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NAACP: Is That All You’ve Got?

The NAACP “buries the N word.” Now what? To Mr. Julian Bond and all the others who supported this “festivity” I ask – Is this all you got? Millions of African Americans dying of AIDS, and you choose to do this? The state of Black America’s educational system is in shambles (arguably worse than when your organization started) and this is all you got? The African American family lay broken on the yoke of miseducation, and on the N word is where you wage war?Where were you when Geto Boys dropped “City Under Siege”? Where were you when Ice Cube dropped “Wicked”? Where were you when Terminator X was “Buck Whylin'” or Paris tried to “Break the Grip of Shame”? KRS-ONE called for “Human Education Against Lies” and all of the old school Civil Rights leaders hardly lifted a finger. Now you have the gall to host a funeral of the N word?I want to be clear that I do not defend the use of the N word. It absolutely embodies everything that the Black man, woman and children of America are not. I believe we have tricked ourselves into believing we were “empowered” by using it with one another. I understand that language is powerful. I know that words can scar the soul. Nevertheless, your fight, your call, cannot be this trivial- can it?I believe that the NAACP, and most of the old school Civil Rights leaders have shirked their duty to the youth. I believe that many of you are rightfully exhausted. It is hard trying to teach Black people to love themselves for their own sake. It is not easy teaching a Black man that there is no true power in being a pimp or a dope dealer. It is a hard job to ask the Black woman to persevere for another generation while the men try to wake up – but this is what must be done. The true funeral that day was your own.  The N word funeral really marked the death of your relevance in today’s Black America. Half the kids I speak to do not even know you exist. They have no knowledge of your glorious victories of the past, nor do they know where you have been the last 25 years. God willing, you might wake up from your absence and your lost way with communities. Maybe then, you can help the children you neglected to engage and have chosen to chastise daily. Young people who love Hip-Hop certainly need you. Clearly most have chosen to go on with or without your guidance. Adisa Banjoko is cofounder of the Hip-Hop Chess Federation.

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