Leid Stories – 08.03.15

Powerful Symbols, But Symbolism Isn’t Power

On Aug. 1, in Selma, Ala., the NAACP launched its “America’s Journey for Justice March”—a 40-day, 860-mile trek to the nation’s capital. The civil-rights organization’s president and CEO, Cornell William Brooks, said the march is meant to dramatize America’s persistent, race-based inequities

That same day in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., the National Urban League wrapped up its 2015 conference, themed “Save Our Cities: Education, Jobs & Justice.” President/CEO Marc H. Morial proudly announced the conference’s highlight—five 2016 presidential candidates speaking to the theme.

Leid Stories in a commentary asks why the NAACP and NUL, both in existence for more than 100 years, aren’t taking their own cues about their respective roles in supporting and maintaining the very system they profess to be fighting. A great deal of time, effort, energy, money and hope are invested in powerful symbols, but symbolism isn’t power, Leid Stories says.



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