fault. TV may be the paradigmatic moucv-grubbing institutionrnof our dav. Show ‘IV producers a connection between higherrnprofits and more effective oitreach to supporters of tlicrnNAACP, and Hollywood will beat down Kweisi Mfume’s door.rnWhat Mfumc does not acknowledge is that you can work outrndeals on paper, but only the marketi^lace can ratify the terms ofrnthose deals. If the marketplace says, boy, oil, boy, those affirmativc-rnachon guys from the NAAC^P (because that is what theyrnare) arc terrific—then the rest takes care of itself. Endless vistasrnof blue sky. On the other hand, if the marketplace does n o t -rnwell, let’s get down to specifics —ratify- a program with the approvedrnmix of black and white characters or black and whiternideas, then the audience will nix said program. And whatcharngonna do about it? Boycott the audience?rnA corollaiy point: Educational preparation may not be ever-rnthing, but those who get it enjox’ an edge over their competitors.rnWhy in the world wouldn’t the NAACP want those African-rnAmericans it dispatches to white-dominated fields, e.g., televisionrnand consfitufional law, to go there carrying the best andrnsharpest educational tools available? Here again, the marketplacernrules. Kweisi Mfume cannot hold your hand forever.rnYet the NAACP’s interest in raising and maintaining educationalrnstandards, if it exists, is indiscernible. Ideological zeal demandsrnopposition to vouchers and private schools and deep suspicionrnof rigorously enforced standards of performance. Wliatrna broad, smooth road to irrelevance: Ignore the way the worldrnoperates; posit a counter-reality; insist on die pureness and eternalrnvalidify’ of that realify.rnAmerica is shll a mosth’ free country. You can believe whatrnyon want. Left alone to lean heavily on a phantasm, just do notrnbe surprised, or too angry, when in broad daylight the thing goesrnpoof, and into the dust you go tumbling.rnKueisi Mfume’s America is a nation that simply cannot repentrnenough, now or, seemingly, ever. Jim Crow may be plantedrnin the cold, cold ground. Nevertheless, if we are going tornhave an NAACP, it has got to raise money and hell alike. Itrnneeds, in consec[ucnce, a Righteous Cause. The “rebel” flagrnw ill do in a pinch. The gun companies will do. Adam’s Mark?rnCreat.rnBy the way, not five minutes ago I had a conversation thatrnstrikes me as somewhat to the point. A middle-aged Kthiopianbornrnman who delivers mail in our building recently became arnU.S. citizen. He is one of the gentlest, most decent people Irnknow, and I relish his friendship. The da- he took the oath, herncame to work in a red, white, and blue est and necktie andrnbrought his papers bv to show me. He has a son completingrnmedical residency and a daughter still in communit}- college. Arncouple of us were chatting with him in die hall. Some Americanrnblacks do not accept him as black, he said. His ancestorsrndid not work die plantations; he himself lacks the legacy ofrnwhite oppression. That is what makes you black—because, if Irnmay interpolate, Kweisi Mfume says so, and that’s the law andrnthe prophets.rnMv friend soldiers on, with huniilih and good cheer. Hernwants to be an American: the old-fashioned variety. And I say,rnGod bless him, because he will make it. Theoretically blackerrnblacks, who take their cues from the National Associahon forrnthe Advancement of Colored People, and who cannot let diernpast go because hurfing makes them feel so good — to these, arionsrnthings need saying, niosdy for their own sake.rnPhc most direct piece of acKice that comes to mind may bernthe most useful: Get a life. crnPlea Deniedrnby Richard MoorernAt daw nrnto memories of crime,rn”Begone!”rnI screamed. “Some other time!rnSave your disgusting onsetrntill sunset.”rn”Your faultsrncry now,” they thundered, “roarrnand waltzrnwild on your ballroom floorrnbecause you need to suffer,rnyou duffer.rn”Come, knitrnus nicely in your song.rnWe’ll fit.rnYou cannot get alongrn(so don’t you dare to flout us)rnwithout us.”rnI8/CHRONI(:LESrnrnrn