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Civil Rights Groups

In present-day America, an overwhelming majority of organizations professing a commitment to the defense of civil rights maintain that the United States is a nation irredeemably infected with racism -- a place where discrimination and oppression remain the order of the day, and where little if any progress has been made toward improving the social and economic condition of blacks and other nonwhite minorities.

Emblematic of this mindset is that of America’s oldest (founded in 1909) and largest (500,000 members) civil-rights group, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), whose mission is “to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination.”

During the Jim Crow era of segregation, the NAACP helped lead numerous crusades aimed at achieving racial justice for black Americans. The organization's officers and rank-and-file members alike courageously took many public stands that exposed them to both ridicule and peril. During the World War II era, membership in the group increased tenfold. In 1954, after years of fighting segregation in public schools, the NAACP won the landmark Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court case. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the organization played a prominent role in the massive wave of civil-rights demonstrations that finally brought segregation to an end throughout the United States.

During the same period, however, the NAACP increasingly became an organ of the far left. Today the NAACP blames "institutional" white racism for virtually every problem African Americans face. The remedies it proposes for fixing those problems invariably call for greater government intervention and more taxpayer-funded social-welfare programs, rather than calls for black self-help. Consequently, the organization supports racial preferences rather than equal rights in the realms of employment and education. Indeed it began moving in that direction in the early 1960s, just a few years after having advocated color-blind justice in the Brown case.

The NAACP in recent decades has forged alliances with some of the most radical elements in the black community, as exemplified by the "sacred covenants" the group made in the 1990s with the Congressional Black Caucus and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. Also in the Nineties, then-NAACP executive director Benjamin Chavis recruited into his  organization such prominent black militants as Al Sharpton, Maulana Karenga, Angela Davis, Calvin Butts, and Cornel West. In a similar spirit in 2002, then-NAACP president Kweisi Mfume led a delegation to Communist Cuba, where embraced Fidel Castro, lauded the dictator's political achievements, and urged that the U.S. normalize its trade relations with Havana.

Another leading civil-rights organization today is the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which seeks to "promote a positive image of Islam and Muslims in America," aims to protect Muslims from hate crimes and discrimination, and is described by its director of communications, Ibrahim Hooper, as being "similar to a Muslim NAACP." There is a degree of accuracy to Hooper's claim, in light of the fact that much as the NAACP views America as a racist nation, CAIR laments the allegedly ubiquitous "Islamophobia" of the American people.

Notwithstanding the lofty values and goals CAIR professes to embrace, the organization has had numerous, well-documented ties to Islamic terrorism and extremism. A number of its leading officials have been convicted of such transgressions as funding and promoting the genocidal agendas of Hamas and Hezbollah; taking money from the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, a pseudo-charity that was later shut down by the U.S. government because of its ties to Hamas; conspiring in an Islamic Group plot to blow up numerous New York City monuments; illegally shipping merchandise to designated state sponsors of terrorism; and training with an al Qaeda-allied terrorist group in Kashmir.

In the summer of 2007, it was learned that CAIR's parent organization, the Islamic Association for Palestine, had been named in a May 1991 Muslim Brotherhood memorandum as one of the Brotherhood's likeminded "organizations of our friends" who shared the common goal of conducting "a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within."

Also prominent among modern-day civil-rights groups is the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the largest Hispanic advocacy organization in the United States. NCLR works “to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans,” who are, in its estimation, an oppressed minority that suffers greatly from injustice and discrimination in American society. Toward that end, NCLR favors amnesty for Hispanic illegals already residing in the U.S., and open borders henceforth -- on the theory that any restriction on the free movement of immigrants constitutes a violation of their civil rights, and that any reduction in government assistance to illegal border-crossers represents “a disgrace to American values.”

In addition, NCLR supports access to driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants; opposes the REAL ID Act, which requires that all driver’s license and photo ID applicants be able to verify that they are legal residents of the United States; opposes measures that would empower state and local police to enforce federal immigration laws; lobbies for racial and ethnic preferences (affirmative action) and set-asides in hiring, promotions, and college admissions; and supports voting rights for illegal aliens.

These are just a few of the major civil-rights groups profiled in this section of Discover The Networks.

The RESOURCES column on the right side of this page contains a link to the section where profiles of civil rights groups can be found. It also contains a link to a section featuring resources that explore, in depth, various issues related to civil rights.

Group Profiles

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* For recommended books on this topic, click here.

                                SEE ALSO

* Civil Rights 

* Civil Rights Advocates


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