Op-Ed: Happy Birthday to NAACP

Happy Birthday to the NAACP.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was born 111 years ago this month on February 12, 1909. its stated mission was: “To promote equality of rights and to eradicate caste or race prejudice among the citizens of the United States. To advance the best interests of colored citizens; to secure for their impartial suffrage and to increase their opportunities for securing justice in the Courts, education for their children, employment according to their ability and complete equality before the law.”

While today known largely as African-Americans, there have been other names that were used to describe this group down through the years. Some of the names are Colored, Negros, Afro-Americans and Black, just to name a few.

The term “Colored” reflects the then used name of today’s African-American people. Today’s NAACP is headquartered in Baltimore Maryland and reports a nationwide membership of 500,000; its Chairman is Leon W. Russell and its President and Chief Executive Officer is Derrick Johnson. And, its main organ is its 64 Member Board of Directors who report a budget of $25 million dollars. Its website is NAACP | Home.

NAACP’s stated 21st-century mission is to ensure educational, social and economic benefits for African-Americans and to eliminate discrimination. These are nearly the same issues in every state in the United States. In some states, the NAACP has been successful at improving the lives of African-Americans. Yet in other states, there remains much work to be done. Indeed in New York City, there are many issues that the NAACP needs to addressed.

One issue the NAACP must place on the agenda locally is the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA). Built in the 1930’s by then-Mayor Fiorella H. La Guardia, who stated: “There shall forever be public housing for successive generations of poor people”. NYCHA originally was built to be a city within a City.

NYCHA at one time had their own parks, gardens, parking lots, employees, community centers and indeed at one time NYCHA even had its own 2,700 officer NYCHA police department.

In recent years, NYCHA properties have become eye candy for real estate developers who have been seen walking through NYCHA environs with shopping lists in hand and salivating at the possibilities. The overall weight of NYCHA properties is waffling under the weight of huge repair bills. Disinvestment in NYCHA occurred under the watch of a Democratic Mayor de Blasio, Democratic Governor Cuomo and Democratic President Obama and today all the blame gets lobbed on Republican President Trump.

Democratic Mayor de Blasio has concocted a devious plot to hand over a whopping 62,000 NYCHA apartments to private developers by summer 2020. Mayor de Blasio asserts publicly that NYCHA has no money for the repairs the federal courts have ordered be made–thus the selling scheme.

There are over 650,000 human beings residing in NYCHA and it is mindboggling that the sell NYCHA scam is gaining traction. Predictably hundreds of thousands of poor mostly black and brown folks are in dire jeopardy of mass evictions by private developers if this sell NYCHA scam goes through. NAACP must act immediately to stop this sell NYCHA plot which is nothing but a modern-day Negro removal scheme.

Yes, NAACP it’s your birthday. Best wishes to you as you enter your twelfth decade. Bear in mind there is much work to be done.

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