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NAACP grades Congress

By Krissah Thompson
Despite being at the center of a racial firestorm in January, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid scored an A on the latest report card from the NAACP.

The Nevada Democrat may have raised hackles with his pre-election comments describing President Obama as "light-skinned" with no "Negro accent," but his voting record was something the 100-year-old civil rights group cheered in a new report card out later today.

The association ranked each member of Congress on support of NAACP's policy positions, based on 21 key votes cast last year in the Senate and 25 votes in the House. Fifty-nine percent of senators and 47 percent of House members received an A, and 29 percent of senators and 34 percent of House members received an F.

On the whole, Democrats were far more likely to get high marks than Republicans. The exception was Blue Dog Democrats, who mainly received Cs, Ds and Fs.

Issues included everything from a vote for increased funding for after-school programs to one on in investigating and prosecuting hate crimes to how members voted on bills that would overhaul the health-care system.

The NAACP has been scoring Congress since 1914 on its civil rights agenda, making its report card -- a favorite accountability tool among Washington groups -- one of the oldest in the country.

"It doesn't matter what party you are, if you vote with us you're our friend," said Hilary Shelton, director to the NAACP's Washington Bureau. "If you don't, you're not."

By that measure, Reid was a friend. He voted with the NAACP last year on every issue except a bill that banned the D.C. government from prohibiting an individual from possessing firearms. The NAACP opposed the bill. Reid voted for it. The bill passed.

The juxtaposition of Reid's high marks and the backlash caused by his controversial comments are one example of the complexity of race that report cards can't measure, said NAACP President Benjamin Jealous.

"At the end of the day, our experience with racism teaches us many things. It teaches all of us that you ultimately judge people by the walk they walk, by what they do not what they say," he said. "There's a big difference between giving an inartful reason for why an African American should break a glass ceiling and giving an inartful reason why he shouldn't."

By Web Politics Editor  |  February 4, 2010; 10:48 AM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency , Culture Wars  
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The funny thing is, the NAACP is a special-interest group that cloaks itself in holier-than-thou posturings, but it will always have folks like you who want to pretend it's 1950, not 2010, and it's continually dwindling membership reflects how outdated they are. Your children will "fair" better when they can make it on their own WITHOUT affirmative action and minority set-asides, and arent blaming the big bad White Man for everything.
Im not real sure what a "tea-bagger" is, but can tell you that pretty much everyone I know thinks Sarah Palin is an idiot.
Finally- speaking of voting- Obama was elected because of the WHITES who voted for him. Hurts to admit that doesnt it?:)

Posted by: peabody2 | February 4, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Dwight Collins (poster) since when has any Black group in this fair (sarcasm) country been able to make anything happen???? The "Tea Baggers" will probably get everything they want and YOU (Black Folk, Hispanics, Asians, Native Americans) will GET NOTHING as usual...Time to go to the polls and VOTE your power. By 2020, the majority WILL BE the our children will fair better....

Posted by: lindarc | February 4, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

The "Tea Baggers" yell, tell lie, not inclusive and are not a legitimate organization and with a leader....but you attack a black organization which is legitimate. Don't get it....and Peabody 2 obviously need anger management therapy and some racial sensitivity therapy....Thank you.

Posted by: lindarc | February 4, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

So what’s the grade on President Obama and the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC)?

President Obama’s administration is stealing billions of dollars in Federal Contracts from African-American companies and giving them to huge companies – some are even foreign firms. (see: He will no longer address black folks in public or even acknowledge that black folks exist.

The CBC’s is completely silent on the issue. They are all useless leaches and need to be voted out of office, most notably Elijah Cummings.

I vote ‘F’ for both.

The Obama administration needs to stop diverting federal contracts from Small Businesses, Minority-owned businesses and Veteran-owned Businesses to large federal contractors.

I know the President get’s a little nervous around Republicans. But there is no need for him to go out on a limb - all he needs to do is enforce the current Federal 8(a) laws and goals on the books.

Posted by: question-guy | February 4, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

"Issues included..investigating and prosecuting hate crimes"
Lets see, that means every time someone like Tawana Brawley or the "Duke rape victim" claims they were attacked by KKK or whatever, but NOT the far more prevalent black-on-white crimes like the carjacking murders in Knoxville. Got it.
And Dwight Collins, you know that this group could care less about jobs or education, they prefer to follow the rappin revs Jackson and Sharpton on things like Don Imus,etc. Or have a protest march to support thugs like the jena Six or Heather Ellis (mouthy kid arrested for raising a ruckus in Walmart because she had to wait in line, videotaped kicking cops, etc.) We shall overcome!!!

Posted by: peabody2 | February 4, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Of course the NAACP wants more handouts for thier people....most of america would reverse those grades....

Posted by: mark0004 | February 4, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

"On the whole, Democrats were far more likely to get high marks than Republicans."

Spectacular understatement there.

Posted by: RealityCheckerInEffect | February 4, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

"...Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid scored an A on the latest report card from the NAACP."

What a shocker! A far-left group approves of a far-left Senator.

Quick, alert the media! Oh, wait, never mind.

Posted by: spamsux1 | February 4, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

the naacp has turned traitor against their own people...
the naacp should have been pushing for jobs...
but instead of pushing for jobs, they failed America...

Posted by: DwightCollins | February 4, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

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