NAACP 100th Anniversary: Exploiting Color Instead of Erasing It

A brief opening from my piece at the web site for U.S. News & World Report:

George Orwell famously wrote “who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.” As the NAACP celebrates its 100th anniversary, its leaders present a past that squares with its present positions on racial preferences, welfare, and a public school monopoly that traps poor children in failed schools.

But that is not the NAACP’s past. The historic achievements of the NAACP—all but forgotten by most Americans—derived from a passionate dedication to colorblindness and individual freedom. From its founding in 1909 until the 1960s, the NAACP fought for a “colorblind Constitution.” Since then, it has become just another interest group pleading for favors. This flip-flop would make splendid material for an Orwellian novel: preference is equality, some “more equal” than others.

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Jonathan Bean is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute, Professor of History at Southern Illinois University, and editor of the Independent book, Race & Liberty in America: The Essential Reader.
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