NAACP Slams Bush Administration Policies

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) concluded its 94th Annual Meeting by issuing a battery of criticisms of policies hostile to civil rights. The conference, which included the quarterly NAACP National Board of Directors meeting, was held February 13-15, 2003.

"President Bush continues to nominate right-wing extremists to the federal bench," said Kweisi Mfume, NAACP President and CEO. "The NAACP must stand in firm opposition to the confirmation of any and all nominees, whose judicial record gives rise to suspicion about their ability to render impartial judgment and fair interpretation of federal law."

Both Mfume and Julian Bond, Chairman, NAACP Board of Directors denounced the Bush administration for using the birthday of slain civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to announce opposition to the University of Michigan's affirmative action program, yet offered no solutions for ending racial discrimination, which is still rampant in this country.

On Saturday, Bond represented the NAACP at a major peace rally near the United Nations, underscoring the Association's resolution opposing a unilateral war against Iraq. "In lieu of unilateral attack, we ought to support the reintroduction of an intrusive, unfettered inspection regime into Iraq, backed by a force of multinational soldiers." In mid-October 2002, the NAACP Board voted unanimously to oppose a unilateral attack on Iraq.

Fortifying the civil rights agenda while keeping in step with the modern-day challenges of the 21st Century was the focus of a candid, keynote address by Hugh Price, President and CEO, National Urban League. Price, who will resign his post in April, bid farewell to the NAACP by noting that both organizations still have important work to do "as the long distance runners for civil rights." The Urban League was founded in 1910. The NAACP was founded in New York City on February 12, 1909.

The NAACP Board of Directors adopted a number of resolutions critical of the Bush Administration policies and extreme conservatives in the Congress. These resolutions include the following:

  • Support of the Japanese American Citizens League, the Asian Pacific American community and other civil rights organizations in calling for Rep. Howard Coble of North Carolina to resign as chair of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security. In a recent radio interview, Coble endorsed President Franklin Roosevelt's decision to intern Japanese Americans during World War II as correct and necessary for the safety of the country. The NAACP resolution also calls on Coble to apologize for his remarks. "The American people deserve political leaders who make clear, concise and well-reasoned decisions based on fact and clearly informed by all people involved, not leaders that perpetuate erroneous assumptions and ill-informed deductions based on racial and ethnic stereotypes," the resolution said.
  • Support of House Resolution 32, introduced by Rep. Danny Davis of Illinois, regarding the continuing need and "indispensability of affirmative actions programs.
  • The NAACP Board strongly encourages Congress to improve President Bush's Faith Based Initiative to ensure that traditional and well-established employment rights, civil rights and anti-discrimination protections can be enforced by the courts and safeguards are established to ensure that no religious organization can lose its federal 501 (c) (3) status as a result of participation in a faith based initiative program.
  • The Board called on Congress to swiftly enact legislation that expands the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act to all home mortgage lending and adopt strong predatory lending legislation.
  • The NAACP voted to oppose juvenile death penalty laws and calls on the 22 states that currently allow offenders under 18 to be executed.
  • Opposition to the senate confirmation of Jeffrey S. Sutton as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit. The NAACP Board said Sutton's record as an attorney and as a director of the Federalist Society, a right-wing extremist legal association, raises significant concerns regarding his qualifications and his ability to function as a neutral, effective judge.

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