- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Wall Street Journal’s Jason Riley on Tuesday criticized the NAACP for industrializing the civil rights movement and repeatedly choosing money over the interests of black communities.

His comments come after the NAACP announced it will not be giving a second lifetime achievement award to Donald Sterling after recordings surfaced of the Clippers owner making racist statements to his then-girlfriend. 

“I don’t think that these comments are as surprising as the NAACP is pretending they are,” Mr. Riley said on WSJ Live. “This man has a long history of paying to make lawsuits — anti-discrimination lawsuits — go away, and this has to deal with his non-basketball activities.”

“He’s been brought to court repeatedly for discriminating against blacks and Hispanics,” he continued. “The NAACP knows about this history, and yet gave him a lifetime achievement award and was about to give him a second one before these comments broke.”

When asked if he took the NAACP’s comments seriously, the editor responded: “This is another example of how the civil rights movement has become an industry. You have groups like the NAACP, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, others who basically go around the country shaking down corporations and individuals for money.

“This man gave them money, and that’s what is most important to them. They claim to represent the interest of low-income, poor, underprivileged blacks but this is more about lining their own pockets,” he continued.

“You can draw an analogy to what goes on here in New York City. You have the NAACP taking money from teacher’s unions and then going out and opposing charter schools, which help low-income blacks. You have them blocking Wal-Mart from going into depressed neighborhoods, because labor unions don’t like the fact that Wal-Mart isn’t organized. NAACP sides with the labor unions instead of the people in those communities who need those jobs, need those goods and services. So, there is a pattern here,” Mr. Riley said.

The editor also had some choice words for President Obama, who publicly condemned Mr. Sterling’s comments as “ignorant” and “offensive.”

“If people are looking to this president for racial unity, I think they should look elsewhere,” Mr. Riley said. “When you pal around with Al Sharpton, you are not into racial unity.”