Man, I don’t know about you but I am all Christmas’d out. I don’t think I can handle another Christmas season for at least a year. I am still getting back into the swing of things and coasting on the good vibes and joyful outlook of the holidays. Until today that is.

The NAACP Image Awards were announced today and my initial reaction was: please tell me why I should care? Why is this a news story? Is anyone in America interested in anything African-Americans say or do or need that does not include entertainment or athletics (which is actually a form of entertainment in my opinion)?

Furthermore, I am sorry. But it looks like a whole lot of time, attention and dollars went into creating this flashy website for the NAACP Image Awards. Don’t get me wrong…it is very slick. Dazzling, fast-paced and professional.

Would it be at all possible to put a fraction of those resources into protesting the Iraq war or into Katrina relief or into racial profiling, climate change, education, jobs and healthcare? Would it be possible for the NAACP to put its moral weight and star connections strongly behind any of those issues facing ordinary African-Americans — and Americans in general everyday. Maybe that’s a crazy question. But just maybe it’s a question the NAACP’s 500,000 members need to start asking.

I will be watching the awards show on March 2 to see if any of these current issues are represented or if the theme is all about the accomplishments of the past. For if the NAACP can turn away from the victims of Katrina in their time of need — at the moment this post was written, not one word on the NAACP’s home page mentions Hurricane Katrina) — then whom and what do they now truly stand for.

I’ll tell you whom. The growing black middle and upper classes. From Variety:

Gordon’s biz background also jibes with the org’s evolving struggle for equality, which is no longer just about civil rights: One of his key goals as org president will be to gain more traction for minority-owned businesses in the corporate world, he explains.

“The focus is civil rights. That is what we have done and will continue to do,” Gordon says. “But there will be more of a focus than there has been previously on economic rights and economic justice. That allows advancement in other aspects of civil rights.”

And as far as Gordon is concerned, there’s no business like show business. “We want to make sure we’re in the middle of the entertainment action,” he says.

Issues around racism, minority portrayals and hiring in Hollywood exist, no doubt. Let’s read between the lines here though. Listen up black people — the NAACP wants to help you make more money. As one of the 2/3rds of black people in America today making money, making more money sounds great to me.

Yet, there are serious issues facing our nation. It’s time for the NAACP and their peer organizations to show that they are serious about representing the concerns of their members in addressing those issues.

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