NAACP Adopts Policy To Minimize Impact Of Terrorist Attacks On Families And Civil Liberties

The National Association for the Advancement

of Colored People (NAACP) Board of Directors approved

several resolutions that address the impact of the September

terrorist attacks. The resolutions call on Congress to pass

laws that increase benefits for displaced workers, change

U.S. immigration policies and safeguard civil liberties. The

actions were taken on October 20 during the group’s national

board of directors and trustees meeting in Los Angeles.

Kweisi Mfume, NAACP President and CEO said, “As Americans

stand united and defend the ideals of a free and open

society, the NAACP is mindful that there is still much work to

be done to make this a great democracy for everyone. The

aftermath of the terrorist devastation has brought to light

the compelling need for our government to provide assistance

to the scores of working men, women and families affected

by the attacks and not just the corporations.”

The NAACP resolution in support of assisting airline and

related industry workers displaced since the September 11

tragedy calls for passage of a bi-partisan economic stimulus

package that puts workers on equal footing with corporate

executives and airline stockholders who are already targeted

to receive a bailout totaling $15 billion in federal taxpayer

money. The measure insists that the stimulus package

include full funding for job training programs; extended

resources to expand federal support to cover unemployment

insurance at a livable rate for a newly expanded

unemployment pool; increased support and eligibility for

programs such as food stamps and healthcare coverage for

families.

Another resolution would safeguard civil liberties as the

government moves to strengthen anti-terrorism laws by

increasing homeland security. While the NAACP strongly

supports efforts to aggressively address and eliminate future

potential attacks on our freedom, it strongly urges lawmakers

and administrators to be mindful of the need to vigorously

protect and strengthen the civil rights and civil liberties of all

Americans as any new legislation or agencies are created.

The uncertainty brought on by the terrorist attacks has led

an increased number of immigrants to file for permanent U.S.

citizenship. In the resolution approved by the

Board concerning immigration policy, the NAACP stressed that

U.S. immigration polices must be color-blind and fair and

plans to lobby Congress in support of equity and fairness.

The NAACP calls on Congress and the Bush administration to

pass legislation that adheres to principles that prevent

exploitation; reward work; keep families together; promote

public health and educational opportunities and encourage

civic participation.

The Board also voted to oppose the nomination of Gerald

Reynolds to serve as Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights of

the U.S. Department of Education. A NAACP review of

Reynolds’ record, indicates that his hostility to the laws and

policies he would be charged with enforcing make him totally

unsuitable for the position. The position is responsible for

developing departmental civil rights policy, monitoring

recipients of departmental funds for compliance with

anti-discrimination laws, supervising desegregation efforts,

investigating complaints of discrimination and bringing

administrative actions.

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