BY STACY SWIMP
Legislative report cards that favors some politicians over others are nothing new, but the NAACP’s newest one throws the group’s nonpartisan mandate into question. Every single Republican in the 112th Congress received a failing grade from the NAACP!
Of Democrats and the independents who caucus with them, the House score from the NAACP was much friendlier — over 95 percent As and Bs, and over 98 percent As and Bs for senators.
Not only does the NAACP’s report card seem like an outright admission of the group’s partisan bias, the way it found its grades exposes the NAACP’s support of failing policies. They are an affront to black America.
The NAACP enjoys non-profit status, and is thus bound by tax law to remain nonpartisan. That means it cannot have a party affiliation, bias or designation. However, the NAACP’s new legislative report card indicates a decidedly pro-Democrat and anti-Republican bent.
What bills best represented the NAACP? Among the selected votes were opposition to ending taxpayer funding of the abortion provider Planned Parenthood, opposing a balanced budget amendment, protecting discriminatory Davis-Bacon Act union preferences and supporting EPA rules that will raise energy prices. This is a civil rights agenda? What happened to the NAACP of yesteryear?
Inalienable rights are those God gave to man. This fundamental truth is laid out in the Declaration of Independence, and is protected by the Constitution. Government is solely designed to uphold those rights.
While the NAACP’s report card essentially skewers Republicans for opposing what they deem to be civil rights, closer examination of their legislative preferences reveals that the NAACP’s agenda is the one working against freedom and liberty.
In Brown v. Board of Education, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the segregationist separate-but-equal doctrine practiced in schools was unconstitutional. In 1954, the Court cited the psychological, sociological and academic consequences of segregation based on ethnicity — deciding that black Americans have a right to place their children schools of their choice. It was the NAACP that argued this case. Times have changed.
In 2011, the NAACP essentially went against the spirit of Brown by joining with teachers’ unions in a lawsuit to stop the opening or expansion of privately-run charter schools in the same buildings that house government-run schools. In many ways, limiting such school choice options segregates children all over again — usually by class. This disproportionately impacts black children.
In their report card, by the way, members of the House of Representatives lost points for supporting school vouchers in Washington, D.C.
To the chagrin of the NAACP, Republican lawmakers also oppose Obamacare. A major reason they do so is because of Obamacare-related mandates on insurers to enroll more people and offer more services that will increase demand and lower the supply of medical resources. This will drive up costs — disproportionately hurting economically marginalized blacks.
The black unemployment rate was reported to be 13.6 percent in January 2012. It is far higher than the rate for other ethnic groups, as well as the nation as a whole. Yet job-killing environmental regulations and union preferences that raise labor costs and hurt unskilled black workers are favored by the NAACP over free-market alternatives.
Whether it’s ending union preferences, reforming onerous regulation or repealing mandates such as minimum-wage laws — the free market is going to help black America climb the economic ladder so much better than the socialism of the left. Yet the NAACP seems to have linked themselves to the Democrat Party to a degree that it challenges the nonpartisan credibility that they must maintain by law.
In the final analysis, the NAACP’s 112th Congress report card fails to demonstrate a true nonpartisan evaluation of public policies. Rather, it confirms what many of many have suspected for some time: the NAACP is now inextricably linked to the Democrat Party.
Stacy Swimp is a spokesman for the Project 21 black leadership network, president of the Frederick Douglass Society and talk radio host. Comments may be sent to [email protected]