Bond noted that by having a 36-year-old president and CEO in Benjamin Todd Jealous, the organization was addressing those issues. (Bond mentioned Twitter, twice!) Still, Jealous presides over an aging membership.
One of the more telling moments at the event came when Bond asked all those who were not members of the NAACP to raise their hands. You couldn’t see the stage through the thicket of arms. “It’s a sin and a shame,” lamented Bond, who immediately dispatched his granddaughter to pass out membership forms.
One thing that West, Bond and President Obama agree on is that the NAACP, while it has in the past been in a leader in the fight for civil rights, has to expand its mandate to vocally and explicitly champion the plight of all disenfranchised groups in the age of Obama. Even if those groups are competing economically and politically with black folks.
Nick Charles is a regular contributor to The Root.