The NAACP.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored Persons.

Periodically over they years, I’ve wondered why we need organizations like this. Not so much because I think racism is dead (I know its not, and I deal with it every single day from people you may not suspect), but because it seems there isn’t a ton of need for them in this day and age. Sometimes I see why we need them, and I think to myself, “You know, for every time it seems they go after something stupid or dumb, they tend to get it right as well.”

For the past few months, if not years, South Philadelphia High School has had a serious problem where Asian-American students have been getting bullied by black students simply because they’re Asian. It’s horrible, its disgusting, and the very fact that this level of racism still exists disgusts me! Hurting someone over the color of their skin? Where they come from? Who they are?! I’m simply appalled!

The problem has gotten so large, so intense, a group of Asian-American students marched to School District headquarters demanding action. Sadly, it still goes on to this day.

So when I heard the NAACP was going to take action, I was a little excited, and reminded why these organizations need to exist. The fact that one group of people was oppressing another, the fact that racism was an issue and that there was a serious problem that needed to be taken care of… I was proud.

And then I found out why. They were offended by this cartoon:

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At first, I agreed with them. “Oh, they must be mad because the principal has been virtually asleep at the wheel about what’s going on at her school. OK, that make sense. I mean, she’s most likely is doing her best, but things have been pretty bad there for a while.”

Not even close.

Mondesire, head of the city’s NAACP, denounced the cartoon, called it disgusting and called on the School Reform Commission to condemn it.
“It is a lie. It is offensive. The Inquirer should be ashamed of what it did to Mrs. Brown,” Mondesire said.

Which is really, really sad. Here they have a chance to advance colored people in Philadelphia, to come to the aid of people in need who are be discriminated against and having a tough time because of their skin color. Instead, they spend their time and effort saying that the cartoon is offensive and disgusting. This, from the same organization that wanted to have a pro-Michael Vick rally.

Is this why we have an NAACP in Philadelphia? To attack people who make valid points and arguments, and use satire to bring them to light? To defend ineffective people? To claim racism or take offense to things when you don’t always agree with them?

To the Principal of South Philadelphia High School, I simply say this: If you find this cartoon so offensive, if you’re so upset over it, prove him wrong. Show him, show us, but most importantly, show your STUDENTS wrong. Show them that you are doing something about this. Show them that you do care. Show them that hatred and racism in your school with NOT be tolerated! Expel students committing hate crimes, report them to the police… do something to show you care.

Otherwise, madam, you are asleep at your desk, even if not literally.

Larry West
Larry West - Larry West is a Philadelphia Artist who specializes in classic pen and ink drawings, digital designing, photography, and more. His inspirations comes from exploring the occult, the macabre, and examining the taboos in contemporary society by portraying them in a different light. Larry’s credits include illustrations for the band Wednesday 13, Mikimoto jewelry, and the Admiral Theatre. His photography was published in Rolling Stone Magazine and Philadelphia Weekly.
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