On June 4th, Kweisi Mfume, President & CEO, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), called on Catholic University to rescind its decision to block a NAACP College Chapter from being formed on its campus.
"We are here today to protest in the strongest possible terms the decision by Catholic University to ban students from forming a NAACP student chapter on this campus,"Mfume said during a press conference in front of the Washington, D.C. university.
Mfume said: "This is outright discrimination, bigotry, prejudice and intolerance all rolled into one. It is at the very least, a double standard based on race and social philosophy.
"The Catholic University's decision to ban students from organizing a NAACP college chapter on their campus is blatant discrimination in its most naked form. We believe that it is an embarrassment not only to the good men and women of the Catholic faith but to fair minded Americans everywhere who believe that discrimination of any type is wrong. This is not the nature of democracy as we know it, and this is not the nature of the Catholicism that others and I grew to know and respect."
Mfume noted that NAACP college chapters are on four other Catholic universities with no problem. They include Georgetown University, Trinity College (Washington, D.C.), St. John's University and Fordham University. He said, "Our student chapters and our members are of all races. The students here at Catholic University who want to organize are not Nazis, they are not thugs, they are not skinheads and they are not terrorists."
About 20 college students from Washington area universities attended the press conference in support of Catholic University students who want to form the NAACP college chapter. William Jawando, a senior who enters law school in the fall, said university administrators raised concerns about the NAACP's mission and said it would be inconsistent with the university mission.
"The hypocrisy rooted in the university's decision to ban this student chapter and then to hide behind such an indefensible position is a biblical fig leaf that grows smaller by the moment,"said Mfume.
Mfume said the NAACP will consider legal steps to have the University allow students to organize the college chapter. "We are prepared to bring litigation against Catholic University for violating what we believe is the right of all students in America to free association and equal protection under the law."
Mfume said he is willing to meet with the university administration, but several calls to the university president were not returned as of Friday.
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