Success and Failure are Inside Jobs

Stephen Vines

As we move into the future we must not let the forces of perdition (that which divides and destroys) take our eyes off the ball (the goal) of the NAACP. Freedom is not free, because bondage is and will always be waiting to steal your time, our mind, and action. Bondage is a system of oppression that attacks our self- worth, our value system, and our ability to work with other people. We need to understand that there is a learning curve in learning to work with new people, to make a positive change. We must have patience, be forgiving, and look for the best in each other. We are building the foundation for the NAACP SLO County branch to grow and serve our communities to fight the good fight to end negative emotional bondage in all human interactions. Freedom from racism, sexism, adultism, ageism, and all the oppressive ways of being what our culture trains us to be so it can control our behavior.

Our first 100 days are moving forward, we are organizing our four county areas. Our leadership teams (data team, networking team, activities team) are in action. Our communication team is setting up the communication network, website, newsletter, and calendar. Our monthly meetings are underway and we are working out future endeavors. Our executive meetings and area meetings, and the great membership that are there, will help us do great things.

So my brothers and sisters, we have an opportunity to do great things, to move the world, from this space, in this time, in this moment. You may ask how is that possible? By building a network of people who are free to dream, think, and take action as one united community of human beings. The future of our children, our planet, our liberty and justice are in our hands. If not you, then who? If not now, then when? In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King,

“The hope of the world is still in the dedicated minorities. The trail blazers in human, academic, scientific, and religious freedom have always been in the minority.”  — Dr. Martin Luther King

So in conclusion, our future will depend on whether we build each other up or undermine each other. Look for the solutions to a problem or focus on a problem. Whether we are patient and forgiving, or attack each other and feed a negative organizational environment, movements are destroyed from the inside by negative thoughts and feelings that attack vision, unity, liberty, and freedom. Let us build a strong foundation (a decentralized organizational structure). Let’s participate in community organizing (voter registration drives, data gathering, networking,). Let’s unlearn racism and internalized oppression of classes. Let’s promote the Heaven Gardens project, and more. The best is yet to come. We need you and our community needs us.

Stephen Vines, NAACP SLO County branch president