Black people are a special interest group

At least Maine Gov. LePage said as much.

While attending a meeting for business leaders in Sanford, Governor Paul LePage spoke out about why he would not attend Martin Luther King ceremonies on the upcoming holiday.

LePage has declined invitations from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The organization has already expressed its displeasure with the governor’s plans to not attend the events.

“They are a special interest. End of story…and I’m not going to be held hostage by special interests.

He also points out that he has an adopted black son, so I don’t think anyone is about to accuse LePage of being racist. But if he’s right that the NAACP is a special interest group, then doesn’t his logic dictate that EVERY INSTITUTION OF GOVERNMENT is just special interest? Ya know. For whites.

LePage really doesn’t get it. I mean, he gets his core constituency, but he doesn’t get why he needs to attend this Martin Luther King Jr. day ceremony. This isn’t about special interest. It’s about honoring a man who fought dearly for civil rights – not special rights, but fucking civil rights – so that we might remind ourselves of our very (proclaimed) values.

Update: From other articles I’ve been reading, it seems one of the big sticking points for people is that LePage said the NAACP can “kiss my butt”. Who cares? I’m glad he’s using direct and overt language. The real issue is that he is dismissing an equality group as being merely “special interest”.

11 Responses

  1. …then doesn’t his logic dictate that EVERY INSTITUTION OF GOVERNMENT is just special interest?

    I don’t see how that follows, but that is OK.

    But by his logic, every veterans organization is a special interest and should be avoided. So is every PTA, etc.

  2. If LePage is saying the NAACP is a special interest because it has a large focus on a particular group, then I would imagine by his standards we would have to say every institution of government is just a special interest. But for whites.

  3. I don’t care if he goes or not. I’d rather he spend his day doing something constructive, as opposed to giving a speech and driving an hour up and an hour back from either Bangor or Portland.

    The NAACP spends a lot of time whining over nothing these days while real problems go unnoticed. Too much time spent trying to ensure things look equal and not enough time spent trying to actually make them so.

  4. I just re-read this and I would avoid the following phrase in future Michael.

    “but fucking civil rights”

    I chuckled. :)

  5. I care Nate! I think it is “constructive” for a Governor to give recognition to a man who sacraficed his own life in defense of the civic life of others.

    Race relations are” nothing” important? Even in the whitest state in the union, it matters how we treat one another in our diverse society. We have too many tragedies telling us other wise.

    “Too much time wasted on something to ensure things look equal”??? Right! And what is the governor doing to to actually make things equal?

    A message has once more been spread to the rest of our nation by this tea bagger loud mouthed plain spoken former manager of a store that sells distressed merchandise, that he prides himself in spreading his own brand of political distress and divisiveness.

    I think my prophecy has come true. During the inauguration LePage has his own secret Prayer:

    “Lord, you have made me a manger of a store selling distressed merchandise at distressed prices, by economically distressed employees. Now let me perform this service for a whole state, IWe ask that in your name….Amen”.

  6. Let me give you a good example of what the NAACP gets up to these days, that’s not to say they don’t do a lot of good as well.

    Its one thing to do things to remove racism from our society, its another to invent it.

    The NAACP advocates a lot of traditionally left wing positions too. There’s nothing wrong with that, but they don’t speak for all black people. They have become an extremely political organization, i would argue one that puts politics ahead of their states mission.

    40 years ago they might not have been deserving of the, these days, demeaning term special interest group. Today I think they are. They still accomplish a lot of good, but that’s not the point.

    Bob mentioned veterans groups (and pretty much everything else as was noted) would fall under LePages apparent definition of ‘special interest groups’. I think some of them certainly are. The DAV, disabled american veterans, has one goal and they accomplish it very well. They are effectively apolitical, and so while obviously they have a ‘special interest’ they don’t really fit the definition as we typically hear it used.

    That’s just one example. You could contrast the NAACP with an organization like NACME, same ideas much different execution.

    I know you all hate LePage but that’s the brakes. I’m glad Michael seems to have given him a pretty fair hearing on this.

  7. I too am having some trouble figuring out what you mean by every governmental institution being ‘for whites’.

    On sort of the same note I’ve always thought the government shouldn’t even inquire about race on forms and such. What difference should that make?

  8. Has anyone here every, at any point in their lives, talked to a black person? I get the feeling the original poster and commentors have not, as they don’t seem to understand that the NAACP has a pretty mixed reputation today.

    If it’s an insult to not attend a MLKjr day event put on by the NAACP, is it also unpatriotic to refuse a July 4th event put on by the MinuteMen who patrol the Mexican border?

  9. Michael, I don’t know anything about the other commenter, This commenter has spent a career working for and with Black people…not in Maine, but in another state. I beleive I am uniquely qualified to speak about race relations.

    I wouldn’t attend a minuteman celebration of the 4th. just as I wouldn’t atteed a mass celebrating evacuation day in South Boston….not the proper forum.

  10. I’m black, work in politics and am well acquainted with the NAACP. I’m sorry to be so blunt, but they don’t do much for black people anymore. I mean those annual “state of the black union” summits? Jokes! It is an organization marred by the same problems of money, ego-tripping senior level leaders, bureaucracy, etc that any other large bloated national organization faces. For an organization with such a large budget and revenues it doesn’t seem to do much for my community these days. And while I can’t speak to what MLK would think about them in their current form, I can’t imagine he’d be terribly impressed. So I really don’t think that the NAACP as it stands today is doing all it can do for Black Americans…therefore any special ceremony they hold on MLK day seems a bit superficial and hollow. Its nice and expected, sure. But that’s about it. Many white liberals these days think these kind of events are important to most, if not all, black people. But they aren’t. They’re mostly catered to whites to assuage their guilt and to give them a chance to partake in “celebrating how far we’ve come. “

  11. Can I get an amen?

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