niagara movement reconsidered: open letter #2
dear julian bond, bruce s. gordon, and (esteemed) leaders of the naacp:
let me begin by saying that i am not a member of your organization. never have been, probably never will be. now a generation ago, this might have been a mark of shame. but currently, i sort of wear this truth as a badge of honor--sort of like the literature i've never read though i claim to be a ph.d. student in english, but that's another story.
perhaps you are alarmed by such news. i mean, on one hand, i am your ideal member: i'm black, i have a couple post-secondary degrees under my belt, i'm in a ph.d. program. hell, one slip up and i am on my way to the black middle class. it's a slippery slope i tell you. yet despite my credentials, i have yet to fork over a dime to join your organization. granted, i abhor (the idea of) organizations, and i am also a young person, a member of the hip hop generation if you will. so on one hand, this isn't surprising. yet on the other, i'm a shit-talking marginalized subject getting screwed by da man each and every day. so it would make some sort of sense that i'd be attracted to an organization with your legendary track record.
but as i recalled that your annual convention was being held this week not too far from me, i started thinking to me my hot self (myself be so hot), "remind me, summer m,"--that's what i call myself when i'm thinking to myself, summer m.-- "why do you loathe this group again?" granted, i could have told myself that i am not a member because you say the same shit every year. (how many times can you rip dubya a new one with the same speech, mr. bond? he still ain't coming to speak to you. and neither is vicente fox for that matter. shit, i'm not coming to speak to you and i love to procrastinate.) but i didn't. i problematized myself right there in my car, and i came to the realization: the reason why folks like dubya, fox, me, etc. no longer give the naacp the time of day is because you've lost a bit of your pull, your clout so to speak.
consequently, i decided not to simply point out the problem, but to offer you all some really concrete and tangible suggestions. you all--the naacp, that is-- have an image problem. everyone has to switch up their image every now and then to stay (so) fresh (and so clean, clean!). (remember when aunt jemima got a perm?) you haven't evolved with the times. and so i, summer m., self-appointed (un)official voice of 'the race,' have compiled some suggestions to help you mount a comeback bigger than the tragic moolatte of the moment, mariah carey.
might i suggest:
1. switch up your letters: let's be real, here. naacp is sooooo 1909. there are, like 22 other letters in the alphabet you've yet to use. besides, if you're going to have an acronym of that length, one should really be able to pronounce it like a legitimate word. i think these letters are totally expendable. i mean, if you asked a person what naacp stood for, would they know? exactly. just off the cuff, n.i.g.g.a., j.i.g.a.b.o.o., or c.o.t.t.o.n are some acronyms you might try on for size.
2. get a motto: what's an organization without a motto? exactly. a wack one. i think a brainstorming session with some of your young, creative minds might be just the trick to come up with a new slogan. you all really need to be edgier. get raw. come up with a tagline that shows you're not the middle class bitches (maybe our friend 50 cent would call you wankstas...so seductive!) everyone says you are. here's a few to get you all started (i'll use your current acronym until you come up with another one):
--naacp: strictly for my niggas
--naacp: too sexy to be lynched
--naacp: yo' mama!
--naacp: step 'n' fetch this!
--naacp: big black africa coming back for that white ass!
--naacp: se habla espanol
--naacp: slavery chains were the first bling
3. get a new theme song: let's be honest here, nobody knows all three verses to the black national anthem, 'lift every voice and sing' (there are three, right?). in fact, how many people know there's a black national anthem? i say you get all the hot black stars out now, and get the neptunes and kanye west to produce the track. sure, some rappers might end up shooting each other, but i guarantee bongos, a sped up sample, and the nigga pharrell on falsetto (see these ice creams?).
4. go the television route: what gives you more exposure than a television show? that's right. nothing. since you all are busy in milwaukee, wi with the convention and all, i've come up with a few suggestions you might pitch to television execs when things slow down. you kill two birds with one stone with this one. 1) you get more black people on tv. 2) your organization gets more exposure. what about:
--extreme makeover: voter registration booth
--fabulous life of: black democrats
--name that racist! (a game show, of course)
--pimp my freedom ride
--black america's next top leader (reality tv, fa'sho; i'm positive barack obama, russell simmons, jesse jackson, the rev. al, and jay-z are great candidates)
5. other suggestions: here are some other things that have been successful for people as of late:
--an energy drink. nelly has pimp juice, lil jon has crunk, why can't kool-aid become the official drink of the naacp?
--a new mascot. a slave rocking a bullet proof vest and some iced out chains, perhaps?
--get sexy in crisis magazine. from the jet beauty of the week to xxl's eye candy, everybody has a scantily clad black female centerfold nowadays. you can even make sure they're actual members, too. the act-so awards might be a great place to start looking for possible 'models.'
--sell to viacom.
--date katie holmes.
anyway, i hope this helps. if you use any of these ideas and credit me, i'll become a lifetime member. promise.
summer m., self-appointed (un)official voice of 'the race'
language alone protects us from the scariness of things with no names. language alone is meditation. ~toni morrison