Friday, October 29, 2004


Today's news includes a story that the NAACP is in trouble with the IRS. Did its accountants file the wrong forms? Forget to enclose a check? Debit when they should have credited?

None of the above.

No, Julian Bond had the temerity to criticize the Bush Administration in a speech at its July convention. Now, the NAACP is being audited to determine whether it should keep its 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status.

To qualify for such status, an organization must not take sides in political campaigns. Bond condemned the policies of the Bush Administration and noted that Bush would not address the NAACP, while candidate John F. Kerry (who is running against Bush, and is from a different political party... you may have heard) would.

I guess the question is this: If an organization's very reason for existing is challenged by one candidate and not the other, is it supposed to sit silently by?

More to the point, is this a cynical attempt by the Bush Administration to remind its white southern supporters which side of the issues it sits on? As ill-prepared as Bush is to govern, it would be a very clever thing to attack the NAACP on an issue having nothing to do with its real disagreements with African-Americans. And Karl Rove and Karen Hughes are certainly master political operatives.

If groups like the NAACP can't choose sides politically, it's probably reasonable that they don't receive tax-exempt status. You'll notice the Christian Coalition is smart enough to not be tax-exempt. But choosing to challenge the NAACP during this election season smacks of the White House Plumbers more than anything I've heard recently in the Dumbya Era. Heck, even Nixon would have been smart enough (I think) to have waited until after the election to put the screws to the uppity NAACP.

Tuesday frightens me.

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