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"America has two great dominant strands of political thought - conservatism, which, at its very best, draws lines that should not be crossed; and progressivism, which, at its very best, breaks down barriers that should never have been erected." -- Bill Clinton, Dedication of the Clinton Presidential Library, November 2004

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Friday, December 03, 2004


Bill Cosby should lead the NAACP

posted by Doverspa at Friday, December 03, 2004 permalink View blog reactions
*Thank you to Aziz for inviting me to post this on Dean Nation, I am a regular contributor and editor at*

NAACP President Mfume stepped down as leader this week. His 9 years were mostly an organizational success bringing the group out of bankruptcy and regaining national notoreity. However, the infamously bad relations between the NAACP and President Bush led to the President skipping offers to speak with the most well-known civil rights group in the country. The Chairman of the Board Julian Bond's anti-Bush tirade led to an ongoing IRS investigation about the organizations apolitical status.

Mfume may be pondering a run for Senate in Maryland if Senator Sarbanes steps down in 2006, but more immediately the NAACP needs a new leader. Names are flying, but one keeps creeping up as an acceptable choice across the spectrum... Bill Cosby.

Mr. Cosby vaulted back into the media with a controversial speech at the NAACP's commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Brown vs. The Board of Eduation of Topeka, KS. His characterizations offended some people, but the underlying message of personal responsibility, family values, and prioritizing education eliciting knowing nodes from white and black communities. Since that speech, he has taken to a national "tough-love" tour promoting his ideas. He isn't sitting down anytime soon.

So naturally, his name is floating around as a possible successor to Mr. Mfume. Some conservatives have mentioned Colin Powell. But I think the best choice for the NAACP would be to go with Mr. Cosby. He is a known and active Democrat which is the right choice to make when your organization is purporting to represent all black Americans who are overwhelmingly Democrats. However, he is no shrill. He is respected on all sides of the aisle and I bet the President would gladly accept an invitation to speak with Mr. Cosby at the NAACP (although Mr. Bond will still be around it seems).

Mr. Cosby could use his celebrity status to reclaim some of the original stature for the NAACP. Furthermore, he could balance the fight against lingering racism and the new fight for fixing black communities from the ground up. By addressing both the external forces that harbor racist sentiments and the internal problems that lead to crime, poverty, and fatherless children, Mr. Cosby could steer the NAACP onto a still liberal course that is acceptable to a wider array of people. That would be good for Mr. Cosby, great for the NAACP, and absolutely wonderful for areas like my African-American neighborhood. Choose wisely, NAACP, you have a great opportunity in front of you.
(Cross posted at



Most people in the United States agree that Civil Rights was a Good Thing. That being said, the modern Civil Rights establishment has become identified with the political far Left, and has shifted from a focus on individual liberty to group political power.

Bill Cosby is no libertarian and nominalist when it comes to group rights, he is a self-identified black American and an iconic symbol for American race relations. But, he brings the focus back to individual attainment, because passing laws and mandating an end to discrimination will not alleviate the plight of millions of *individuals* who are not much effected by elite-biased focuses on university affirmative action or getting more blacks in Hollywood.

And I doubt he'll be running for political office in the future, so he won't have to pad his creds.



I think that Bill Cosby would be a good choice to be the head of the NAACP. He is just the kind of person that we need in there. He would be talking to African Americans (and all Americans) about personal responsibility. For example, he would talk to African Americans about the fact that they should not be having babies before they finish college, get a well paying, stabile job,and get married(or at least be in a stabile,long term, serious relationship). He would teach people to help themselves some.

But, he would also be like Kwame Mfume, Jesse Jackson, and Al Sharpton also, by making sure that there are oportunities for blacks, women, and other minorities (college and jobs). He would also be very compassionate for those who need a hand up (welfare for anyone who needs it).


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Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.