The NAACP has determined that its current path is too tame and that the group needs to be far more activist in its resistance to the President.

To that end, it is firing its president and working on a “systemwide refresh,” inspired apparently by the Black Lives Movement.

The New York Times reports:

Mr. Sessions’s order to federal prosecutors to pursue the toughest charges and sentences against drug crime suspects crystallized the decision to press for change at the N.A.A.C.P. The order reversed efforts by the Obama administration to ease penalties for some nonviolent drug offenses and was a 180-degree pivot even for the Republican Party, which had warmed to changes in the criminal justice system.

[Leon W. Russell, the chairman of the board] said he was also worried about Mr. Trump’s executive order to revive the coal industry and nullify President Barack Obama’s work to combat climate change, as well as efforts by Betsy DeVos, the education secretary, to push for more school choice programs while cutting resources from public schools. The president’s budget, to be released next week, is expected to cut hundreds of millions of dollars from school-based mental health programs, advanced coursework and other services, and to plow much of the savings into a $400 million program to fund vouchers for private and religious schools, and to expand public charter schools.

The group is apparently going to move into community organizing, as well.

Mr. Russell said the group planned to train members on how to disseminate information quickly to counter the White House, how to fight legal battles locally and how to move beyond protesting. Local chapters will also be getting more resources from the national organization to help bolster activism in both urban and rural areas.

All of this change in the organization required a shakeup at the top, so the current NAACP president has been “dismissed.”

The NYT continues:

The national board of the N.A.A.C.P. voted Friday to dismiss the organization’s president, Cornell William Brooks, after only three years, pledging a “systemwide refresh” at the nation’s largest and most storied civil rights group in order to confront President Trump more vigorously.

Mr. Brooks, who said in an interview that he was “baffled” and saddened by the decision, will leave the organization at the end of June when his contract expires.

The group feels that it has been “eclipsed” by the Black Lives Matters movement and apparently wants to remake itself in that image.  Brooks, a mere liberal, doesn’t fit the new mold.

The NYT continues:

But the board of the N.A.A.C.P. wants a new face of the organization. Mr. Russell and Mr. Johnson said the group needed to more effectively push back against Mr. Trump’s stances on issues like voting rights laws, public education, environmental policy and the criminal justice system. The group, which has been eclipsed in many ways by the more youthful Black Lives Matter movement and the broader opposition to Mr. Trump, is embarking on a listening tour of cities across the nation to get ideas about how it can remain relevant.

. . . .  [S[ome of those young people say they haven’t seen much of the organization. Johnetta Elzie, 28, an activist who became prominent after protesting in Ferguson, Mo., praised Mr. Brooks for being arrested at Mr. Sessions’s office.

But, she added: “I don’t ever think about them as a resource. I don’t ever look in their direction to see what’s going on. I think that’s a problem because their legacy means we should be looking for them for leadership at all times.”

Writing at NBC News, Russell and Vice-chairman Derrick Johnson describe their view of America in stark detail.

In 2017, a black American still cannot walk down a street, drive a car, play on the playground or enter their own home at night without the fear of being shot, beaten or harassed by their neighbors or their very own police – the individuals ironically pledged to protect him.

Gerrymandering and other voter suppression tactics like ID laws have made it increasingly difficult and in some cases impossible for black Americans and other communities of color to participate in our nation’s democratic elections. Many are so dissuaded by the expectation that their vote may not count — or will count against them and the safety of their community — often elect not to vote at all.

Almost two decades into the turn of the century and yet millions of black children are still taught in segregated and underserved school – and not just in the South. It is New York City that is home to the most segregated school district in the United States. And at the same time, the gap between the college graduation rates for white students and black students is only increasing, putting that American Dream ever farther out of reach.

Faced, they claim, with a new president who “unapologetically sows division, appeals to right-wing extremists and threatens to fundamentally change the direction of our nation – for the worse,” they choose to reorganize.

They continue:

We’re not going to agonize – we’re going to organize.

True to our legacy, the NAACP has never shied away from change – in fact, our mission has been to embrace it. And that is exactly what we will do again now, in three main actions.

These three actions consist of finding new leadership, assessing their “infrastructure and operations,” and engaging the American people.  Well, some of the American people, anyway.

On this latter point they appear to referring to the anti-Trump “resistance” and Black Lives Matters.

. . . .  We know that our branches are what make our organization unique – they are carrying out local work with national importance – and we want to ensure that every single one of them has the platform that they need in order to keep fighting for the rights of black Americans to live free from harm and oppression.

. . . .  In the coming months, our leadership will embark on a listening tour, for the first time in our history. It is clear that Americans of all genders and ages, from all of the corners of all 50 states, have been aching to be understood, to be seen – and now, they are demanding to be heard. We want to meet those demands, and in doing so, ensure that we are harnessing the energy and voice of our grassroots membership as we pursue transformational change.

With Black Lives Matters as their model, what can go wrong?

[Featured Image: Twitter]