The Further Cooption of Garveyism
By now, those who keep abreast of the goings on in Black America knows that the CEO-elect of the NAACP, Bruce Gordon, has a rather un-unique vision for the NAACP. In an interview with the NY Times he states:
I think we have to define civil rights more broadly. When I say civil rights, I am talking about economic rights. I think I have the ability to meet with corporate C.E.O.'s and help them to think through the bottom-line benefits of diversity.
Now why do I say this is a co-option of Garveyism? Well if we recall, the UNIA was founded at the outset to address the problems of "Negroes" by means of Nationalism and a focus on self reliance. Part and parcel of this self-reliance was the stressing of development of black owned business and the importance of international commerce. The consistent critique that Garvey laid at the NAACP was that is was focused on political and social equality without the means to protect such equality. Famously Garvey stated (Paraphrased):
You cannot expect the white man to give you jobs if his own needs them.
Students of history know that the NAACP, under the leadership of WEB Dubois took every opportunity afforded to them to defame the UNIA and the Black Star Line as well as cooperating with the US government to flame "Garvey must go" sentiment among black and white people. It was only after the deportation and demise of the UNIA that WEB Dubois started to back track and take up some of the ideas of the UNIA. With that in mind we see that for the NAACP leadership to position the issue of economics as a front burner issue, is clearly an admittance that Garvey was right. HOwever, true to it's nature the new NAACP leadership is not concerned with black independent economics, but how corporations can take advantage of "diversity."
Now lets be clear here; such a comment as:
and help them to think through the bottom-line benefits of diversity. it means:
a) How can we sell more product/services to "underserved minorities."
b) How can we capitalise on the cultures and tastes of "underserved minorities."
c) Where can I find black /hispanic/asian persons to aide me in the above.
d) How can a I make sure I have enough of the above to avoid running afoul of federal mandates?
So, true to form the NAACP will be finding more plantations for middle class black folks to get on and they will be happier for it. So yes, Garveyism is being co-opted, by both the left and the right and they are twisting it all the way. Ain't America Great?