizen where he discusses some of the reasons why he decided to leave.

Bruce Gordon was the kind of leader that the NAACP needed. He was the best President that the organization had in quite a long time. In fact, the NAACP Board may have pushed him away because he was too good, and threatened their ability to micro-manage. Gordon was a "Change" leader. He wanted to use his experience from the business world to change the NAACP to match the needs of the social and economic environment, so that it could be more effective.

The NAACP is out of touch with the new realities. The organization does not seem able to adjust and be more flexible, at a time when this is essential. It wants to apply 40 or 50 year old strategies to 21st Century problems. The NAACP Board of directors is stacked with old Black elites who are more concerned with micro-managing the organization rather than getting results. The old timers on the NAACP Board are stuck in the 1950's, and have not realized the need to adapt to the current needs within the communities that they claim to serve.

The organization, in my opinion, has long been irrelevant. And based on the behavior of the NAACP Board, it will remain irrelevant for the forseable future.
That's a shame for an organization with such a rich legacy.

DuBois would probably not be happy with how the organization has turned out.



Anonymous said...

Great post. Bruce Gordon was good for the NAACP the NAACP Board is a disconnected group of folks who refuse to face the reality of our times. They were in need of change in the late 60's and have refused to change over the past 30+ years.

Don't forget to join the Independent Bloggers' Alliance

Anonymous said...

Pitiful that people would talk about what the NAACP should do, when you know nothing about the NAACP. Its all Black folk have, because the Blacks who have benefited from its work, feel they have no responsibility to give back to the struggle and help others.

Mr. Gordon will be fine and I hope he either joins a social service agency or starts one that he can control. No one person controls the NAACP. It is a democratic body.

Brian said...

"Pitiful that people would talk about what the NAACP should do, when you know nothing about the NAACP."

I know enough to understand that the organization is bloated, outmoded, and has lost its connection with an entire generation of black folks.

It no longer has the relevence that it did decades ago. And it refuses to change to adapt to the new social, technological, economic, and political realities on the ground.

I have every right to point these things out (just as SEVERAL other bloggers have done in recent weeks).

"The NAACP is all we have?"

What planet are you from? The NAACP is not all we have. African Americans have support from many other social organizations. In fact, the ACLU & Federal EEOC legal teams across the country are much more effective and more active than the NAACP Legal support.

The NAACP is a civil rights era relic, with a lot of old timers trying to hold on to their positions of importance for as long as they can. They are not interested in actual results... they are interested in grandstanding. Cornel West calls it "strutting like Peacocks".... referring to too many celebrities (folks concerned with self importance) in civil rights and not enough servants for the people.