COLORADO SPRINGS, CO- Someone tried to firebomb the Springs office of the NAACP yesterday. A pipebomb failed to ignite a can of gasoline left leaning behind the building located in Hillside, the city’s traditionally African American community. The FBI claims to be interested in a white male with a beat up pickup truck. Across the state activists are alarmed at the subdued media response and lack of outrage. I’d like to explain why this bomb, a typical racist MO, has yet to resonate here.
Colorado Springs is a cesspool of racism and institutionalized Jim Crow, but as usual the drama is complicated and local minority leaders are hesitant to point the finger. As befits the Springs’ conservative nature, the local NAACP is headed by a card-carrying member of the TEA PARTY! You heard that right! For a decade this NAACP chapter has been estranged from its black community, mostly poor and neither elitist nor libertarian. Dr. James Tucker, publisher of the African American Voice, accuses this NAACP of complacency, malfeasance and worse. He claims they are under investigation so it’s hard to predict whose interests might be served by torching the office.
I’m certainly not suggesting that Colorado Springs bigots are not also too stupid to attack an ineffectual organization, but taking the high road means profiting from no accusation until the facts are in.
Outsiders may want to protest, but locals also don’t want to be mistaken for supporting this chapter, which has actively de-escalated calls for solidarity with Ferguson. Actually the national NAACP too deployed counter-insurgency tactics to calm the Ferguson rebellion.
Whether yesterday’s bombing was authentic or not, we don’t need to get to the bottom of it before repudiating the usual pattern of racist acts of domestic terrorism against colored institutions. Of course we must also protest that the corporate media looks the other way. But let’s not get distracted from figuring out that today’s N.A.A.C.P. has no Association with the Advancement of Colored People unless they’re bourgeois.